Published in New Scientist, 26 Feb 2011
Urban life is a barrage of thumping bass lines and blaring horns. Is there any way to silence the din? Jon Cartwright goes in search of a good night’s sleep
IT IS 3 am. Thud, thud, thud go the footsteps up the stairs. Uh-oh. Sure enough, laughter and music are soon pouring through the ceiling. Even with my head buried under the pillow, bass notes pound through my skull. Eventually I drop off, only to be woken a few hours later by revving engines as the rush hour begins.
Being kept awake by noisy neighbours and traffic is maddening. It is not just the mounting resentment that your personal space is being compromised and the stress of trying to deal with it: chronic noise pollution can seriously damage your health too, and it is a growing problem. [...]
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