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Lincoln, RI 02865 Building #3
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How Noise Can Impact Your Sleep Cycle

woman with minor headache

It’s essential that we all get enough sleep at the end of each day. Sleep allows your body recharge its batteries and helps you recover from your day-to-day activities. A lack of sleep is linked to a series of health concerns, and many people struggle to establish a consistent sleep cycle. A common issue is that you wake up at the wrong time during your cycle, meaning you can feel extra groggy and tired – regardless of how many hours you’ve been asleep. 

So, what can impact your sleep cycle? Well, not surprisingly, noise has a big impact on sleep. If you are struggling to sleep, or keep waking up in the middle of the night, it could be caused by the various sounds and noises still happening all around you. It’s a good idea to speak to an audiologist to learn more about this and what you can do to prevent it. Below, we’ll go into more detail on how noise can impact your sleep cycle. 

Noise and Insomnia

Insomnia is a common sleeping condition whereby you struggle to sleep at night. In many instances, people aren’t able to get to sleep because there is too much noise around them. A typical example of this is someone sleeping in a busy city with lots of cars and noise from bars and people walking around outside. It’s impossible for you to find peace and relax because you have too many noises that distract you. 

Ironically, people who experience hearing loss can also have difficulty sleeping. You’d assume that an inability to hear ambient noises will make it easier to sleep. On the contrary, hearing loss is usually coupled with tinnitus, which is a ringing sound in your ears. This noise can be very distracting, causing you to feel stressed and fail to fall asleep. 

In both of these instances, your sleep cycle is disrupted from the beginning because you’re not falling asleep when you should. As a result, you’ll sleep for fewer hours, meaning you end up waking up during the wrong stage of your sleep cycle, feeling groggy in the morning. 

Noise and Fragmented Sleep

Noise can also impact your sleep cycle by causing fragmented sleep. This is when you wake up during the night, sometimes more than once. There are various noises that can wake you up, while others don’t have an impact. More often than not, extremely loud and sudden noises are likely to be the ones that wake you. This can be a car backfiring, a cat knocking over some bins outside, someone shouting in the street, or a baby crying. 

Again, if you are in an environment where lots of noises occur during the night, it’s highly likely you will be woken up more than once. When you wake up, it disrupts your sleep cycle. This makes it harder for you to feel rested in the morning. You might go to sleep at 10 p.m., and wake up at 8 a.m., but still feel sleepy. Tracking your sleep will tell how long you were actually resting for, as well as how may sleep disturbances you had. Even if you were only awake for a few minutes each time, that’s all it takes to disrupt your sleep cycle and leave you feeling tired.

How to Prevent Noise From Impacting Your Sleep Cycle

The good news is that you can prevent noises from hurting your sleep cycle. Effectively, there are two approaches depending on what noises are irritating you. If you can’t sleep because you live in a noisy area, you need to focus on reducing the noises inside your bedroom. This would mean trying the following: 

  • Custom earplugs designed for sleeping
  • Installing new windows with better soundproofing
  • Getting thick curtains to try and block out sounds from outside
  • Closing the windows when you sleep

If you struggle to sleep because of tinnitus due to hearing loss, the best course of action is to speak to an audiologist and receive treatment. Often, it is recommended you use white noise machines to help distract you from the sound of tinnitus. Unlike other noises, persistent white noise is actually linked with better sleep because it helps you relax and drift off quickly. 

Overall, noise can have a negative impact on your sleep cycle, so you need to take action fast. We can help you with this, providing a range of hearing services by professional audiologists. To learn more about Hear for You Hearing & Balance and how we can help, contact us at 401-475-6116.