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Why dad really can’t hear baby’s night cries

Research reveals men and women are woken up by different noises

The next time your baby cries in the middle of the night and your partner continues to sleep, think twice before accusing him of playing deaf. Researchers have found men and women really are woken by different sounds, reports the Daily Mail.


While a crying baby is the sound most likely to wake a woman, it doesn’t even make it into the top 10 noises most likely to wake a sleeping man. But the sound of a ticking clock does!

The differences between men and women were found through tests measuring how brain activity was disturbed by different sounds. When a baby cries, a woman’s maternal instincts step in even if she’s not the mum, the researchers suggest. “These differing sensitivities may represent evolutionary differences that make women sensitive to sounds associated with a potential threat to their children while men are more finely tuned to disturbances posing a possible threat to the whole family,” said psychologist Dr David Lewis.

According to the researchers, the top 10 sounds most likely to disturb each of the sexes are:


  1. Car alarm
  2. Howling wind
  3. Buzzing fly
  4. Snoring
  5. Noise from drains
  6. Crickets
  7. Emergency sirens
  8. Clock ticking
  9. Drilling/workmen
  10. Dripping tap


  1. Baby crying
  2. Dripping tap
  3. Rowdiness outside
  4. Snoring
  5. Buzzing fly
  6. Drilling/workmen
  7. Sirens
  8. Car alarm
  9. Howling Wind
  10. Noise from drains

Can your partner sleep through anything, or is he sprinting into the nursery before you’ve even managed to open your eyes? Let us know below…


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