Pretty much all the senses can be affected in some way when we sleep, whether it is because it is too hot or too cold, or too light or too dark, as well as various smells that can also affect us, even tastes to some extent too, but one of the major influences on how well we sleep, in terms of our senses at least, is noise. Interestingly, it is easy to think that noises will affect our ability to sleep in a negative way, but this is not always the case, sometimes we require noises to help us to sleep, especially if we have got used to these noises. Someone that lives in the city can be used to the continuous noises going on in the background, such as cars, sirens and all kinds of other things, and they may find it hard to sleep in a rural setting; equally, someone from a small village where there is very little noise may find it difficult to sleep in the city.
If there is a noise that exists regularly when you try to sleep, such as a clock or the whirring of a fan, then without this noise it can be very tough to go to sleep with the feeling that something is absent. Our bodies acclimatise to the situation that they find themselves in, therefore, noise can seem to blend into the background and become unnatural for us when they are not there, it is just as bad as when noise disturbs other people who are used to calm.
Obviously, loud noises, and in particular unexpected noises, have a very good ability to wake us up. If you do hear a loud bang, crash or other such similar noise then it is likely that you will wake up at once, although this short-term noise is unlikely to have that big an ability to prevent you from getting back to sleep. There is a distinguishable difference between consistent noises and one of random noises. The way in which we get used to certain sounds as we sleep can make it difficult to wake up to a certain alarm for example, therefore, you find it easier to sleep through an alarm over time.
There are some noises that we may find enjoyable and soothing, such as various types of music, although not everyone will enjoy these types of music. To one person, classical music may be nice and good at helping them to get to sleep, for another person it may be annoying and not help them to sleep, the same could be said of music such as hip-hop, or any other genre. Generally speaking, there will be some kind of soothing the music that will help most people get to sleep, such as a lullaby with a baby, the same principles apply even to an adult although how soothing each person finds a specific type of music or sounds depend on the particular preferences, e.g. the gentle notes of a wind chime may be heavenly for one person but agony for another.