Getting to Grips with Noise in the Philippines

Cherish Your Sleep: Getting to Grips With Noisy Metro Manila

Noise can be a major factor that affects people getting to sleep, and staying asleep. This is especially true in a city like Metro Manila where noise pollution is widespread and has become overwhelming over the years. 

While it can be fun to stay in the Philippines, the reality is that the environment is toxic most of the time and since stressful surroundings can make you unhealthy, it can become increasingly difficult to enjoy life in the capital. Even provincial living can be a health challenge. Check out my post Living… Heathy/Unhealthy Lifestyle.

One factor that can make Metro Manila stressful is its noise pollution, which can impact sleep. The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development states noise pollution has the potential to cause certain health and behavioral effects. Being exposed to a noisy population frequently can also eventually lead to heart disease, aggression, hypertension and mental instability.

Research published by Science Direct has linked sleep disturbance with environmental noise. The study went on to explain that the sleep architecture of a person and the quality of their sleep can be disrupted by the noise they hear within that environment due to the stress it brings to inside the body. 

“Apart from these measurable effects and the subjective feeling of disturbed sleep, people who struggle with nocturnal environmental noise often also suffer the next day from daytime sleepiness and tiredness, annoyance, mood changes as well as decreased well-being and cognitive performance,” the research stated. 

In Metro Manila, the government is becoming more aware of the ongoing issue. Coconuts Manila earlier published a statement by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) which discussed the fact that the levels of noise around the city’s major thoroughfares, particularly EDSA has become worrying. 

As prolonged noise exposure can damage hearing, the government has even began advising the residents living in and near the city to put up sound barriers in their homes since it might be impossible to lessen the noise pollution in these specific areas. 

Noisy Karaoke


Eventually, it’s only inevitable that an unhealthy amount of noise pollution will affect the general public’s sleep behavior. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t solutions to combat noise pollution. 

Leesa’s Scientific Advisor Professor Paul Gringras discussed sleep behavior in a 2017 blog postHe suggests that working on sleep efficiency rather than solely measuring the hours of sleep that you get at night is key to improving sleeping patterns.

“It’s a simple measure. If I go to bed at 11pm, fall asleep immediately, and wake at 7am with no interruptions, I have a sleep efficiency of 100 percent (no-one ever does this by the way – anything above 85 percent is great). But again, it’s not about chasing averages, but improving your own personal sleep efficiency,” Gringas said. 

Some Useful Hacks to Get to Sleep Easier

To get a great night’s sleep, one thing you can do which is relatively easy is cut down your caffeine intake. This effort involves avoiding coffee and tea within four hours of bedtime.

Drinking alcohol before bedtime is also something to be avoided. While you tend to sleep quicker upon having a nightcap(s), the quality of sleep you will have might be shallow and that you might still wake up from time to time. There’s even a chance that you will feel dehydrated. 

Another solution is to exercise regularly as it can help you de-stress, not to mention the health benefits you receive from regular physical activity. 

Wear earplugs. Yes this might sound rather trivial but earplugs do a great job of blocking out any noise pollution that might be present in the area that you’re living.