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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 53  |  Page : 299--309

Effects of noise from non-traffic-related ambient sources on sleep: Review of the literature of 1990-2010

1 Department of Management, Technology and Economics, Public and Organizational Health, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
2 Department of Medicine, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Sarah Omlin
ETH Zürich, MTEC ZOA - Public and Organizational Health Ergonomics & Environment WEP H15 CH-8092 Zürich
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Source of Support: Swiss federal office of the environment (BAFU), Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.82963

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This article reviews the literature about the effects of specific non-traffic-related ambient noise sources on sleep that appeared in the last two decades. Although everybody is faced with noise of non-traffic and non-industry origin (e.g. sounds made by neighbors, talk, laughter, music, slamming doors, structural equipment, ventilation, heat pumps, noise from animals, barking dogs, outdoor events etc.), little scientific knowledge exists about its effects on sleep. The findings of the present extensive literature search and review are as follows: Only a small number of surveys, laboratory and field studies about mainly neighborhood, leisure and animal noise have been carried out. Most of them indicate that ambient noise has some effect on human sleep. However, a quantitative meta-analysis and comparison is not possible due to the small number of studies available and at times large differences in quality.


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