(HealthDay News) -- Even when you are asleep, your brain continues to hear and process sound, the National Sleep Foundation says.

Noise can wake you, shift you between different stages of sleep and even cause a change in your heart rate and blood pressure.

It's more likely that noise will affect sleep during sleep's earlier stages. And it has been shown that people are more likely to awaken if a sound is an emotional sound, such as a child crying, as opposed to someone snoring.

The foundation suggests a few tips for preventing noise from interrupting sleep:

  • White noise may be used to mask jarring noises that could wake you up. It can be created by a white noise machine, a fan or air conditioner, for example.
  • if you live near a flight zone or a busy street, use white noise to minimize your chances of waking during the night.
  • Always turn the TV off when you go to bed. A television creates sounds that vary in tone and volume, which could interrupt sleep.