Associations between nighttime traffic noise and sleep: the Finnish public sector study.
1391 - 1396
Environ Health Perspect
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BACKGROUND: Associations between traffic noise and sleep problems have been detected in experimental studies, but population-level evidence is scarce. OBJECTIVES: We studied the relationship between the levels of nighttime traffic noise and sleep disturbances and identified vulnerable population groups. METHODS: Noise levels of nighttime-outdoor traffic were modeled based on the traffic intensities in the cities of Helsinki and Vantaa, Finland. In these cities, 7,019 public sector employees (81% women) responded to postal surveys on sleep and health. We linked modeled outdoor noise levels to the residences of the employees who responded to the postal survey. We used logistic regression models to estimate associations of noise levels with subjectively assessed duration of sleep and symptoms of insomnia (i.e., difficulties falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, waking up too early in the morning, nonrestorative sleep). We also used stratified models to investigate the possibility of vulnerable subgroups. RESULTS: For the total study population, exposure to levels of nighttime-outside (L(night, outside)) traffic noise > 55 dB was associated with any insomnia symptom ≥ 2 nights per week [odds ratio (OR) = 1.32; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.05, 1.65]. Among participants with higher trait anxiety scores, which we hypothesized were a proxy for noise sensitivity, the ORs for any insomnia symptom at exposures to L(night, outside) traffic noises 50.1-55 dB and > 55 dB versus ≤ 45 dB were 1.34 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.80) and 1.61 (95% CI: 1.07, 2.42), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Nighttime traffic noise levels > 50 dB L(night, outside) was associated with insomnia symptoms among persons with higher scores for trait anxiety. For the total study population, L(night, outside) > 55 dB was positively associated with any symptoms.
AuthorsHalonen, JI; Vahtera, J; Stansfeld, S; Yli-Tuomi, T; Salo, P; Pentti, J; Kivimäki, M; Lanki, T
- Centre for Psychiatry