Volume 134, Issue 5, November 2013
Index of content:
- NOISE: ITS EFFECTS AND CONTROL 
Aircraft noise-induced awakenings are more reasonably predicted from relative than from absolute sound exposure levels134(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4823838View Description Hide Description
Assessment of aircraft noise-induced sleep disturbance is problematic for several reasons. Current assessment methods are based on sparse evidence and limited understandings; predictions of awakening prevalence rates based on indoor absolute sound exposure levels (SELs) fail to account for appreciable amounts of variance in dosage-response relationships and are not freely generalizable from airport to airport; and predicted awakening rates do not differ significantly from zero over a wide range of SELs. Even in conjunction with additional predictors, such as time of night and assumed individual differences in “sensitivity to awakening,” nominally SEL-based predictions of awakening rates remain of limited utility and are easily misapplied and misinterpreted. Probabilities of awakening are more closely related to SELs scaled in units of standard deviates of local distributions of aircraft SELs, than to absolute sound levels. Self-selection of residential populations for tolerance of nighttime noise and habituation to airport noise environments offer more parsimonious and useful explanations for differences in awakening rates at disparate airports than assumed individual differences in sensitivity to awakening.