Home > Lifestyle > EnviroHealth > Green tips Updated 04 July 2013 Noise is a pollutant too We underestimate how it can wear away our quality of life: noise pollution is a serious enviro-health issue. 0 Related Green ceilings Lose the shoes Start A Health24 blog » Follow Health24 on Facebook » Test Are you envirohealth savvy? » Ask EnviroHealth Expert » Blood Lions: Bred for the Bullet movie trailer The amazing mountains on Pluto Noise pollution is one of the top complaints city dwellers have about the urban lifestyle, but it's also greatly underrated as a health and environmental issue. It is a very real contributor to several health problems, including stress, anxiety, sleep disorders and hypertension. Noise also interferes with wild animals’ sound communication, making it harder for some species to find mates, navigate, avoid prey or perceive predators. And, as with humans, noise adds to animals' stress levels, which are already high in urban and peri-urban areas because of a host of other human-induced stressors.The following are some simple measures you can try to help reduce both your neighbours' and your own noise levels: Grow trees, shrubs or hedges (foliage generally) round your property to act as a sound barrier.Make more use of carpets, heavy curtains, wall hangings and soft furnishings to help absorb noise. Install double-glazed windows. Make sure that window frames are properly sealed too.Install ceiling, floor or wall insulation - which will also improve your home's temperature regulation.Seal cracks and weatherproof your home generally. Install dry wall - the extra layer plus the air space between the dry wall and structural wall will help mute sound. Even more effective is if the space is filled with insulating material. The thicker and denser the wall and insulating materials, the better they will block sound.If the sound is coming from above, a dropped ceiling may be an option.Put felt coasters under furniture legs and bases. Not only does this help prevent screeching and scraping when items are shifted, it saves your floors.Get into the habit of removing your shoes when you come home, and wearing socks or slippers around the house. This is especially helpful when it comes to heavy boots and high heels, bare hard-wood or tiled floors, and if you have neighbours downstairs. Position audio equipment away from walls that are shared with neighbours. Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor More in Lifestyle Improved sunscreen More: EnviroHealthGreen tips advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... From our sponsors Otrivin Menthol relieves sinus congestion Innovative hearing aids can now interact online Second Healthcare Innovation Summit set for Johannesburg Salomon introduces Speedcross 4 Live healthier Nutrition crisis! » Good nutrition on the job will give you the edge Nutrition labels on food encourage healthy choices Nutrition may be as big a challenge today as HIV/Aids was 15 years ago Many people in a large number of low and middle income countries now experience a 'double burden' of malnutrition. E-cigarettes less risky? » E-cigarettes not an acceptable alternative to most smokers UK health officials endorse e-cigarettes E-cigarettes less of a cancer risk than regular smokes A study indicates that smokers who switch to e-cigarettes reduce their exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.