Noise can be annoying or disturbing. Over time, if the noise continues or is too loud, it can impact your health and wellbeing. The impact can be greater when noise disrupts your sleep. For example, when noise makes it difficult to fall asleep or wakes you during the night. 

Ongoing noise can lead to: 

  • headaches 
  • increased blood pressure 
  • fatigue 
  • irritability 
  • poorer reading comprehension and attention in children 
  • hearing damage when the noise is loud. 

Example of when noise can affect your health and wellbeing

Gemma’s neighbour uses his air conditioner for heating throughout the night during winter. The air conditioner is loud enough for Gemma to hear in her bedroom and has a distinctive hum. She finds the noise disturbing and it’s affecting her ability to get to sleep. Once asleep, she finds she’s often woken in the night by the noise. This noise is unreasonable under the Residential Noise Regulations.

Ongoing noise can impact peoples’ livelihoods. Being unable to sleep because of noise might impact how well you perform at work. This could have a financial impact.

Long-term exposure to an annoying noise increases the impact on people.  

The Australian Department of Health has more information about the health effects of environmental noise.  

About people who are more vulnerable to noise

In residential settings, those most vulnerable to the impacts of noise include: 

  • sick people 
  • elderly people 
  • babies and children 
  • shift workers 
  • people with chronic health issues. 

Get help with noise for your health and wellbeing

If you have concerns about noise and your health and wellbeing, get medical advice. Keep a diary and note your medical visits, advice and outcomes. This could be helpful in case you want to make a noise complaint

Read more about residential noise 

Residential noise 

Residential noise: EPA's role 

Report residential noise

Reduce noise from your home

Residential noise: the law

Read our publication Annoyed by noise? (publication 406)

Reviewed 3 August 2020