Loud bangs notwithstanding, Canberra is the best city in the world to nod off in

Lottie Twyford 6 September 2021 84
Woman asleep in bed

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, Canberra has been rated the best city in the world. Photo: Lottie Twyford.

As you nod off to dreamland every night, you should count yourself lucky.

Canberra has just been rated as the best city in the world to catch a good night’s sleep in – despite the loud bangs that seem to plague much of the inner north, inner south, Belconnen, Gungahlin, Queanbeyan, Woden and Tuggeranong.

You’d think these loud noises would impair us from counting sheep, but apparently that’s not the case.

There is a Facebook group entirely dedicated to ‘reporting Canberra’s loud bangs’. With around 1800 dedicated members, these concerned citizens post every time they hear a loud bang, and provide their suburb or location.

Most of the city’s loud bangs can be attributed to people setting off fireworks or cars backfiring. Oftentimes, it’s dogs who are the most affected by the loud bangs and they tend to bark or disturb the neighbourhood.

However, sometimes more exciting things happen.

At the beginning of August, residents of Canberra and Queanbeyan were warned to expect some loud noises from the Majura Training Area, where a live firing exercise was conducted.

During the day, loud noises and vibrations could be heard, and dog owners were urged to keep their pets inside or secure.

Screenshot of 'Report a Loud Bang Canberra' Facebook page

If the urge to report a loud bang comes to you, this Facebook page is the place to go. Image: Screenshot.

Despite all of this hullabaloo, Canberra was ultimately ranked top of 36 cities around the world for having a snooze. Coming in second was the Austrian capital, Vienna, and in third place was the tiny European city-state of Luxembourg.

The sleep study, which was conducted by online contact lens retailer Lenstore, took a variety of factors into account, including temperature and humidity, air quality and light pollution.

Those ranked among the worst cities in the world for a night’s sleep included Washington DC, Paris, Rome and London.

Canberra was number one for the lowest amounts of night lights and noise pollution, with a score of 80.82 out of 100.

“This is more than double compared to the likes of Mexico City, with a score of just 35.65 out of 100,” the report reads.

Canberra’s dark streets are a well known feature of the planned city, and it’s got a lot to do with the fact that astronomy was already underway at Mount Stromlo Observatory before the city was built.


READ ALSO: University heat and climate tests help Monaro farmers battle dieback


The air quality in Canberra is also the third best in the world, second only to Wellington, New Zealand, and Bern, Switzerland.

The report’s researchers also found that, on average, people are only catching six hours and 54 minutes of sleep per night, 66 minutes shy of the full eight hours we are supposed to get.

Across a 50-year period, this means you could miss out on more than 30,000 hours of sleep.

PsychSessions sleep team clinical psychologist Lucienne Shenfield, says sleep is critical for both physical and mental wellbeing, and “if we have poor sleep, it’s really likely that our physical and mental health will suffer”.

Furthermore, making choices which positively benefit our wellbeing is often much harder if we don’t get good shut-eye.

While this is particularly important right now during COVID-19 lockdown, Lucienne urges us not to stress out too much if you can’t achieve the perfect night’s sleep with all that’s currently going on.


READ ALSO: What’s happened to our spring weather? You can blame Sydney for that, too


“Stressing out too much about not getting good sleep is going to be counterproductive and make you less able to sleep well,” she says.

“Instead, focus on implementing small changes to improve sleep hygiene and educating yourself about what they might be,” she said.

Lucienne says one easy way to improve sleep is to be mindful of our local light pollution by being aware of how much time we are spending on screens.

“This can affect our melatonin production which can immediately lead to difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep,” she says.

Her best advice is to simply “go easy on yourself”.


What's Your Opinion?


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84 Responses to Loud bangs notwithstanding, Canberra is the best city in the world to nod off in
rossau rossau 12:55 am 05 Sep 21

It’s not the sleeping in Mexico city that’s better, it’s the waking up.
If DF is too busy for you, try Puebla, Toluca, Merida, Cuernavaca or a host of others.
I do, however, love Canberra for the low density that’s quickly disappearing.

Annie Georgie Annie Georgie 10:58 pm 03 Sep 21

James Scott Marty Charles yeah can vouch against this

    James Scott James Scott 11:06 pm 03 Sep 21

    Annie Georgie my insomnia would like a word with the judges

Nalui Kiriui Nalui Kiriui 7:52 pm 03 Sep 21

Fardeen Zafar oh really

    Fardeen Zafar Fardeen Zafar 9:40 pm 03 Sep 21

    Nalui Kiriui I’m I living in the same Canberra as you ? 🤣

Ben Rushforth Ben Rushforth 12:48 pm 03 Sep 21

What a load of rubbish. If you believe that you believe anything.

