Style & ShowbizHealth

Cut noise, cut weight gain

HealthBy Sunday World
Cut noise, cut weight gain

There are many things that make modern life stressful but few things are as irritating as constant noise. From the shrill tone of your alarm, to the traffic noise you experience on the tube, to the constant ringing of phones in the office: how often do you truly experience peace and quiet?

Rather than just leading to headaches and lower patience levels, experts are now claiming noise could also be the reason people are piling on the weight. But how can decibels get to your diet?

"Noise is a stressor that raises our arousal levels, influencing the nervous system and hormone levels in the body," explained Stephen Stansfeld, professor of psychiatry at Queen Mary, University of London, to MailOnline.

"We are programmed to respond to noise, particularly if it represents a threat — and when we are under stress, the body secretes 'fight or flight' hormones including cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are designed to get you out of danger.

"But these hormones also raise heart rate, blood pressure and encourage the body to lay down emergency fat supplies."

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden seemed to back this up with their recent research. They found people living near a busy road tended to put on more weight than those in quiet areas, while people under flight paths and near railway lines were also affected.

So how can you stop noise from interrupting your sleep, stressing you out and maybe even adding inches to your waistline?

One of the easiest ways is to wear earplugs at night, especially if your home is a noisy environment - outside traffic, night-owl flatmates and noisy neighbours can all play a part.

Also try to carve a time-out period into your day. Don't be tempted to cover up noise with something like a radio or TV, this could just add to the problem. Instead, if your home is never quiet, take yourself to a place that is. Even your local library could hold the answer. Head there with a good book or even just to sit and take some deep breaths.

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