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 The three stress-busting basics you can’t afford to ignore Detangle the myths from the facts Why you should try the cold or hot approach for sports-related injuries Head lice myth busters! Live healthier Coffee and wine for the win! » Could heartburn drugs upset your 'good' gut bacteria? Life is a gut reaction Good news! Coffee & wine may promote a healthy gut Diverse bacteria help your gut stay healthy. Here's how what you eat and drink can help or harm that balance - and it's not all bad news. I gave hubby HIV » Giving babies antibodies promptly may eliminate HIV Vaginal ring to prevent HIV on the cards I gave my husband HIV and watched him die Stephanie van Niekerk unwittingly infected her husband with HIV and ended up having to watch him wither and die in front of her very eyes. This is Stephanie's story in her own words.