Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Sleep: study on the exposure-effect relationships between road traffic noise in the home, and the effects on sleep

The objectives of this Swedish part of the EU funded RANCH-project were to provide knowledge on exposure-effect relationships between road traffic noise in the home, and the effects on sleep comparatively for school children and adults. Field studies were conducted at a number of study sites from low to high levels of road traffic noise exposure (below 55 dB to over 64 dB LAeq,24h). Sleep quality was assessed in questionnaire interviews with 160 children (9-12 years) and 160 parents, and in a sub-study on sleep among half of the subjects assessed by sleep logs and wrist-actigraphy during four nights.

Conclusions from this study are that children have better reported sleep quality and fewer awakenings than parents, whereas there is no evidence of a difference in difficulties falling asleep and alertness in the morning between children and parents. There is a significantly higher rate of body motility registered by wrist-actigraphy for children but this most probably explained by differences in body motility due to age rather than an indication of poorer sleep among children than among adults. A multiple linear regression analysis was used to examine the variance in sleep quality both for children and for parents. Interference from road traffic noise is shown to be of significant importance. A number of factors related to health and well-being are also of significant importance for children's sleep, e.g. feelings of stress, feeling worried/irritable/sad/or depressed and down, going to bed late, not living at home all the time, feeling sick/nauseous, sleep difficulty reported by parents and a higher score on SDQ- conduct - children's difficulties reported by parents. Several variables related to well-being and social support, as well as position of bedroom windows, are of significant importance for parents sleep, e.g. lower general well-being, noise sensitivity, long-term illness, going late to bed, marital status and sleep time. There is a moderate exposure-effect relationship between road traffic noise and difficulties falling asleep, awakenings, sleep quality and alertness in the morning for parents. For children a similar, but weaker, response pattern is seen for sleep quality and alertness in the morning. There is some evidence of more problems with sleepiness during daytime among children exposed to noise levels above 55 dB.

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Goteborg University, PO Box 414, Medicinaregatan 16
405 30 Goteborg SE
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