The Sound Audit 🔊 Edition

In honor of Tax Day, I thought it could be interesting to suggest giving your environment a SOUND AUDIT.

The Sound Audit 🔊 Edition

In honor of Tax Day, I thought it could be interesting to suggest giving your environment a SOUND AUDIT.

Let me explain...

After 2 months of being on a beach in Thailand, I’ve now found myself in the loud and bustling streets of Hong Kong. I’m conducting my own personal sound audit while I’m here and making an effort to notice the effects that the added stimuli, especially sound, brings me on a physiological and psychological level.

Sound has the ability to be SO powerful that it can even qualify as its own form of pollution (!) 👇:

Noise pollution: Unwanted or excessive sound that can have deleterious effects on human health and environmental quality. "Repeated exposure to noise reduces the sleeping hours and productivity or efficiency of a human being. It affects the peace of mind and invades the privacy of a human being.”

And naturally because I’m coming from the perspective of sleep, there are countless studies (here is a cool one) that surprisingly show not only how nocturnal noise negatively impacts sleep (obviously), but also how daytime noise can impact your ability to sleep well at night! Sorta mind-blowing.

Further demonstrating the power of sound anecdotally...check out my Apple Watch stats during my first ever sound bath years ago👇.

At the time, I was in the height of my own personal stress & burnout and yet oddly SOUND was able to knock through my own personal inner noise and lower my heart rate dramatically.

If you live in a city, you’re almost certainly dealing with noise pollution (this article breaks down some of the surprising effects on your health and for my New Yorkers, this one specifically looks at the effects of the NYC MTA on your health). But nowadays, even my more rural peeps are dealing with something akin to it thanks to increased use of man-made devices all with the ability to stream noise 24/7.

HOW TO DO A SOUND AUDIT:

  1. Get a decibel reader app: here is an article that breaks down a bunch of them. Pick one and periodically take a quick sample of your environment not only at night, but also throughout your morning and afternoon.
  2. Download the SnoreLab app: This app scans for snoring from either you or your partner and records it while you sleep. Snoring is one of the biggest forms of nightly noise pollution and it can be rectified!
  3. Mentally log “ALL THE NOISE” 🗣️for 1 day: This is not meant to turn you into a curmudgeon. Instead, there is power in knowing just how much noise you are being exposed to day and night. Once you understand your current noise pollution baseline, you can begin to take new actions to lower the decibels a bit. Take the quieter route home from work, get a sound machine for the night, finally tackle that snoring problem, get some soothing music during work hours, buy noise blocking curtains on Amazon, etc. Like most things, the first step is always awareness!