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Effects of traffic noise on sleep. A systematic review of observational studies

Effecten van geluid door wegverkeer op de slaap. Een systematische review van studies in de woonomgeving

Synopsis

Policymakers in the Netherlands intend to commission a field study on sleep disturbance in relation to road traffic noise. Therefore a systematic review was conducted on observational studies investigating the relation between traffic noise and sleep disturbance. We also evaluated whether a meta-analysis of the published results was possible for 'awakenings' and 'sleep quality'. The 34 selected studies were both cross-sectional and intervention studies. Most of those were conducted in Europe, during the eighties. The majority of these studies focus on more than one aspect of sleep disturbance. We concluded that a quantitative meta-analysis was not feasible, due to methodological shortcomings and heterogenity between the studies. Notwithstanding these shortcomings, results indicate a relationship between road traffic noise exposure and sleep quality respective (amount and duration of) awakenings. Additional analyses of the relation between traffic noise exposure and sleep disturbance in the Schiphol Airport region also indicated that road traffic noise affects sleep disturbance, sleep complaints and coping behavior of the people living in the neighbourhood. There was no association between exposure to road traffic noise and the use of sleep medication.
 

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