Pilot Study on Aircraft Noise and Sleep Disturbance. Final Report
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Pilot Study on Aircraft Noise and Sleep Disturbance. Final Report

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    • Alternative Title:
      Pilot Study on Aircraft Noise and Sleep Disturbance [Project Name]
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      Final Report
    • Abstract:
      Aircraft noise can disturb sleep and impair recuperation. Research is needed to develop exposure-response relationships that are representative of noise-exposed communities and can be used to inform noise mitigation policy. For a national field study on physiologic response to aircraft noise during sleep to be feasible, an inexpensive yet sound study methodology is needed. We performed a pilot study around Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) using electrocardiography and actigraphy to monitor sleep. The primary objective was to evaluate the quality and quantity of data that could be obtained by recruiting participants by postal questionnaire, shipping them the physiologic and noise measurement equipment, and the unattended setup of the equipment and recording of data by the participants themselves. We mailed 4080 questionnaires containing items on sleep, health and noise disturbance to residences around ATL exposed to at least 35 dB Lnight aircraft noise. From 407 respondents, 34 participants completed five nights of unattended sleep measurements. Data of sufficient quality and quantity were obtained. Self-reported and physiologic awakenings increased as a function of maximum aircraft noise levels, although this effect was of only borderline statistical significance for physiologic awakenings likely due to the low sample size. The approach used in the pilot study was found to be feasible for the purpose of the larger-scale study among a representative population around multiple airports in the future.
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