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Airport Noise and Self-Reported Sleep Insufficiency, United States, 2008 and 2009
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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    Sleep insufficiency is a major health risk factor. Exposure to environmental noise may affect sleep duration and quality. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between airport noise exposure and insufficient sleep in the United States by using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).


    Data on the number of days without enough rest or sleep for approximately 750,000 respondents to the 2008 and 2009 BRFSS were linked with data on noise exposure modeled using the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) Integrated Noise Model for 95 major US airports for corresponding years. Noise exposure data were stratified into 3 groups depending on noise levels. People living outside airport noise exposure zones were included as a reference category.


    We found 8.6 mean days of insufficient sleep in the previous 30 days among 745,868 adults; 10.8% reported insufficient sleep for all 30 days; and 30.1% reported no days of insufficient sleep. After controlling for individual sociodemographics and ZIP Code-level socioeconomic status, we found no significant differences in sleep insufficiency between the 3 noise exposure zones and the zone outside.


    This research demonstrates the feasibility of conducting a national study of airport noise and sleep using an existing public health surveillance dataset and recommends methods for improving the accuracy of such studies; some of these recommendations were implemented in recent FAA-sponsored studies. Validation of BRFSS sleep measures and refined ways of collecting data are needed to determine the optimal measures of sleep for such a large-scale survey and to establish the relationship between airport noise and sleep.

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