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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 15  |  Page : 57--60

Sleep disturbances related to environmental noise

Institute for Occupational Physiology at the University of Dortmund, Dortmund, Fed. Rep, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Barbara Griefahn
Institute for Occupational Physiology at the University of Dortmund, Ardeystr. 67, D-44139 Dortmund, Fed. Rep
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 12678949

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The permanently open auditory channel and the ability of the brain to process incoming acoustical stimuli even while asleep and to respond adequately is the essential precondition for noise-induced sleep disturbances which are regarded as the most deleterious effects of noise. In the past, research was mainly focused on the detection and description of the various effects of noise, on the influence of personal and environmental factors, on the determination of dose ­response relations and the definition of critical noise loads, above which noise becomes intolerable. These limits are, however, as yet only tentative or applicable for a very few situations and need to be verified or revised. The present paper is focused on the priorities for future research. These are in particular 1) the causal linkage between environmental noise, primary and secondary effects on the one hand and the hypothesized contribution to multifactorial chronic diseases, to chronic annoyance, and to permanent behavioral alterations on the other hand, 2) the identification of the causes for the great discrepancies between the small effects determined in the field and the large responses recorded in the laboratory, 3) temporal aspects such as sleep at unusual times (day sleep after nightshifts), definition of night-time and day-time, 4) the significance of the shoulder hours for subsequent sleep, 5) the individual vulnerability, 6) the accumulation of data from different studies.


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