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Effects of road traffic noise on sleep – studies on children and adults.

Journal article
Authors Evy Öhrström
Emina Hadzibajramovic
Maria Holmes
Helena Svensson
Published in Journal of Environmental Psychology
Volume 26
Issue 2
Pages 116-126
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 116-126
Language en
Subject categories Environmental medicine, Environmental psychology


Socio-acoustic studies were conducted in residential areas in Sweden exposed to different levels of road traffic noise. The objectives were to evaluate exposure–effect relationships between road traffic noise and sleep quality and to compare sleep assessed by sleep logs and wrist-actigraphy for children and parents. The main study involved interviews with 160 children (9–12 years old) and 160 parents. Half of the families also participated in an in-depth study in which their sleep was registered with sleep logs and wrist-actigraphy. For parents the results demonstrate a significant exposure–effect relationship between noise levels from road traffic and the following sleep parameters: sleep quality, awakenings, the habit of keeping windows closed at night and perceived interference with road traffic noise. For children a significant exposure–effect relationship was found between road traffic noise and sleep quality as well as problems with daytime sleepiness. Results from the in-depth study showed that children had better perceived sleep quality and fewer awakenings than parents, although sleep assessed by wrist-actigraphy indicated a better sleep for parents.

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