Keo Keo 10:36 pm 02 Sep 21

Canberra’s sleep energy is whack yo

    Jan Sieniszkiewicz Jan Sieniszkiewicz 9:53 pm 03 Sep 21

    Keo why were you up at 4am the other morning playing your guitar then? xo

    Keo Keo 10:03 pm 03 Sep 21

    Jan Sieniszkiewicz 4am is the golden hour !

Erika Valter Erika Valter 8:41 pm 02 Sep 21

I must be missing something. Because I haven't had a good night's sleep in 5 years.

Ed Monds Ed Monds 5:48 pm 02 Sep 21

Nat Leijer explains much

    Nat Leijer Nat Leijer 9:51 pm 02 Sep 21

    i would like to be employed to nap in all the different cities to test this just to be sure

Ian Hart Ian Hart 3:26 pm 02 Sep 21

Maybe also a good day's sleep.

Charlotte Howell Charlotte Howell 2:41 pm 02 Sep 21

Nigem Hamedeh well they obviously didn’t ask my opinion on this

Sean Brannon Sean Brannon 11:46 am 02 Sep 21

Kait Joyce they can’t of factored in snoring…

Kay Harrison Kay Harrison 10:08 pm 01 Sep 21

I wish, I just can’t rest my mind to fall asleep.

Amelia Green Amelia Green 2:13 pm 01 Sep 21

Julia Nunn you must just be unlucky!

Jimmy Stephanis Jimmy Stephanis 8:04 pm 31 Aug 21

What about the big explosions u hear in the middle of the night

lights come on methane in the drain explodes

Brett Raudenbush Brett Raudenbush 7:59 pm 31 Aug 21

No one else has possums?

    Laurel Campbell Laurel Campbell 12:09 pm 01 Sep 21

    Brett Raudenbush we do! No kangas, our whirly mi jig birds

Jeremy Outzen Jeremy Outzen 7:40 pm 31 Aug 21

Genevieve except for the sound of harleys In The bedroom😂🤷🏼‍♂️

Marjo Torronen Marjo Torronen 5:42 pm 31 Aug 21

is that the same as saying it's boring?

Izzy Balchin Izzy Balchin 3:47 pm 31 Aug 21

Lucy Olivia I beg to differ after last night

TimboinOz TimboinOz 3:32 pm 31 Aug 21

Way too many Canberrans don’t know how lucky they are. Having lived from 2 in ’52 until 18 in Newcastle, with the steel-works, and then NOT. ….. I already was pretty lucky,

– I could see the Nine-mile beach from our SW all glass-room. – My mum was on a War-Widow’s pension so we got by!
– And, we had a veggie garden, which I organised and maintained. – And we had a self composting outdoor ‘bog’, which didn’t hurt on teh veggies front! – & we had free-range and caged chooks, which also helped with the veggies!
– More? I grew up a good bit once I’d learned how to kill and clean a chook!
– To sum up, any Aussie – even on a pension or two – is LUCKY!!!!!!

Skate Forster Skate Forster 2:18 pm 31 Aug 21

Sarah Svehla Natalie Ellison Hana Peggy Julian I do not agree

Michele Parsons Michele Parsons 1:53 pm 31 Aug 21

Not if you suffer from untreatable severe hayfever like my husband did. He couldn't breathe and his eyes were glued together . He was allergic to every grass that is grown there. We had to move away.

    Timothy Bailey Timothy Bailey 3:41 pm 31 Aug 21

    I used to, too. But discovered saline-solution douching, which I needed for at least four years, and am now fine. Still have the kit to do it and a few sachets, of salt-plus-etc.! I still do have the occasional violent SNEEEEEZE, twice today!!. But it's snot a biggie!! 😉 and 🙂 My last sinus infection was at least two years ago! Haven't had to take antibiotics for that, since then. 😏😏

    Timothy Bailey Timothy Bailey 3:45 pm 31 Aug 21

    One more thing, no matter what folks will tell you, the conifer pollen just ISN'T a big factor for hay-fever down here. ? It's too heavy to hang around in the air. Grass pollens are very, very light. This helps with their propagation, across this wide brown land. Native and introduced grasses, both.

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