Noise interrupting your sleep or keeping you up all night can quickly become a frustrating problem. When left unchecked, it can develop into a persistent issue with severe consequences. Noise exposure during sleep is known to increase the duration of light-stage sleep, thereby reducing the amount and quality of deep-stage sleep required to restore your body’s overall health and energy.

A lack of recuperative sleep can lead to rising heart rates high blood pressure and can also lead to the increment of cortisol and adrenalin, which are stress hormones.

But it’s not all noise that’s designed to interrupt your sleep. According to a study by the World Health Organization on the biggest risk of noise exposure comes from the noise we do not consciously hear while sleeping.

Studies have established relationships between hearing conditions like tinnitus and environmental noise when it comes to our auditory senses. Tinnitus is also known to cause sleep disturbance in some patients. It can also cause communication and listening problems.

How Does Noise Disrupt Your Sleep?

Persistent noise-interrupted sleep has been linked to some severe health conditions. The short-term effects are increased irritability and sleepiness, affecting your mental health. On the other hand, the long-term effects of disturbed sleep include weight gain, certain types of cancer and type 2 diabetes. Most people who have disturbed sleep are more likely to develop some form of cardiovascular disease or take sleeping aids, which do not fully restore the quality of their sleep.

You must understand how sleeping works and the types of sleep cycles. When the average person falls asleep, they go through four sleep stages. The first and second are two light sleep stages, the third is deep slow-wave sleep and the fourth is the rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep.

During the deep slow-wave sleep, your body relaxes and your breathing slows, which restores and builds your body’s immune system. You are more likely to dream in REM sleep, which can be good for your brain. Unfortunately, disturbed sleep affects the first two stages by having longer light sleeps and fewer deeper periods of sleep.

Environmental Noise and Hearing Loss

You might think that you are less likely to develop a sleep problem if you have hearing loss issues. After all, you’re not going to hear what’s going on while you are sleeping. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Although not many studies have explored the direct link between hearing loss and sleep disturbance, a few have.

A 2019 study established the relationship between hearing impairments and slept disruption and other sleep conditions like insomnia. Another study conducted on about 300 Israelis on the effect of hearing impairment on sleep quality found that those who had developed tinnitus had the most sleep issues. However, only hearing loss was linked directly to insomnia, regardless of how old they were or how long they had been exposed to the noise.

Finally, another study also revealed that hearing loss and tinnitus people could sleep better after being fitted with hearing aids. However, those with only hearing loss did not see any improvements. You can still speak with your hearing instrument specialist (HIS) on if hearing aids would be good for you.

How Can You Avoid Noise?

If you live in a busy area, you are more likely to be exposed to a wide range of noise, whether it’s from traffic, neighbors, sirens and animals. Here are a few tips worth sharing that can help reduce your exposure to constant noise and help you sleep better in the long run.

Keep Your Windows Insulated

If you are exposed to too much outside noise, ensure that you set up soundproof windows or fill in gaps in your windows that let noise in.

Turn Off All Alerts

It would be best if you turned off your phone for better results. However, if you cannot do that, you can put all electronic devices on silent mode so that you don’t wake up to notifications in the middle of the night.


Earplugs are a cost-friendly solution to your noise problem. You can get custom-made earplugs or purchase a few at your local store.

Use Sounds

This tip might seem counterintuitive, but not every noise is bad noise. Certain sounds can be relaxing and cover up more loud and annoying ones. You can listen to natural sounds with a sound machine or app or listen to soothing music.

Get in Touch with Us Today

Constant exposure to loud noise can affect your sleep and contribute to hearing loss. Speak to your HIS for more tips on how to protect your hearing. To learn more about hearing loss, contact the Center for Better Hearing at 510-768-7091.

Tags: noise exposure, sleeping tips