July 25, 2022

How Noise Can Impact Your Sleep Cycle

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How Noise Can Impact Your Sleep Cycle

Noise can have a serious impact on your sleep cycle. Every single one of us will go through a cycle when we sleep at night. This includes a light sleep stage, followed by deeper sleep stages and it cycles through multiple times. Ideally, you want to wake up during the lighter stages of your sleep cycle.

This is when your body is naturally more tuned to wake up, so you will feel more refreshed and less tired. If you wake up during deeper stages, you are likely to feel really groggy and exhausted. As such, this is why you can sometimes have four hours of sleep and feel fine, but you’re very tired after eight hours – it’s to do with your sleep cycle.

So, Where Does Noise Come Into Play?

Generally speaking, noise can disrupt your sleep cycle. Consequently, it’s important that you know how to prevent it from doing this. Seeing an audiologist can help you do just that, and we’ll explain more about this below. Alongside preventing your sleep cycle from being disrupted by noises, we’ll also explain how and why this happens.

How Does Noise Impact Your Sleep Cycle?

Essentially, we can narrow it down to three separate points – two of which are negative, and one that’s positive. Sleep cycles are impacted by noise in the following ways:

  • Noises prevent you from falling asleep
  • Noises wake you up during the night
  • Noises help you get to sleep

How Do Noises Prevent You From Falling Asleep?

This is a common problem for people up and down the country. If you live in a noisy area, you are going to struggle to fall asleep. Sounds from outside your home can stop you from drifting off because they distract you.

As a result, they stress you out, so it’s even harder for you to begin your sleep cycle. It’s not just sound from outside your home; sound from inside can have an impact too. Perhaps someone in your home is playing music loudly or watching the TV at a high volume. In both cases, it is hard to sleep because the noises keep distracting you.

Moreover, audiologists have learned that people with tinnitus also struggle to sleep. Tinnitus is often a symptom of hearing loss, but it can also be temporarily present if you’ve been to a concert or exposed yourself to loud sounds during the day. Regardless, the key characteristic of tinnitus is that you experience a buzzing or ringing sound in your ears. Often, tinnitus can be managed through various treatment methods.

This noise comes from inside your ears, so it’s hard to block it out. Again, it can stress you out because it’s all you focus on. Therefore, you struggle to fall asleep.

The problem with not falling asleep is that you reduce the hours you’re able to sleep. Let’s say you go to bed at 11 pm and have to wake up at seven am. You’ve given yourself eight hours of time to sleep, but all these noises are stopping you from falling asleep on time. It could be 12 am or later before you finally drift off, shortening your sleep and meaning you wake up during a bad stage of your sleep cycle. As a result, you’re very tired the next day.

How Do Noises Wake You Up At Night?

Likewise, even if you do fall asleep on time, sudden and loud noises can wake you up. This means your sleep cycle resets, so you can end up waking up in the morning during a deeper part of the cycle. Again, this means you are more likely to feel extremely tired.

Many noises can wake you during your sleep, but it tends to be sudden and loud ones that jolt you awake more than others.

How Can Noises Help You Sleep?

White noise is perhaps the only positive instance of noises helping you sleep. Many people with insomnia are given white noise machines as they can block out other ambient sounds and give them something to focus on. The white noise can help you relax, letting you sleep a lot faster. If you can block out the sounds around you, you’re able to sleep deeply and avoid disruptions to your sleep cycle.

How Can You Stop Noise From Impacting Your Sleep Cycle?

As mentioned above, a white noise machine can work wonders – especially if you have tinnitus or hearing loss. Speak to an audiologist about this as they can help you choose the right device.

Moreover, blocking out the loud noises around you will also help. Sleep with your windows closed and try soundproofing your room. If this isn’t possible, visit your audiologist to inquire about custom earplugs. Sleeping with these in your ears will block out lots of sounds that could prevent you from sleeping or wake you up.

If you’d like to learn more about how noise impacts your sleep cycle, contact The Hearing Spa today! We can help you with anything relating to hearing loss or hearing protection. Give us a call today to find out more!

Written by
Reviewed by
Dr. Victoria L. Moore
Lead Audiologist
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Dr. Victoria Moore (Vicky) serves as President as well as Lead Audiologist at The Hearing Spa. She moved to the USA from England in 1991 and has been serving the communities of Sarasota and Bradenton for over 20 years. Her independent audiology practice focuses on adult hearing loss, tinnitus management, as well as Cochlear Implant services.


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