what wakes you up

If you wanted to market a new cold and flu remedy intended to help suffering men and women get the rest they need, it might be helpful to know what kind of sounds are most likely to wake them up. At least that’s what a company hired UK-based neuromarketing firm MindLab to find out. The results of their study, which used EEG data to detect which sounds were most disturbing, are interesting:

Top ten sounds most likely to wake men:
1. Car alarm
2. Howling wind
3. Buzzing fly
4. Snoring
5. Noise from drains
6. Crickets chirruping
7. Sirens
8. Clock ticking
9. Drilling/workmen
10.Dripping tap

Top ten sounds most likely to wake women:
1. Baby crying
2. Dripping tap
3. Rowdiness
4. Snoring
5. Buzzing fly
6. Drilling/workmen
7. Sirens
8. Car alarm
9. Howling wind
10. Noise from drains

[From Chicago Tribune - Julie's Health Club - Top 10 sounds that wreck your sleep by Julie Deardorff.]

The most striking gender difference is “crying baby,” which is the #1 disruptor of women’s sleep. Babies don’t even make the top 10 list for men, who are more likely to be woken by crickets chirping and dripping faucets.

The strangest one on both lists is “noise from drains” – do Brits have unusually raucous drain pipes?

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