Are These Everyday Sounds Harming Your Heart?

heart health Feb 10, 2021

It’s my mission to teach you about all the ways sound works to improve your health. I feel it’s also my responsibility to educate you about how sound can be harmful, too.

Today, I’m going tell you about the everyday sounds that are hurting your heart—and what you can do to stop their unhealthy effects.

Heartbreaking noises—literally

We live in a noisy world. And your body negatively reacts to certain stress-inducing sounds—whether you’re conscious of it or not.

The problem for many people—especially for those in high-traffic or urban areas—is that these noises are seemingly never-ending.

You might think that after a while, you get used to it and just “tune it out,” but the reality is, your brain never truly does. It’s still constantly barraged by sound, which can cause more problems than you realize.

Noise pollution linked to serious heart conditions

Every day, we encounter low frequency noise. This includes types of sounds that often exist in the “background” like sirens, cars, planes, conversation, home appliances, etc.

IMAGE SOURCE: Antioxidants & Redox Signaling


And recent studies have shown just how dangerous these noises can be—particularly for long-term heart health.

According to a 2018 meta-analysis published in the journal Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, everyday noise pollution has been linked to:

  • Chronic stress
  • Increased irritability
  • Sleep interruptions
  • Trouble concentrating

These are all factors that the researchers found contributed to cardiovascular issues including high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

That’s because many of these factors make people more sensitive to oxidative stress—an imbalance between the amount of disease-causing free radicals you produce and your body’s ability to detoxify their harmful effects.

And higher levels of oxidative stress lay the foundation for inflammation and damage on a cellular level.

Noise associated with transportation is a major culprit

In a 2008 study published in Environmental Health Perspective, researchers found a connection between road traffic noise and high blood pressure (also known as hypertension).

Overall, people that lived near a busy road had a 3.4 percent higher risk of hypertension per 5 decibels of traffic noise. In other words, the higher the noise level, the more likely it was that people would develop hypertension—a major contributor to heart disease.

And in a large 2014 study published in the journal Environmental Research, researchers studied nearly 60,000 people who were between the ages of 50 and 64 and lived near large airports or high-traffic areas.

They found that the louder the ambient noise, the higher the chance the participants had of suffering an ischemic stroke (the most common type of stroke, caused by an obstructed blood vessel in the brain). They also found that, the louder the overall noise pollution, the more at risk the participants were for suffering a fatal stroke.


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Using beneficial sounds to combat harmful ones

While it might not be practical for everyone to pick up and move to a quiet area, there are ways to minimize the impact of ongoing noise on your health.

Here are some of my personal strategies for managing noise pollution:

  • Invest in ear protection. I use earplugs any time I’m onstage or in loud environments. This helps to protect my hearing and to reduce the stress on my system. I also like to use noise-cancelling headphones when on airplanes or when there’s loud construction going on in my neighborhood.

    This is also important for people who have jobs where they are subjected to loud sounds every day, like:

    • Emergency responders: police officers, EMT’s, and firefighters
    • Military personnel
    • Musicians
    • People who work with loud machines, vehicles, or tools (Think farmers, truck drivers, mechanics, airport ground crew workers, and construction, factory, or warehouse workers.)

    If you work in a loud profession, be sure to wear hearing protection.
  • At home sound-proofing. If you don’t have a quiet sleep environment, consider placing a physical barrier between you and the sound.

    This can include things like sound-proof curtains over your windows, using solid core doors (instead of hollow ones), or planting evergreen trees and dense shrubs near your windows at ground level.

    You can also install sound-absorbing panels on your walls. (These can be purchased online for very affordable prices.)
  • Listen to white noise or nature sounds. If I’m staying at a hotel where I can hear traffic or people in the hallways, or if I’m just having trouble sleeping, I’ll turn on sound recordings of ocean waves or other nature sounds.

    You can also try white noise or calming music to block external noise. If you prefer music, I suggest slow, ambient tracks. (YouTube and music streaming services like Spotify or Pandora have plenty.) Just be sure that your music doesn’t contain lyrics. Lyrics or fast tempos can activate and speed up brainwaves, which can prevent you from drifting into sleep mode.

The bottom line is that in today’s world, the noises of modern life aren’t going to suddenly fall silent. So it’s imperative that you’re vigilant about reducing the noise that exists in your home environment.

Aim to reduce or eliminate as much of it as much as possible, particularly where you sleep. And in turn, you’ll receive natural heart protection and add years to your life.

Be Well, Jim

P.S. Explore the natural benefits from music, sound, and rhythm, by joining my Donovan Sound Healing Circle which gives you unlimited access to every single one of sound based wellness methods and courses — including my brand new Sound Heart course — for less than $9/mo! Simply click here to learn more or give it try today.


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Harmful noise levels. (2018). Health Link BC. Retrieved from:
Health effects of environmental noise pollution. (n.d.). Australian Academy of Science. Retrieved from:
Jarup, L., et al. (2008). Hypertension and exposure to noise near airports: the HYENA study. Environmental Health Perspectives. 116(3): pp. 329 – 333. Retrieved from:
Leventhall, H.G. (2004). Low frequency noise and annoyance. Noise and Health. 6(23): pp. 59 – 72. Retrieved from:;year=2004;volume=6;issue=23;spage=59;epage=72;aulast=Leventhall
Münzel, T. (2018). The Adverse Effects of Environmental Noise Exposure on Oxidative Stress and Cardiovascular Risk. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 28(9): pp. 873 – 908. Retrieved from:
Sørensen, M. et al. (2014). Combined effects of road traffic noise and ambient air pollution in relation to risk for stroke? Environmental Research. 133: pp. 44 – 55. Retrieved from:


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