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Open AccessArticle

Associations of Various Nighttime Noise Exposure Indicators with Objective Sleep Efficiency and Self-Reported Sleep Quality: A Field Study

1
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, 4051 Basel, Switzerland
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University of Basel, 4003 Basel, Switzerland
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Federal Office for the Environment, 3003 Bern, Switzerland
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Centre for Chronobiology, Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel, 4002 Basel, Switzerland
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Transfaculty Research Platform Molecular and Cognitive Neurosciences, University of Basel, 4003 Basel, Switzerland
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Empa, Laboratory for Acoustics/Noise Control, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3790; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203790
Received: 8 September 2019 / Revised: 2 October 2019 / Accepted: 4 October 2019 / Published: 9 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Sleep)
It is unclear which noise exposure time window and noise characteristics during nighttime are most detrimental for sleep quality in real-life settings. We conducted a field study with 105 volunteers wearing a wrist actimeter to record their sleep during seven days, together with concurrent outdoor noise measurements at their bedroom window. Actimetry-recorded sleep latency increased by 5.6 min (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.6 to 9.6 min) per 10 dB(A) increase in noise exposure during the first hour after bedtime. Actimetry-assessed sleep efficiency was significantly reduced by 2%–3% per 10 dB(A) increase in measured outdoor noise (Leq, 1h) for the last three hours of sleep. For self-reported sleepiness, noise exposure during the last hour prior to wake-up was most crucial, with an increase in the sleepiness score of 0.31 units (95% CI: 0.08 to 0.54) per 10 dB(A) Leq,1h. Associations for estimated indoor noise were not more pronounced than for outdoor noise. Taking noise events into consideration in addition to equivalent sound pressure levels (Leq) only marginally improved the statistical models. Our study provides evidence that matching the nighttime noise exposure time window to the individual’s diurnal sleep–wake pattern results in a better estimate of detrimental nighttime noise effects on sleep. We found that noise exposure at the beginning and the end of the sleep is most crucial for sleep quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: sleep quality; road traffic noise; actimetry; indoor noise; noise measurements; noise annoyance; noise sensitivity; time of day sleep quality; road traffic noise; actimetry; indoor noise; noise measurements; noise annoyance; noise sensitivity; time of day
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Röösli, M.; Brink, M.; Rudzik, F.; Cajochen, C.; Ragettli, M.S.; Flückiger, B.; Pieren, R.; Vienneau, D.; Wunderli, J.-M. Associations of Various Nighttime Noise Exposure Indicators with Objective Sleep Efficiency and Self-Reported Sleep Quality: A Field Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3790.

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