Nighttime noise can affect your health—even if you’re asleep

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Chronically disturbed sleep—or too little sleep—is linked to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. People exposed to nightly traffic noise are more likely to have heart disease and to take sleep medicine, which doesn’t restore their sleep quality completely.  

While asleep, you cycle through two kinds of light sleep (stage 1 and 2), deep slow-wave sleep (stage 3), and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep (stage 4). During stage 3, your muscles relax and your pulse and breathing rate slow. This stage may be critical for the immune system. Stage 4 sleep, when your dream, is important for memory, learning, and creativity.

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