How Modern City Life Affects Sleep

Living in the city is exciting and a great opportunity for those seeking more hustle and bustle than rural life or the suburbs. The population is diverse, the career opportunities are vast, and the culture is alive in New York City. One of the few drawbacks of the city is the ability of “the city that never sleeps” to affect your sleep. City life affects sleep due to the noises, dense living arrangements, and lights. Finding a way to get a restful night’s sleep so you can take on all that the city offers is vital for your health and wellness.

City Life Sleep Disruptors

City Chatter:

The noise that comes with living in the city is one of the most common disruptors of sleep. Traffic, people, trains, neighbors, and building sounds can all keep you up at night. For those who need peace and quiet when you sleep, the city may be a struggle at first.

Bright Lights:

The second largest factor that keeps people up at night is the city lights. The skyline is so beautiful from afar, but all those lights that stay on all night can be a huge sleep disruptor. Between street lights, building lights, traffic lights, and billboards, your life may be filled with so much light you truly feel like the city never actually sleeps.

Stress in the City:

If you just happen to be that lucky type of person who has a Zen-like personality and can withstand any amount of stress, that’s amazing! However, most people are impacted by city life’s environmental stressors such as finances, commuting, work, personal life, and family. The city can make this more stressful as it comes with high financial costs, long commutes, public transportation, competition at work, and little time to balance friends and family. While city life is great, it also comes with unique stressors that can keep you up at night. Yet another way city life affects sleep.


While a densely populated city may seem like it’d be easy to get around with round-the-clock transportation options, it’s not. Unless you live right above your work and a market, you’re going to have to weather the commuting storm. Commuting can be stressful, take a lot of your time, and feel exhausting after a long day. The hustle and bustle of commuting can take a toll on your body if you have to get up early and end up getting back in late. While it may not disrupt your sleep, it will likely minimize the amount of sleep you get, which can be a problem for your overall health.

Ways to Overcome City Sleep Disruption

While you can’t stop the noise, lighting, commuting issues, or even the stress of the city, there are some ways you can help get yourself a good night’s sleep. Below you will find some of the more helpful tips for those living in a modern city. Of course, you can always visit a sleep deprivation doctor as well for more information.

Set the Tone:

There are some great apps out there that help with sleep through meditation. You can be guided to sleep through the app, and it’s worth a shot if you are struggling with winding down. Combine this with some essential oils like lavender and frankincense for a space that can foster relaxation.


For any issues with light, invest in blackout curtains. This can truly help you get to sleep and stay asleep without any issues from outdoor lighting.

Cancel the Noise:

You may not be able to shut off the noise when you are ready to go to sleep, but you can invest in noise-canceling earplugs. There are also noise-canceling machines you can set out to help drown out the unwanted sounds.

Sleep Specialist in New York City

If you are struggling with sleep in the city, contact Sleep Doctor MD for support and solutions to getting a good night’s rest. It can be challenging to find out on your own how city life affects your sleep. Dr. Shukla is a sleep doctor in NYC with over fifteen years of experience working with patients who have struggled with sleep. Dr. Shukla focuses on getting his patients back to their full potential and getting a good night’s rest. If you are experiencing issues with sleep, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shukla and his team!

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