Effects of nighttime low frequency noise on the cortisol response to awakening and subjective sleep quality

Persson Waye, Kirsten, Clow, Angela, Edwards, Sue, Hucklebridge, Frank and Rylander, Ragnar (2003) Effects of nighttime low frequency noise on the cortisol response to awakening and subjective sleep quality. Life Sciences, 72 (8). pp. 863-875. ISSN 0024-3205

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0024-3205(02)02336-6


The effects of night-time exposure to traffic noise (TN) or low frequency noise (LFN) on the cortisol awakening response and subjective sleep quality were determined. Twelve male subjects slept for five consecutive nights in a noise-sleep laboratory. After one night of acclimatisation and one reference night, subjects were exposed to either TN (35dB LAeq, 50dB LAmax) or LFN (40dB LAeq) on alternating nights (with an additional reference night in between). Salivary free cortisol concentration was determined in saliva samples taken immediately at awakening and at three 15-minute intervals after awakening. The subjects completed questionnaires on mood and sleep quality. The awakening cortisol response on the reference nights showed a normal cortisol pattern. A significant interaction between night time exposure and time was found for the cortisol response upon awakening. The awakening cortisol response following exposure to LFN was attenuated at 30 minutes after awakening. Subjects took longer to fall asleep during exposure to LFN. Exposure to TN induced greater irritation. Cortisol levels at 30 minutes after awakening were related to 'activity' and 'pleasantness' in the morning after exposure to LFN. Cortisol levels 30 minutes after awakening were related to sleep quality after exposure to TN. This study thus showed that night time exposure to LFN may affect the cortisol response upon wake up and that lower cortisol levels after awakening were associated with subjective reports of lower sleep quality and mood.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cortisol awakening response, Sleep, Low frequency noise, Traffic noise
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
University of Westminster > Science and Technology > Life Sciences, School of (No longer in use)
Depositing User: Users 4 not found.
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2005
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2009 14:33
URI: http://westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk/id/eprint/192

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