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Evaluation and Refinement of a Methodology for Examining the Effects of Aircraft Noise on Sleep in Communities in the US

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The last US field studies which examined the impact of aircraft noise on sleep were conducted over 15 years ago, and since then there have been substantial changes in air-traffic. In addition, these studies used an insensitive method to measure sleep disturbance. New field studies need to be conducted in the US to acquire current data relative to varying degrees of noise exposure to develop exposure-response relationships and to inform policy. As studies may need to investigate samples around multiple airports it will not be possible to use polysomnography to monitor sleep, as it has a high methodological cost. Instead the use of actigraphy and electrocardiography (ECG), which is cost-effective and will allow a methodologically sound investigation of large subject cohorts, is being investigated. This methodology was implemented in a pilot study conducted around Philadelphia International Airport. Eighty participants were recruited for the study, with 3 nights of unattended measurements per participant. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of the methodology. An overview of the study, lessons learned, and a discussion on how the methodology can be further simplified for future studies will be provided.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 21, 2016

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