Background: Nighttime environmental noise affects sleep quality. However, the effects of daytime occupational noise remain unclear. Methods: A quasi-experiment of 48 participants who had been employed for at least six months in two hospital cafeterias. The participants were randomly designated to be assessed on high- and low-noise workdays for 8 h or low- and high-noise workdays, separated by a washout period of 14 days. Subsequently, pure tone audiometry, autonomic nervous system (ANS) function tests, serum cortisol tests, and polysomnography were conducted. Results: For the 40 participants in the study, the 8-h time-weighted average of personal noise exposed on high- and low-noise workdays was 76.8 dBA (standard deviation, SD: 6.2) and 61.0 dBA (SD: 7.1), respectively. Participants with higher personal noise exposure during the day were found to have a lower percentage of slow wave sleep (percent change of mean value: −1.287%; 95% CI: −2.602%, −0.037%) and lower sleep efficiency (−0.267%; 95% CI: −0.525%, −0.008%). In addition, after work, personal noise exposure was revealed to be related to increased serum cortisol levels (1.698%; 95% CI: 0.887%, 2.528%), and sympathetic activity as measured by low frequency/high frequency (3.000%; 95% CI: 1.294%, 4.706%) and blood pressures by cold pressor test (systolic: 5.163%; 95% CI: 2.780%, 7.537%) (diastolic: 3.109%; 95% CI: 1.604%, 4.614%). Conclusions: Daytime occupational noise exposure had sustained effects on nighttime sleep quality, specifically on slow wave sleep and sleep efficiency. These disturbances could be partially explained by post-shift elevated cortisol and ANS activity. The psychosocial and metabolic consequences of poorer sleep quality induced by occupational noise exposure warrant further investigation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- 醫藥 (全部)