It turns out even the noise around us can increase our experience of stress! Scientists have performed several studies over the past decade to determine the influence of noise pollution on the population. They have studies specifically the power noise can have over cognitive skill and stress levels. The established data indicates that those persons living near an airport, highway or train experienced problems with performance in a learning environment. In addition, noise was found to have adverse effects on healing in hospital patients. The patients studied began to suffer from high blood pressure, increased heart rates and disrupted sleep cycles. The World Health Organization sets a recommended noise limitation in rooms of a maximum of 35 decibels. Some hospitals are beginning to redesign the buildings with furniture or acoustics to absorb the sound better. The reality is most people are surrounded by noise pollution and can be susceptible to its consequences without even realizing it!
For more information on this topic refer to Monitor on Psychology, July/August 2011.