It starts with the turning on of a switch, and wham – the noise begins. It could be the nearby airport, neighborhood band, or plain old lawnmower. Whatever it is, it contributes to one thing – invading your peace with all the noise it can offer. Fortunately, soundproofing is a great way of reducing the amount of noise you’re exposed to. Another great thing is that there are a number of health benefits of soundproofing. The price of one for two – sweet!
Just to juggle your mind a bit with some questions.
- Can constant noise affect your health?
- Is it possible you lose a bit of your sanity every time ‘a switch is turned on?’
The short answer is yes, and you probably already know that. The next question you should be thinking is to what extent the noise affects you. Since I’m not a medical expert, I can’t say. But there are studies that suggest that repeated exposure to noise is detrimental to health. With soundproofing, you can reduce your chances of falling victim to the negative health impacts of noise. Just as the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure – or cheaper.
According to Julian Treasure, there are 4 ways sound affects us:
- Cognitively, and
In his article, he explains each of the 4 ways. The thing to take home with this is noise is sound as well. Thus, it can affect us in the 4 ways listed.
Some of the health conditions associated with noise pollution are:
- Loss of hearing
- Sleep deprivation
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Poor concentration
In this article, you will get to know some of the health benefits of soundproofing your home. After all, it is your home and it should be a place for you to relax after a hectic day at work. But maybe you are one of the few that work from home. How do I deal with the noise pollution then, you may ask. If that’s you, then you can check my article on Soundproofing your Home Office like a Pro.
LET’S BREAK THE ICE
Dear, Alex- is it okay if I call you Alex? Great. What would it take you to save your health from the harmful effect of the never-quiet world we live in? The simple answer is to soundproof your home or any particular room of your choice. Not only will it reduce the noise pollution, but it also reduces the risk of health problems associated with constant noise.
HOW LOUD HAS THE WORLD BECOME?
Let’s look at some statistics. According to a report, the number of cars produced in 2018 in the US was 11.3 million. In 2008 the number was 8.5 million. So, what do these numbers mean?
More cars produced equals more cars on the roads. As a result, more traffic noise will be generated. I think you see the pattern. And this is just for the car industry.
Yes, advances in technology have made life easier for us. With the push of a button, we can:
- Wash our dirty laundry
- Talk to a friend thousands of miles away
- Go from 0 to 60mph in 2.4 seconds (Gracias, Bugatti Veyron.)
It’s basically living made easy – so lucky not to be living in caves right now. Nonetheless, we can’t deny the fact that advances in technology have created more noise than during the industrial age. And the noise isn’t the only tragedy – there are health issues that come with it.
Fortunately, with soundproofing, we can reduce the impact of the amount of noise we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Our homes can become a haven for us to have quiet time, and to relax and recharge.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of soundproofing your home.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SOUNDPROOFING #1 – KEEPS A LOCKDOWN ON ANXIETY
Anxiety is one of the most common psychological disorders. In the US, 18.1% of the population is affected yearly. On the other hand, anxiety as a result of noise or loud sounds is referred to as phonophobia. Individuals with an already existing anxiety disorder are likely to suffer from phonophobia as well. But these are just facts and suggestions. The question you should be asking is, how does noise get anybody anxious?
Well, it’s relatively straight forward. As humans, one of the ways we interact with our environment is through our sense of hearing. Over the millennia, we’ve been hard-wired to react to every abrupt sound as a signal for alertness or danger. Thus, this response is what helped us know whether to run from predators or fight and become the predator.
For instance, in a situation where there is a loud thud or crash, our ears pick up the sound. The sound information is then sent to our brain and interpreted as “CAUTION. BE AT HIGH ALERT.” The brain then signals the release of cortisol (which is a stress hormone) and adrenaline (fight or flight hormone). Without these hormones released, you won’t even be alert for anything. It’s just one of the ways our bodies protect us.
So how does noise cause anxiety? It does so with the same ‘high alert response’ as it did thousands of years ago. This time it’s on overload. With so much noise pollution in residential and commercial areas, it’s not hard to fathom why now common.
Although you can’t keep the world quiet, you sure can keep your home quiet with soundproofing. Or when I think well, there is indeed a way to keep the world quiet even when you are out. All you need to do is just to purchase these noise-canceling headphones on Amazon.
Additionally, if you want to make a research about which are the best noise-canceling headphones before purchasing them then make sure to check out my article that includes 10 best noise-canceling headphones for this year.
HEALTH BENEFITS #2 – KEEPS DEPRESSION AT BAY
One health benefit of soundproofing your home is keeping depression at bay. Depression, just like anxiety, is also a mental illness or disorder. And for individuals already prone to this disorder, soundproofing helps reduce the risk of escalating it.
For most people, it isn’t obvious how noise is associated with depression. A study, however, it is suggested that there is a link between constant excessive noise and depression. In another study, it was found that it’s 25% more likely for people living in heavy traffic neighborhoods to have symptoms of depression.
Soundproofing your home offers you calmness and peace only a quiet environment can give.
HEALTH BENEFITS #3 – REDUCES THE RISK OF CARDIOVASCULAR PROBLEMS
Loud cracking sounds of fireworks may annoy you today. The disturbance from the construction work done three months ago, you might have forgotten. But what you don’t know is that your body keeps a record of every noise you’ve heard. One by one, they are stacked up upon another.
It isn’t a one-time noise that can cause cardiovascular problems. It’s the noise that occurs repeatedly for long periods that is the culprit. It literally becomes a theme song in your home.
Cardiovascular problems such as stroke, hypertension, and high blood pressure have been linked to constant exposure to noise.
