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 » Shark feeding frenzy caught on camera The recycling headache list 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 New natural wonder: Giant living SA flag More: EnviroHealthGreen tips SPONSORED: So many prizes! Click through and see our fantastic competitions. advertisement Get a quote Momentum - save up to 35% on healthcare advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Add your comment Thank you, your comment has been submitted. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Live healthier Hypertension » Salt may be bad for more than blood pressure Regularly salting foods heightens death risk How potassium fights high blood pressure Are you eating too much salt? Did you know that high blood pressure affects as many as 25% of adult South Africans? Do you have a sweet tooth? » What’s SA’s most sugary drink? Craving sugar? Blame your brain WHO says we're eating too much sugar 10 foods with hidden sugar Even if you don't have a sweet tooth, you might still be eating far more sugar than you think.