An experimental investigation on the impact of wind turbine noise on polysomnography-measured and sleep diary-determined sleep outcomes

Tessa Liebich, Leon Lack, Kristy Hansen, Branko Zajamsek, Gorica Micic, Bastien Lechat, Claire Dunbar, Duc Phuc Nguyen, Hannah Scott, Peter Catcheside

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Study Objectives: Carefully controlled studies of wind turbine noise (WTN) and sleep are lacking, despite anecdotal complaints from some residents in wind farm areas and known detrimental effects of other noises on sleep. This laboratory-based study investigated the impact of overnight WTN exposure on objective and self-reported sleep outcomes. Methods: Sixty-eight participants (38 females) aged (mean ± SD) 49.2 ± 19.5 were recruited from four groups; N = 14, living <10 km from a wind farm and reporting WTN related sleep disruption; N = 18, living <10 km from a wind farm and reporting no WTN sleep disruption; N = 18, reporting road traffic noise-related sleep disruption; and N = 18 control participants living in a quiet rural area. All participants underwent in-laboratory polysomnography during four full-night noise exposure conditions in random order: A quiet control night (19 dB(A) background laboratory noise), continuous WTN (25 dB(A)) throughout the night; WTN (25 dB(A)) only during periods of established sleep; and WTN (25 dB(A)) only during periods of wake or light N1 sleep. Group, noise condition, and interaction effects on measures of sleep quantity and quality were examined via linear mixed model analyses. Results: There were no significant noise condition or group-by-noise condition interaction effects on polysomnographic or sleep diary determined sleep outcomes (all ps >. 05). Conclusions: These results do not support that WTN at 25 dB(A) impacts sleep outcomes in participants with or without prior WTN exposure or self-reported habitual noise-related sleep disruption. These findings do not rule out effects at higher noise exposure levels or potential effects of WTN on more sensitive markers of sleep disruption. Clinical Trial Registration: ACTRN12619000501145, UTN U1111-1229-6126. Establishing the physiological and sleep disruption characteristics of noise disturbances in sleep. This study was prospectively registered on the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberzsac085
Number of pages16
Issue number8
Early online date14 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • Wind Turbine
  • Noise
  • Sleep Outcomes
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Sleep quality
  • Wind turbine
  • Environmental noise
  • Sleep disruption
  • Wind farm


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