Monday, June 21, 2010

Vuvuzelas keep English soccer team awake at World Cup

After more than a week, most World Cup viewers have complained that an ear-splitting noise is drowning out every broadcasted. The sound comes from fans blowing on vuvuzelas, a traditional South African horn that sounds like a swarm of angry killer bees.

After hearing vuvuzelas for 90-plus minutes on the field, players on the English squad were furious when that same noise later kept them from sleeping peacefully. Some patrons had vuvuzelas that were given away in a contest at the hotel bar and restaurant.

The hotel banned vuvuzelas after team coach Fabio Capello complained about the unmistakably irritating sound in the early morning hours.

Possible sleep disturbances could explain why England has dissapointed so far in South Africa. The high-ranked but notoriously underachieving squad has struggled in group play. Both matches, against the United States and Algeria, ended in a tie.

Earlier this month the Sleep Education blog reported environmental noise disturbances during sleep may harm waking performance. Participants in the study had slower reaction times in a series of tests after recorded traffic sounds played while they slept.

Image Courtesy Coca-Cola South Africa

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