For years, New York City has boasted the nickname “The City that Never Sleeps,” representing its bustling streets full of honking taxis at all hours and vibrant nightlife. Today, this name has started to take on another meaning.
Research has found that the average New Yorker gets just six hours and 47 minutes of sleep each night. Low sleep totals, however, are not unique to Manhattan. In fact, Las Vegas residents receive only six hours and 32 minutes on average, while those in LA clock in at six hours and 41 minutes of shuteye per night. Not surprisingly, the main culprit of lack of sleep in these busy cities is the constant presence of noise.
Hazards of Noise Pollution
As cities grow in population and infrastructure, so does the level of environmental noise. An airplane flying overhead, the roar of a motorcycle, and construction sites are all common sources of noise pollution impacting the daily lives of millions of people across the country. Noise pollution is defined as any unwanted or disturbing sound, and typically falls into this category when it begins to impact normal activities such as sleep, conversation, and overall health. To name just a few of the more serious health risks, studies have linked noise to high blood pressure, cognitive impairment, and tinnitus (persistent ringing or buzzing in the ears).
The most commonly discussed complaint of such noisy environments is interrupted sleep resulting in awakenings, sleep stage changes, arousal responses and more. As most of us know, lack of sleep can have an adverse impact on overall quality of life. Without getting the recommended seven to nine hours of restorative, restful sleep (for adults 26-64), many of us face side effects including poor daytime performance, cognitive function deterioration, and, of course, overall feelings of fatigue.
Eliminating the Noise
If your plans don’t call for a move from the busy city any time soon, there are steps you can take today to limit your exposure to the disruptive sounds around you that characterize the Big Apple.
In need of a quick nap but don’t have the time to make it all the way home? Stop by one of New York’s newly established sleep salons. Much like massage parlors or nail salons, there now exists a salon consisting of seven sleep pods meant to provide New Yorkers with a temporary break from the constant noise of the city. For a fee, patrons enjoy a private chamber equipped with dim lighting, a comfortable recliner, and soothing soundtrack meant to lull them to sleep for 20-40 minutes.
For those looking for a more permanent solution to the noise, consider installing soundproof windows in your home and office. Soundproof windows are able to eliminate up to 95% of existing noise, and are easily installed into existing window openings. For those living in apartment buildings, this means that no building approval is required as no construction or alterations are necessary. Further, soundproofing windows offer a 99% reduction in dirt and drafts, leaving your home or office comfortable and energy efficient.