The right insulation can help you sleep like a baby

Sleep is essential for our bodies to rest and recover, promoting overall wellbeing and function. Getting enough good quality sleep is vital for staying healthy.

Poor sleep has been linked to various health issues like heart disease, depression, and obesity, as well as accidents and reduced productivity at work due to fatigue. These problems have significant social and economic costs, with some sleep disorders alone costing the Australian economy billions of dollars each year.1 A comprehensive research review by the Australian Government’s Institute of Health and Welfare found that nearly half of all Australian adults reported at least two sleep-related problems.2

Many factors, such as genetics, lifestyle, health, and the environment, can affect how well we sleep. The importance of healthy sleep is gaining recognition on a global scale. World Sleep Day, started by a group of healthcare providers and members of the medical community, aims to raise awareness about the importance of sleep health: the positive effects of good quality sleep, as well as the detrimental effects of not getting enough of it.

The impact of environmental noise on sleep

Environmental noise has long been recognised as a potential cause of poor sleep. Research suggests that noise during the night can disrupt sleep significantly. Recent studies have found that exposure to noise from roads, trains, and aeroplanes can lead to various sleep disturbances, including more frequent awakenings, symptoms of insomnia, and lower self-reported sleep quality.3

Ensuring you get enough uninterrupted rest is crucial for maintaining wellbeing and achieving optimal performance. Even though you may not immediately detect subtle alterations in your sleep patterns and biochemical sleep processes, their effects can become apparent the following day in more significant ways. Exposure to noise the night before has been linked to feelings of sleepiness, irritability, and diminished mental wellbeing. 3

The Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aging investigated the health effects of environmental noise in a research review and found there is sufficient evidence of a causal relationship between environmental noise and both sleep disturbance and cardiovascular disease, to warrant health-based limits for residential uses. During the night, an evidence-based limit of 55 dB(A) at the façade or external wall and an eight hour period is suggested.4

Does insulation keep noise out?

Insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways of keeping heat out of the home in summer warm inside during winter, and for helping control energy costs with less reliance on heating and cooling.

Lesser known is its ability to reduce noise, especially high density insulation. It does this in more than one way:

  • Absorbing sound waves – The fibrous structure of insulation absorbs sound waves through a friction process that converts sound energy into thermal energy. This process reduces the amplitude of the sound waves and contributes to a quieter indoor environment.
  • Damping impact noise – Insulation can also help dampen impact noise such as footsteps or the impact of objects against surfaces. The fibres absorb and disperse the energy generated by the impact, reducing the transmission of sound waves through walls, floors, ceilings and more.
  • Improving sound quality: Insulation can improve the internal sound quality by reducing echoes and reverberation within a space. This is beneficial in areas where clear communication or a comfortable acoustic environment is desired.

It’s important to note, that while insulation reduces noise, achieving optimal acoustic performance involves considering the overall design of the building. This includes factors such as the whole wall construction including windows, floor and ceiling assemblies, and the use of special soundproofing materials such as acoustic plasterboard. Additionally, correct installation practices, including sealing gaps and ensuring a tight fit, are important to maximise the insulation’s effectiveness in reducing both airborne and impact noise.

Which products should I use?

Known for their quality Pink® Batts, Fletcher Insulation’s Pink® Soundbreak® high density, non-combustible batt range is the ideal choice for better acoustic insulation in homes. They’re the trusted insulation solution for reducing the transfer of noise from the outside in – and between different areas and spaces within the home such as upper floors, media rooms and bathrooms. A range of densities in the Pink Soundbreak range have been acoustically tested with a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC)* rating for each. That means you can choose the type of Pink Soundbreak batt that meets your specific needs, room by room if you so desire. The range is comprehensive with densities starting at an impressive 24kg/m3, going up to 32kg/m3.

Where there is more complexity in acoustic requirements such as for high rise apartment projects, Fletcher Insulation’s non-combustible Pink® Partition high density batt range provides a comprehensive choice of products with sound absorption coefficients tested in accordance with AS ISO 354.

Then there is the other big advantage of choosing Pink® Soundbreak and Pink® Partition batts – and that’s their thermal performance. They play a significant role in keeping your living spaces comfortable through the seasons with better control over energy costs.

Fletcher Insulation is a leading Australian manufacturer, distributor, and technical support provider for the building construction industry in insulation. Pink® Soundbreak® and Pink® Partition are manufactured in Australia by Fletcher Insulation using up to 80% recycled content. Both product ranges have CodeMark Certificate of Conformity CM 30006

Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) is a measure of a material’s effectiveness in absorbing sound across a range of frequencies. It is commonly used in acoustics to quantify the sound absorption characteristics of various surfaces and materials. The NRC is expressed as a decimal between 0 and 1, where a higher NRC indicates better sound absorption.



  1. Deloitte Access Economics, Sleep Health Foundation, (2021), Rise and try to shine: the social and economic cost of sleep disorders in Australia,
  2. Australian Government, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, (2021), Sleep problems as a risk factor for chronic conditions,
  3. Smith G., Cordoza M. & Basner M., (2022), Environmental Noise and Effects on Sleep: An Update to the WHO Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Environmental Health Perspectives, 076001-1, 130(7) July 2022.
  4. Australian Government, Department of Health and Aged Care, (2020), The health effects of environmental noise, PN: 12214,
Peaceful sleeping baby in a crib.