An American study has looked more closely at the effects of typical hospital sounds on sleep. Different hospital sounds were played at sound levels varying from 40 dB to 70 dB and under different sleep phases. The probability of arousal varied with sound type, sound level and sleep phase.
Less surprising higher sound levels were more disturbing than lower sound levels, and electronic signals like alarms and telephone signals, all designed to raise our awareness, were most disruptive for all sleep phases, but also voices and conversations affected sleep negatively. The results were also compared with cardiac data that showed that each disruption also affected heart rhythm.
The participants were most affected during deep REM sleep where the pulse went up up to ten beats per minute, but similar changes in heart rhythm were also seen in the more shallow sleep phases. The study was performed on healthy volunteers but indicate that the sound environment where we treat those already affected by illness also affect their sleep, and that there is reason to focus more on improving the sound environments in healthcare environments.
Find the full article here
Mairi Johnson, (above) Deputy Director with the Education Funding Agency in the UK, giving her presentation which was filmed at the first "Sound Education" event in London - brought to you by Ecophon.
Mairi reinforces the importance of acoustic standards in the Priority School Building Programme, and outlines government plans for school construction, including the reduction of legislation.
Mairi states that within a reorganising of UK Government regulations applying to school buildings which involves a reduction in the total number of standards from 24 down to 8, acoustics will remain and apply to all schools all of the time.
The acoustic conditions and sound insulation of each room or other spaces must be suitable, having regards for the nature of the activity which normally takes place therein. So it hangs on the definition of what is suitable for what you are doing at a particular place with a particular group of people at a particular time.
School acoustic conditions will provide; good sound quality, enable people to hear clearly, understand and concentrate in what ever activities they are involved in. Minimal disturbance from unwanted noise such as activities in adjacent areas, teaching equipment, ventilation fans or road traffic.
The next "Sound Education" events are in Stockholm, Munich and Copenhagen over the next few months where four time speaker at TED talks, Julian Treasure will speak at all four events.
The Sound Education events aim to;
• Raise the awareness about the importance of acoustics in Education.
• Encourage and engage debate especially with teachers, students and parents
• Encourage clients and building users to involve acousticians early in the design process.
The event in London was attended by The DfE, teachers, media and a cross section of construction professionals and was considerably oversubscribed.
However, if you missed it, we are delighted to announce that all the talks are now available at www.soundeducation.tv - brought to you by Ecophon. Look out for TED speaker, Julian Treasure and Prof. Trevor Cox, voice of acoustics on the BBC and Adrian James presenting the recently launched Essex Study.
Also take a look at Julian's latest TED talk uploaded two weeks ago "Why architects need to use their ears" if you haven't already seen it.
If you feel this issue is important to the education and well-being of students and teachers alike, please feel free to share the talks via your preferred social media links.
TES - the largest network of teachers in the world is partnering with The Royal Albert Hall in London to stream the first live acoustics lesson to classrooms around the world on Thursday October 11th.
According to the The Royal Albert Hall website, they are inviting Science Departments from schools around the world to tune in to the Royal Albert Hall Facebook page or the Royal Albert Hall blog to investigate the question: 'What is sound?' through a series of live demonstrations.
The live 15-minute broadcast, held in the Hall's Elgar Room, will be led by BBC Television presenters Dallas Campbell and Dr Yan Wong and will see them demonstrate the properties of sound.
The broadcast has been developed to target Key Stage 4 pupils aged 14 and over, but all are welcome to tune in.
For more information or to register your interest in taking part follow this link
Researchers have now taken a major step to cure bad hearing by growing up functioning human auditory cells.
Deafness can have several causes. You can have a defect in the outer ear, and then you can often operate to improve hearing, or something that is not working in the inner ear.
This is about to have a damaged cochlea and that the small hairs cells to sense the vibrations of the sound are broken. It is the most common reason why people are deaf.
People with such deafness can only partly be helped with cochlear implants. But the broken hair cells have been nothing to do anything about.
Until now British researchers have been successful in cultivating new auditory cells also having the ability to develop successful hearing hairs.
Read more (in Swedish) about this here!