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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 39  |  Page : 46--54

Monetary value of undisturbed sleep

1 Department for Pneumology and Multidisciplinary Sleep Center, Kantonsspital, St.Gallen, Switzerland
2 Institute for Economy and the Environment, St.Gallen University, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Otto D Schoch
Kantonsspital St. Gallen, Rorschacherstrasse, CH - 9007 St.Gallen
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.40823

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Study Objectives: To design a national antinoise policy, we need to know the monetary value that people attach to the reduction of sleep disturbance due to road traffic noise. Principles: Patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) controlled by nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) underwent one-to-one structured interviews to determine the monetary value of their resultant undisturbed sleep. This was then converted into a value for sleep undisturbed by noise, using a severity ratio. Setting: Outpatient interviews in 67 OSAS patients (54 males, 28 to 73 years old) managed by the Center for Sleep Medicine, Kantonsspital, St. Gallen, Switzerland. Materials and Methods: The interview questions addressed the outcome and difficulties of nCPAP therapy, the self-rated severity of pretreatment sleep disturbance and self-rated monetary value of sleep improvement. Thirteen OSAS patients who had also experienced noise-related sleep disturbance rated its severity on a visual analogue scale (VAS). Results: The mean monetary value of nCPAP-controlled sleep disturbance was Swiss francs (CHF) 70/night (CHF1 = US$ 0.877, year end 2004; 25 th and 75 th percentiles: CHF 35 and CHF 100). Interviewees maintained this high estimate after learning that the actual treatment costs were only approximately 6 CHF/night. A severity ratio ranging from 2.3:1 to 4.7:1 for sleep disturbance resulting from OSAS or from noise was derived from patients' responses and literature. The value of noise-free sleep was CHF 7.45-23.81 per night. Conclusion: Sleep undisturbed by noise has a remarkably high monetary value for people, which should be considered in political decision-making.


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