Effects of nocturnal aircraft noise on objective and subjective sleep quality in primary school children
* Presenting author
Little is known about childhood sleep exposed to transportation noise. We investigated the effect of aircraft noise on sleep in a field study in 51 children aged 8 to 10 years who resided near a 24-h operating airport. Sleep was measured polysomnographically during four nights. Besides, subjects rated their sleep quality and current fatigue each morning. Aircraft noise exposure was operationalized by the number of aircraft noise events above 30 dB(A) per night derived from continuous acoustic recordings at the children’s ear. For the prediction of objective and subjective sleep quality, we applied mixed models with random intercept and the number of noise events as dichotomous factor (median split at 37 events). Mixed models were also used to analyze the relationship between objective and subjective measurements. Noise affected the macrostructure of sleep. A higher number of noise events was associated with a reduction of slow wave sleep and an increase of wake time after sleep onset. In contrast, aircraft noise exposure did not affect subjective sleep quality and fatigue. Except for wake time, objective sleep measures were not related to subjective ratings. The findings underline the importance of objective sleep measurements for the examination of transportation noise effects in children.