Updated February 28, 2020 The noises around us are a recurring aspect of our lives. Sounds including the way each family member walks around the house or the rhythmic knocking of old pipes, can be somewhat of a familiar fixture. But other types of sounds can be aggravating at best and damaging to one’s physical health at worst. Living near other humans is a noisy business. We wanted to know which nighttime noisemakers are the most common and how much they affect people’s sleep. So, we surveyed nearly 1,000 people to find out – read on to explore what’s keeping Americans up at night. What Makes Noise at Night? Whether you have a snoring partner, creaky floors, or an attention-seeking pet, there’s no shortage of sounds that can keep you up at night. Which ones affect our respondents the most? The reality of interrupted sleep, whether frequent or infrequent, was nearly universal for our respondents: 94 percent had been roused by a nighttime noisemaker at some point. Another 47 percent experienced at least one interruption every night of the week, and a quarter said they live near five or more sources of nighttime noise. Neighbors were the most common disruptor, affecting 62 percent of people and averaging 3.2 disturbances per week. Neighbors’ pets also affected more than half of respondents, with an average of 4.4 occurrences every week. The least common source of noise was industrial facilities, affecting just 8 percent of the surveyed population. While noise from the highway only affected 32 percent of respondents, it did so quite frequently, averaging 5.2 times each week. Other urban noises, like intersections and trains, were common disruptors, as well. Shaking It Off Humans are pretty adaptable, but some noisemakers might be harder to acclimate to than others. Let’s find out which sounds proved to be the most irritating to our respondents. The hum of the highway was something that 73 percent of affected respondents were able to get used to, and another 67 percent stopped being bothered by nature sounds after a while. At least 60 percent of respondents were also able to adjust to other urban noises, like bus stops, trains, intersections, and industrial facilities. The more consistent the sound, the easier it faded into the background. The worst disruptor, though, proved to be neighbors. Neighbors not only were considered the loudest noisemakers but also the worst overall. Just 52 percent were able to acclimate to neighborly noise disruptions, but police or fire stations and neighbors’ pets proved to be even harder to acclimate to (45 percent and 39 percent, respectively). While these stats might have you packing your bags for the country life, don’t be fooled: Rural areas are not immune to human-made sounds. One recent study found that human-made noises doubled background sound levels in 63 percent of America’s protected areas. Soundscapes and Sleeplessness Few things are more frustrating than losing precious sleep to something out of our control. For some people, their local noisemakers were enough to make them want to move. Whether the noise lasted for a prolonged period, or it took respondents forever to get back to sleep post-disruption, people lost an average of 36 minutes of sleep per night as a result. The two biggest culprits were neighbors’ pets and entertainment venues, which impacted 72 percent of respondents’ sleep. Police or fire stations also affected more than 60 percent of respondents’ rest, as did noisy neighbors. People who were kept awake by entertainment venues were most likely to wake up feeling tired at 53 percent. Nature sounds weren’t far behind at 50 percent. The latter was also most frequently responsible for disturbing people’s sleep on a nightly basis. One study conducted in New York City – arguably one of the most bustling metropolises in the world – found that a lack of sleep due to urban noise and light disruption was linked to a lack of concentration. This may be part of the reason 59 percent of respondents factored noise into their decision to move, and 66 percent who lived in a noisy area felt their sleep would improve if they moved somewhere else. Sleep Better With a Great Mattress If you’re like most people, you probably experience some form of nighttime noise disruption, but that doesn’t mean a great night of sleep is beyond your grasp. “No matter what’s keeping someone up at night, there are simple and effective steps that anybody can take to sleep better,” said Andrea Strand, editor at eachnight. “For example, sticking to a consistent bedtime, reducing technology usage at night, and avoiding caffeine are all great ways to fall asleep easier.” No matter the soundscape that surrounds you, there’s one thing you can control: the comfort of your mattress. At eachnight, we’ve got all the resources you need to choose the best mattress for you, from helpful guides to in-depth reviews and a blog packed with information related to sleep health. Visit eachnight.com to get started on crafting your best-ever sleep situation. Methodology and Limitations We surveyed 3,059 people using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service, focusing on a core sample of 934 respondents based on whether they lived near a regular source of nighttime noise. Among that core sample of 934 people, 810 lived near a noise source, and 124 did not. 474 respondents were female, and 460 respondents were male. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 78, with an average age of approximately 38. To ensure that respondents took our survey seriously, all respondents were required to identify and correctly answer an attention-check question. Our margin of error was 3 percent, with a 95 percent confidence interval. In many cases, questions and responses were rephrased for clarity or brevity. These data rely on self-reporting, and strict statistical testing has not been performed on these findings. Potential issues with self-reported data include but are not limited to: exaggeration, selective memory, and attribution errors on the part of respondents. 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