Noise pollution in your home can deeply affect your health and well-being. Even the seemingly innocuous sound of a ticking clock can affect you in ways you may not realize.
Feeling that time is running out
One of the primary effects of living with a ticking clock is that you are likely to feel that time is limited or running out for you. This is because the constant background ticking noise provides a continual reminder that time is passing. Your conscious mind soon learns to tune it out but your subconscious continues to hear every tick.
I’ve found this to be the case with every client I’ve ever worked with for who has a ticking clock in a prominent location in their home, and there is scientific evidence for it too.
In one study by researchers at Florida State University, people were asked to fill out questionnaires about their ideal partner and what age they would like to get married and have children. It was found that, when there was a ticking clock in the room, women opted for getting married and having babies at an earlier age. Those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were the most affected, but I have found that anyone who has a ticking clock in their home is subject to feeling there is generally not enough time. Remove the clock or replace it with a silent one and the belief will usually melt away.
Feeling that life is repetitive and boring
Another effect of a ticking clock is that the monotonous, repetitive sound can cause you to feel that your existence is nothing more than a series of cycles, repeated day after day, week after week, year after year.
Some people say that they find the ticking noise comforting and enjoy having a safe, predictable life, but as Benjamin Franklin once put it, ‘Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75’. There is so much more possible in life than doing the same things over and over again.
A ticking clock may affect your body rhythms
The human body has many different rhythms. We each have a unique heartbeat that is so distinctive that technology is now being developed to use it as the most secure password system ever invented. There is also the rhythm of our breath, our brainwave frequencies, and our personal sleep-wake cycle. Most cells in the body have their own circadian rhythm.
External rhythms can affect these. It is well established that depriving a person of sunlight can disrupt their sleep cycle, and certain types of music can lower blood pressure and heart rate.
A study conducted by Shoko Yamane and Naohiro Matsumura in 2015 in Japan showed that having a slow ticking clock in a room has an entrainment effect that slows a person’s performance. There are likely to be many other effects that have not yet been monitored.
A ticking clock in any part of your home will affect you but the worst place to have one is on your bedside table, or anywhere in your bedroom. You will be exposed to the sound during all the hours of sleep.
And it’s so unnecessary. Just google “silent clock” and you will discover a whole range of noise-free clocks that are readily available.
Most wall clocks are battery operated these days, so it’s just a matter of finding one that goes with your decor. If you use an alarm clock, be sure to choose one that runs on batteries rather than mains electricity, for the reasons explained in the article about clock radios listed below.
Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2017, updated 2023
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