Directorate General Environment, European Commission

Elements for a Position Paper on Night-Time Transportation Noise and Sleep Disturbance

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Courtesy of Directorate General Environment, European Commission

The EU Directive on the Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise (END) specifies Lnight as the indicator for sleep disturbance. This report presents relationships between Lnight and sleep disturbance for transportation noise. These relationships can be used in a position paper on relationships between Lnight and sleep disturbance for transportation noise by the working group 'Health and socio-economic aspects'. The working group intends to provide such a position paper to the Noise Committee (under the procedure laid down in article 13 of END) as a basis for the revision of Annex III of END.

The main objective of this report is to supply relationships between noise-induced sleep disturbance and night-time noise exposure expressed in terms of Lnight, for aircraft, road traffic and railway noise.

The following points, related to the main objective, will be addressed in the report:

The night-time noise exposure metric has already been determined in the Directive: Lnight. A measure for sleep disturbance has not yet been selected. Therefore, measures that can be used for quantifying sleep disturbance in the population in the context of END will be proposed;

In addition to curves for sleep disturbance as a function of Lnight, the 95%- confidence intervals around these curves will be established in order to quantify the (un)certainty associated with the curves;

Outdoor night-time noise exposure at the most exposed facade of a dwelling (Lnight) is not the only acoustical factor that influences sleep disturbance. Therefore attention will be given to the role of other factors, notably the actual noise exposure at the façade of the bedroom, and the difference between outdoor and indoor noise levels (sound insulation) of bedrooms.

Helpful input for the underlying work and/or comments on a draft of the report has been given, among others, by the above mentioned working group “Health and socioeconomic aspects 1, dr Alain Muzet from CNRS in France, and dr Bernard Berry from Bel Acoustics in the United Kingdom.

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