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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 57  |  Page : 58--67

Review of the effect of aircraft noise on sleep disturbance in adults

1 Departement of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Montreal; Public Health of the Montreal Agency for Health and Social Services, Canada
2 Public Health of the Montreal Agency for Health and Social Services; Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Montreal, Canada
3 Public Health of the Montreal Agency for Health and Social Services, Canada
4 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Montreal; Environmental Health and Toxicology, Quebec Institute of Public Health, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Stéphane Perron
Montreal Public Health Department, 1301 Sherbrooke Est Montreal, Québec, H2L 1M3
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Source of Support: This research was supported by the public health agency of Montreal, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.95133

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Noise exposure generated by air traffic has been linked with sleep disturbances. The purpose of this systematic review is to clarify whether there is a causal link between aircraft noise exposure and sleep disturbances. Only complete, peer-reviewed articles published in scientific journals were examined. Papers published until December 2010 were considered. To be included, articles had to focus on subjects aged 18 or over and include an objective evaluation of noise levels. Studies were classified according to quality. Given the paucity of studies with comparable outcome measures, we performed a narrative synthesis using a best-evidence synthesis approach. The primary study findings were tabulated. Similarities and differences between studies were investigated. Of the 12 studies surveyed that dealt with sleep disturbances, four were considered to be of high quality, five were considered to be of moderate quality and three were considered to be of low quality. All moderate- to high-quality studies showed a link between aircraft noise events and sleep disturbances such as awakenings, decreased slow wave sleep time or the use of sleep medication. This review suggests that there is a causal relation between exposure to aircraft noise and sleep disturbances. However, the evidence comes mostly from experimental studies focusing on healthy adults. Further studies are necessary to determine the impact of aircraft noise on sleep disturbance for individuals more than 65 years old and for those with chronic diseases.


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