Disturbance of sleep is probably the most widespread source of distress caused by noise. The author reviews data from extensive research on the subject and discusses the significance of results. Recent French research, carried out in people's own bedrooms, found that people took longer to fall asleep and had, on average 16 minutes less deep sleep after the opening of a motorway giving rise to noise levels of 40 plus or minus 3 db(a) leq, and peaks of 55 db(a). Dreaming sleep was also reduced with no adaptation after five years. Although subjects were not necessarily awakened by noise during sleep, the noise was accompanied by eeg changes characteristic of activation. Although noise can be shown experimentally to produce changes in circulation, skin resistance, muscles and many other systems, there is no firm evidence on long term effects. Economic incentives, in the form of levies and tax relief are suggested to encourage noise abatement measures. Better building designs are needed because with good noise insulation, impact rather than airborne noise becomes more important. The scope of the control of pollution act 1974 is outlined. (TRRL)

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    British Medical Association

    BMA House, Tavistock Square
    London WC1H 9JR,   United Kingdom 
  • Authors:
    • Gloag, D
  • Publication Date: 1980-11-22

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: p. 1404-6
  • Serial:
    • BMJ
    • Volume: 281
    • Issue Number: 6252
    • Publisher: British Medical Association
    • ISSN: 0959-8138
    • Serial URL:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00334099
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 15 1981 12:00AM