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The George Center for Music Therapy, Inc. | Noise Levels in the Hospital
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Noise Levels in the Hospital

Noise Levels in the Hospital

This morning, I was watching the Today Show on NBC, pondering what I could post for Friday’s blog.  Suddenly, the anchor introduced a study out of Yale that discussed noise levels in hospital rooms.  Why, thank you, NBC!

The Yale study found that noise levels in ICU rooms 83db every hour from midnight to 4:00am.  This far exceeds the recommended the 30db limit recommended by the World Health Organization.  These noise levels resulted in disrupted sleep, and could further be linked to delirium and immune dysfunction.

As music therapists, studies such as these are important for us to note.  Not many of us are administering our services between the hours of midnight and 4:00am, but knowing that many of our clients in hospitals did not sleep well the night before, we must be wary of our noise level to be considerate of those around us who might be catching up on rest.

But there’s another interesting caveat to this study.  A 2006 study found that live music therapy services in the NICU resulted in lowered heart rate and deeper sleep in stable preterm infants 30-minutes after the music therapy sessions ended.  Live music therapy was preferred by both medical personell and parents compared to recorded or no music therapy.

While more research is needed in order to generalize these studies to other populations outside of preterm infants, it is interesting that we have two separate studies: one that concludes ICU patients are experiencing disrupted sleep, and another that concludes music therapy aids sleep in a specific population.

Ready to try music therapy at your healthcare facility?  Contact us today to get started!

Music Therapy | Atlanta | The George Center

Andrew Littlefield, MM, MT-BC

Andrew is a board-certified music therapist who has been with The George Center since 2012.

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