Environmental noise-induced cardiovascular responses during sleep

B. Lechat, H. Scott, F. Decup, K. L. Hansen, G. Micic, C. Dunbar, T. Liebich, P. Catcheside, B. Zajamsek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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STUDY OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to test the utility of cardiovascular responses as markers of potentially different environmental noise disruption effects of wind farm compared to traffic noise exposure during sleep. METHODS: Twenty participants underwent polysomnography. In random order, and at six sound pressure levels from 33 dBA to 48 dBA in 3 dB increments, three types of wind farm and two types of road traffic noise recordings of 20-s duration were played during established N2 or deeper sleep, each separated by 20 s without noise. Each noise sequence also included a no-noise control. Electrocardiogram and finger pulse oximeter recorded pulse wave amplitude changes from the pre-noise onset baseline following each noise exposure and were assessed algorithmically to quantify the magnitude of heart rate and finger vasoconstriction responses to noise exposure. RESULTS: Higher sound pressure levels were more likely to induce drops in pulse wave amplitude. Sound pressure levels as low as 39 dBA evoked a pulse wave amplitude response (Odds ratio [95% confidence interval]; 1.52 [1.15, 2.02]). Wind farm noise with amplitude modulation was less likely to evoke a pulse wave amplitude response than the other noise types, but warrants cautious interpretation given low numbers of replications within each noise type. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary data support that drops in pulse wave amplitude are a particularly sensitive marker of noise-induced cardiovascular responses during. Larger trials are clearly warranted to further assess relationships between recurrent cardiovascular activation responses to environmental noise and potential long-term health effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberzsab302
Number of pages27
Issue number3
Early online date29 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • arousals
  • K-complexes
  • ECG
  • pulse arrival time
  • noise disturbances
  • sleep fragmentation
  • vasoconstriction


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