New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around.

Sound and Sleep: How Noise Affects Your Rest

Sound and Sleep: How Noise Affects Your Rest
23 April 2023 Samantha Anderson

TEMPUR® sleep specialist & sleep counsellor shares guide to understanding how sound impacts sleep ahead of International Noise Awareness Day.

From traffic and sirens to appliances and phone alerts, living a busy life in a modern world means we are all-too-often surrounded by noise.

Ahead of International Noise Awareness Day, Wednesday 26 April, TEMPUR® sleep specialist & sleep counsellor Thomas Høegh Reisenhus explores how this constant cacophony could impact our sleep and how we can use sounds to help, not hinder it.

Thomas says, “Noise can have a huge effect on the quality of our sleep, keeping us awake at night and leading to mood instability and forgetfulness the next day. However, some sounds can aid sleep, allowing us to drift off more quickly and effectively.

“Your bedroom environment should work for you, so as well as the perfect temperature and pyjama set, we should think about what noises we can hear at night or in the early hours of the morning and consider how we can eliminate them or counteract them with other sounds.

“Ultimately, the impact of sound on sleep is unique to each individual, but there are a few main principles that should be considered by all in order to achieve a proper night’s rest– a key pillar of good health.”

Read on for Thomas’s guide to sound and sleep…

Sleep cycles

Our sleep cycles are made up of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM sleep – deep sleep – and we cycle in and out of these phases during the night as we sleep.

For healthy sleep patterns it is important that a sleep cycle isn’t cut short, as you need the complete cycle for the body to progress through its restorative processes, including muscle recovery and memory building. This is often why, when you wake up suddenly from a change in environment, you feel groggy and confused. Your brain activity has been disrupted and an important cycle has been interrupted.

Loud noises that disturb a sleep cycle during the night can cause a huge domino effect come morning, as they compromise our deep, restorative sleep, which is required to function properly during our time awake. Disturbances can cause brain fog, irritability, loss of coordination, and mood swings among many other cognitive or emotional issues – not a great way to spend the day.

Soothing sounds

Not all sound is created equal, however, with some noises helping to calm the brain and lull us into a deep sleep.

A quiet environment is essential for a good night’s sleep, but this doesn’t mean there has to be silence. White noise, pink noise and brown noise are all slightly varying forms of hushed background sounds that people increasingly use to aid sleep. The differences are very small, with each variation using a variety of high and low sound frequencies, with the end effect of pink noise sounding like crashing waves, white noise like blowing air and brown noise can sound like gentle rainfall.

Unlike loud, sudden noises, they consist of a continuous backtrack with a low pitch that, according to studies , has been proven to help people fall asleep more quickly. These sounds are non-disruptive, so won’t impact the body’s descent into sleep.

Podcasts can also be a good source of background noise to help us drift off to sleep. Just make sure you don’t choose something too gripping, intense or scary as the adrenaline and cortisol released in your body as you become tense, scared, shocked or stressed will make sleep unattainable.

Some scientists believe that listening to your favourite music, even if it is energetic, is better for sleep than whale song , for example, due to the well-versed soothing sound of your go-to playlist versus the potential unsettling nature of unfamiliar animal noises…

Sound the alarm

A classic culprit of a noise that disrupt sleep cycles is the jolting morning alarm. They may work to kick you out of bed, but the downside is potential grogginess during the day as your body tries to recover from an incomplete sleep cycle.

The ideal practise is to go to bed and to wake up at the same time every day, therefore training your body to wake up on its own without requiring an alarm. Realistically, this isn’t always possible, so using a gentle rising tone for your alarm track will work better to wake you up more gradually, pulling you out of your sleep cycle gently, before you become fully awake.

Noise blackout
For some people, any noise at all can make it impossible for them to fall asleep. This is especially difficult when living in a city centre, a busy household or when sharing a bedroom with a partner.

Whilst total silence isn’t necessary for everyone, it’s a good idea for those that need it, or even for the occasions that you just want to block everything out, to have the right tools in place. Foam earplugs are gentle on the ears and are effective in blocking out all noises, even a snoring partner or creaking floorboards.

If wearing earplugs at night, it’s worth investing in a gentle light up alarm clock that mimics the sunrise as you may not hear a normal alarm beep. Indeed, waking up with light instead of sound is a healthier option for all of us, as it balances our circadian rhythm and allows for a more gentle start to the day.

Whether you need complete silence or background noise, focus on making sure your set up works for you to ensure you can enjoy the benefits that come with a restful and complete night’s sleep.

For more information on TEMPUR®, visit


Notes to editors:

  • For more information on TEMPUR®, visit
  • Please contact us should you be interested in receiving product for review or for competition prizes

For further press information, please contact:
Anna Nyman | Elsa Findlay | Julie Aguilera
T: +44 (0)203 440 8930
E: [email protected]

TEMPUR® researches, develops, manufactures and distributes mattresses, pillows and other sleep products to improve the sleep experience worldwide.

TEMPUR® Material is the original pressure relieving mattress product made up of viscoelastic – billions of ultra-sensitive open cells that exist between a solid and a liquid state. TEMPUR® products provide the ultimate comfort and support, helping you to get a great night’s sleep night after night.

Born from NASA technology, TEMPUR® Material was originally developed in the early 1960’s for use onboard the space shuttles. TEMPUR® scientists realised the enormous potential of this material and began experiments in the early 1980’s to perfect it for sleep. After millions of pounds in research, the technology was perfected into the TEMPUR® Material we know today. As a result, TEMPUR® was the only mattress and pillow brand recognised by NASA and certified by the Space Foundation in May 1988.

Each TEMPUR® product undergoes sixty-seven different quality checks, ensuring superior quality and durability.

TEMPUR® products can be purchased direct via the TEMPUR® UK website, Dreams, John Lewis, Bensons for Beds, and Furniture Village or from leading independent retailers or from any of 10 TEMPUR® brand and outlets stores.

TEMPUR® is a subsidiary of TEMPUR® Sealy International Inc.

Follow TEMPUR®:

Twitter: @TempurUK
Facebook: @TempurUK
Instagram: @tempur_uk