By Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
Jan 1, 2019
This piece by Austin Frakt in the New York Times discusses the need for hospital patients to get more sleep, and the many things that disrupt a patient’s sleep when they are in the hospital. The list of culprits is obvious: alarm noise, carts in the hall, blood draws, vital signs measurements, and so on. Uninterrupted sleep is important for everyone, not just hospital patients. Anything that interrupts sleep–horns, sirens, road traffic noise, train horns, aircraft noise, horn-based alerts, patrons exiting a nightclub or bar at closing time–is a health hazard. I have no doubt that if enough people complain to enough elected officials about health problems caused by noise, governments at the local, state, and national levels will take action to make our cities and towns quieter. It worked for smoke-free restaurants, workplaces, airplanes, and in some states even smoke-free beaches and parks. Let’s all resolve to work together for a quieter world in the New Year.