The health benefits of getting your 40 winks are no secret. Studies have linked disrupted sleep patterns to Alzheimer's disease, while it's claimed that snoring and sleep apnea "increase cancer risk".
Recently sleep disturbance has been linked to road traffic noise, after The World Health Organization recognised environmental noise as harmful pollution with adverse psychosocial and physiological effects.
A study of noise pollution in the highly urbanised area of Georgia in America suggests that many residents are exposed to high noise levels that put them at risk of annoyance or sleep disturbance, which can have serious health consequences.
"Our research estimated that the percentage of the overall populations at risk of high annoyance is 9.5%, and highly disturbed sleep at 2.3%," says co-author James Holt.
"Long-term exposure to noise could increase the risks of heart attack and high blood pressure. Night-time noise can reduce sleep quality and increase morning tiredness and insomnia."
The research was carried out by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is published in the October issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
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