However, with soundproofing, there is the opportunity of lowering the chance of having cardiovascular problems. This is a welcomed option especially for individuals who are prone to the disease.
HEALTH BENEFITS #4 – SAVES YOUR EARS, KEEPS TINNITUS AT BAY
I’m not sure if the heading is a campaign slogan for a health-related company. But what I’m sure of is it does send the message. Hearing is an important part of our lives – we can’t do without it. It’s one of the senses that help us make meaning out of our environment. We use it to know what’s safe and not safe.
However, as we get older, we lose some of our hearing abilities. That’s pretty much a fact of life. But a study suggests that in recent years, hearing loss is more or less a result of noise and not age. Individuals observed to suffer this the most are children, especially those in urban areas. In this study done in Kolkata, it was observed that children living close to the airport had noise-induced hearing loss. The reason for their vulnerability to hearing loss is because their bodies, ears, in particular, are still developing.
To protect them from that then I would highly suggest you to soundproof your baby’s room – here is the guide you need.
SO HOW MUCH NOISE IS LOUD NOISE?
First off, the intensity or loudness of a sound is measured in a unit called decibels (dB). Now, let’s get straight to the numbers.
|Noise||Average decibels (dB)|
|Leaves rustling, soft music, whisper||30|
|Average home noise||40|
|Normal conversation, background music||60|
|Office noise, inside car at 60 mph||70|
|Vacuum cleaner, average radio||75|
|Heavy traffic, window air conditioner, noisy restaurant, power lawnmower||80 – 89 (sounds above 85 dB are harmful)|
|Subway, shouted conversation||90 – 95|
|Boom box, ATV, motorcycle||96 – 100|
|School dance||101 – 105|
|Chainsaw, leaf blower, snowmobile||106 – 115|
|Sports crowd, rock concert, loud symphony||120 – 129|
|Stock car races||130|
|Gunshot, siren at 100 feet||140|
The table is very much explanatory. Noise levels going above the average for each situation is a clear indication your personal health is at risk.
Another group of people susceptible to hearing loss is, of course, the elderly. As observed, environments with lots of noise worsen the hearing impairment of the elderly. This is also an important reason for retirement homes and hospitals to add soundproofing to their design.
HEALTH BENEFITS #5 – HELPS MAINTAIN YOUR COGNITIVE ABILITIES
Cognitive abilities such as concentration, memory retention, and ability to learn are always at the detriment of constant noise.
Noise from trains passing by or the sound of your neighbor’s leaf blower is a typical distractor. To give an example of how much noise affects learning abilities, here is what this study reports.
An airport in Munich moved from its old site to a new one. Researchers then tested children, living in both the new and old site, for their memory and language skills. What they found was children in the old site did better cognitively than those in the new one.
A child’s lack of attention could very well carry on into adulthood. This, as well, may determine their likelihood of success academically. Now that’s just how much noise from machines can affect us. But even conversations in the background are enough to make you lose track of your task. This is because conversations are sounds with information content. As you’ve also noticed, it’s difficult listening to one person while another is speaking.
Though we can’t ever stop talking, we can’t stop the outside world from coming into private spaces. Soundproofing your home is one of the best options for safeguarding you and your child’s cognitive abilities.
That’s why if you’re interested in protecting your kids’ hearing while at home, you can check out my other article about soundproofing a kids room. It will guide you step-by-step until you completely soundproof your kids room and ensure that they are receiving all the health benefits of soundproofing!
However, if you don’t have the possibility to completely soundproof your home then at least you can get this White Noise Sound Machine on Amazon that mimics nature sounds in order to relax you and replace the annoying sounds.
Keep in mind that there are many more health benefits of soundproofing so your effort will definitely pay off!
HEALTH BENEFTIS #6 – GET QUALITY SLEEP
The quality of your sleep is one of the first things that suffers as a result of excessive noise. As an adult, it’s recommended to get 7 – 8 hours of sleep a day for proper functioning. But with so much noise to contend with, the number of sleep people get now ranges from 4 – 5. This clearly indicates one thing – noise pollution still occurs at night. So, it can be that bad at night, huh?
First of all, I cannot overemphasize enough how a good night’s sleep is crucial for living a normal life. There are so many benefits that come with having good sleep. Just to name a few, sleep:
- reduces stress (this, I know)
- improves your concentration and memory
- helps keep your heart healthy, and
- helps your body repair
With all these health benefits, why wouldn’t you want to get as much quality sleep as possible? In fact, it’s been found that getting less sleep puts you at risk of gaining some extra weight you don’t need. Obviously, with less sleep, it will be considerably harder to keep up with daily tasks at work and at home. Over time, your sleep deprivation will take its toll, if nothing is done about it.
In a soundproofed home, you are guaranteed the peace and quiet required for deep rest. And a good thing about soundproofing is it’s not super expensive. It might cost a bit, but it’s a great investment for the longevity of your health.
If you’re wondering how much soundproofing a room costs, you should check out Cost To Soundproof A Room. In this article, you’ll get in-depth information and comparisons of materials and information costs.
Yes! The world is loud and it may continue to get louder. No matter how hard we try, we can’t get rid of all noise pollutions. However, what we can do is reduce the amount of noise crashing on us on a daily basis. And the places we have the most control over are our homes.
So, to recap on the health benefits of soundproofing your home: you will have reduced anxiety, depression, and the possibilities of heart related diseases. You will also save your hearing, maintain your cognitive abilities, and get better sleep.
We recommend you seek a medical expert in case you’re already suffering noise-induced health problems. Hopefully, this article has been an amazing help to you. Have good health and happy soundproofing!