Night Noise Boosts Blood Pressure
Sounds of Airplanes, Traffic, Even Snoring Can Raise Blood Pressure During Sleep, Study Shows
The din of modern life may be harmful to your health.
The sounds of an airplane flying overhead, a car passing by, even sleeping
next to a loud snorer may not be enough to wake you, but these night noises
could be giving your
blood pressure an unwelcome boost, a new study appearing in the European
Heart Journal shows.
The study included 140 healthy men and women living near four European
airports with night flights, including London's Heathrow. The volunteers
ranged in age from 45 to 70 years old.
The researchers measured the volunteers' blood pressure using a remote
device at 15-minute intervals and then examined how it related to the noises
recorded in their bedrooms.
Aircraft noises caused an average increase in systolic blood pressure (top number of blood pressure reading) of
6.2 points and an average increase of diastolic blood pressure of 7.4 points
(bottom number). But it wasn't only airplane noise that raised blood pressure;
road traffic and
snoring also increased it.
How loud is too loud?
Any sound louder than 35 decibels
was deemed a "noise event" by the researchers. The researchers note
that the higher the decibel level, the louder the noise and the more
blood pressure rose.
high blood pressure, also called hypertension, have an increased risk of
stroke, and kidney disease. Blood pressure of 140 over 90 or higher is
considered high blood pressure.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the average
decibel levels for everyday sounds are:
- Quiet room: 40 decibels
- Vacuum cleaner: 70 decibels
- Rock music: 110 decibels
- Air-raid siren: 140 decibels