The life-saving benefits of peace and quiet

I talk about the negative impact of pollution a lot in this space. Air pollution… environmental pollution… even light pollution. But one topic I haven’t covered? Noise pollution.

Yes, it’s a real thing. And so is its effect on your health.

I’m not just talking about the obvious consequences, either. Excessive exposure to loud noises obviously does a number on your hearing, leading to permanent loss if you aren’t careful.

But as it turns out, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Because believe it or not, all that racket takes a serious toll on your heart as well…

No “quiet time” triples the risk to your heart

Some preliminary research made its debut at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018. And it’s very bad news for anyone with chronic exposure to loud noise.

Scientists looked at the link between noise exposure and major cardiovascular events — like heart attack and stroke — in a group of nearly 500 people, with an average age of 56.

All subjects underwent PET and CT imaging of their brains and blood vessel networks. Researchers used these pictures to look at activity in the amygdala — a part of the brain that plays a key role in your body’s stress management and emotional response.

They also examined all the subjects’ medical records to assess for heart risk. And gauged their levels of noise exposure using the Department of Transportation’s Aviation and Highway Noise Map.

At the outset of the study, none of the subjects had heart disease. But over the five years after initial testing, 40 went on to suffer a heart attack or stroke.

As it turns out, people with the highest noise pollution exposure were three times more likely to end up on the wrong side of those statistics. And this is after researchers accounted for other obvious heart risk factors — including air and environmental pollution, smoking, and diabetes.

Chronic noise leads to chronic stress

Imaging offered at least one explanation for this deadly trend: Subjects with the highest levels of noise exposure also showed higher activity in the amygdala — as well as greater inflammation within their arteries.

And when you think about it, none of this is surprising. Excessive activation of your body’s stress response sets off a lethal domino effect that drives blood vessel inflammation, and paves the way straight to heart disease.

Unfortunately, short of packing up and moving, there’s not a whole lot you can do if you have a highway, an airport, or train tracks in your backyard.

But given the role that your body’s stress response plays in this phenomenon, there’s plenty you can do to prepare your body to fight against the threat. In fact, the same strategies you’d typically use to combat adrenal burnout would come in handy here.

I first detailed my adrenal protocol back in the April 2013 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“Feeling the burnout: The real reason you’re tired all the time — and what you can do to fight it”). Subscribers have full access to my archives. Simply log into the Subscribers Sign-In section via (And you haven’t yet, you can sign up today by clicking here.)

The recommendations in that article apply to anyone suffering a shortage of peace and quiet — literally or figuratively. So if your world is louder than you’d like it to be, I suggest integrating them all into your daily routine.

Of course, keeping a set of earplugs by your bedside certainly doesn’t hurt either.