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How Sound Affects Your Sleep Cycles

Waking up from a poor night of rest is all too common in this fast-paced world. Placing the blame on technology and busy lifestyles is certainly valid, but there's another issue that can also impact your rest. Ambient sounds from the surrounding environment can wake you every night of the week. Learn how sound affects your sleep cycles, and choose smart ways to combat this serious problem.
The Stages of Sleep

There are currently four defined stages of sleep. They include two particular kinds of sleep:

  • Non-REM
  • REM

REM stands for “rapid eye movement.” The first three stages of sleep are non-REM types, during which you're lightly resting. Stage four is deep sleep, in which your eyes flutter underneath the eyelids.

A noise and sleep disturbance usually affects the first three stages of sleep. Your mind is still mostly aware of the outside world, which makes you vulnerable to wakefulness as the sounds ebb and flow.

It's much harder to disturb the mind in REM sleep, but this stage must be reached through a restful period in stages one through three.

Loud Sounds

A loud "bang" outside is enough to awaken anyone from a deep sleep. When stage four is disturbed, a person is rattled into reality. The heart might beat rapidly, which can be detrimental to vulnerable people with cardiovascular problems. It may be difficult to get back to sleep too.

Loud noises occurring during the other stages don’t cause as intense of a reaction, but they still stifle rest as the person opens his or her eyes and becomes aware of the outside influence.

If a loud sound awakens a person on a regular basis, the sleep cycles are greatly impacted. Bouts of insomnia can arise. Restful nights are now difficult to achieve.


Consistent Nighttime Disruptions

Your body needs time to move through all stages of sleep. Ultimately, you want as much time in stage four as possible. Frequent interruptions to your rest, however, stop this progress in its tracks.

If a sound awakens you in stage three, you must start again from stage one and move forward. It's possible to remain restless all night if sounds are constantly bombarding the room. Failing to reach stage four means that your body cannot really rest, and you wake up in the morning with a dissatisfied sensation. Feeling tired the rest of the day is common.

Sensitivity Varies Among the Population

It's difficult to address sleep and how sound affects it because of differences within the population. Some people simply sleep more soundly than others. A person who tends to wake up a lot during the night may be more vulnerable to sounds outside, such as traffic. These individuals would benefit from soundproofing their rooms. Wearing earplugs every night isn't practical.

Heavy sleepers may not wake up from the ordinary sounds found outside. However, loud noises can still startle them. These heavy sleepers might get away with a few hours of good rest, but they're certainly not immune. Consciously noting how you feel in the morning is a good way to ascertain how much the outside sounds are influencing a restful night's sleep.

Short- and Long-Term Effects on Health

The effect of noise on sleep can be considerable and affect your health:

  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Cardiovascular damage
  • Metabolic issues

Your body performs a lot of damage control during restful sleep. If it's constantly interrupted, tissues cannot repair themselves. The body reacts with side effects that can be both immediate and chronic.

The short-term effects are usually centered around being sleepy and having clouded judgement. You might be irritable too.

The long-term effects can lead to weight gain, heart problems and other issues. Dealing with the noise disturbances is the best way to stop all of these issues from becoming major concerns.


Solving the Noise Dilemma

To avoid sleep-cycle disturbances, many people turn to white noise. Machines with specific sounds that play all night can help drown out those ambient disturbances.

If you can't sleep with any noise in your room, think about soundproofing your space. Specialized materials can be installed by professionals. Walls, ceilings and floors are all potential areas for soundproofing.

Depending on the materials, several decibels of sound can be eliminated from a home. Discuss your options with the experts because the investment isn't just in the property. Investing in noise reduction will only improve your health too.

Contact SoundAway Corporation today. Our team can help you with your acoustical options so that sounds are largely controlled. Discover a deeper kind of sleep with soundproofing products. The difference is felt in both your mind and body.