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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 83  |  Page : 194--205

Before–after field study of effects of wind turbine noise on polysomnographic sleep parameters


1 School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
2 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Leila Jalali
School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.189242

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Wind is considered one of the most advantageous alternatives to fossil energy because of its low operating cost and extensive availability. However, alleged health-related effects of exposure to wind turbine (WT) noise have attracted much public attention and various symptoms, such as sleep disturbance, have been reported by residents living close to wind developments. Prospective cohort study with synchronous measurement of noise and sleep physiologic signals was conducted to explore the possibility of sleep disturbance in people hosting new industrial WTs in Ontario, Canada, using a pre and post-exposure design. Objective and subjective sleep data were collected through polysomnography (PSG), the gold standard diagnostic test, and sleep diary. Sixteen participants were studied before and after WT installation during two consecutive nights in their own bedrooms. Both audible and infrasound noises were also concurrently measured inside the bedroom of each participant. Different noise exposure parameters were calculated (LAeq, LZeq) and analyzed in relation to whole-night sleep parameters. Results obtained from PSG show that sleep parameters were not significantly changed after exposure. However, reported sleep qualities were significantly (P = 0.008) worsened after exposure. Average noise levels during the exposure period were low to moderate and the mean of inside noise levels did not significantly change after exposure. The result of this study based on advanced sleep recording methodology together with extensive noise measurements in an ecologically valid setting cautiously suggests that there are no major changes in the sleep of participants who host new industrial WTs in their community. Further studies with a larger sample size and including comprehensive single-event analyses are warranted.






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