ASA 126th Meeting Denver 1993 October 4-8

3aNS3. Current status of sleep disturbance research and development of a criterion for aircraft noise exposure.

Lawrence S. Finegold

USAF Armstrong Lab., AL/OEBN, 2610 Seventh St., Wright--Patterson AFB, OH 45433

There currently exists no generally accepted criterion for an acceptable level of nighttime sleep disturbance from aircraft noise. Indeed, there is little agreement concerning the appropriate scientific definition of sleep disturbance, the appropriate noise exposure metric for this environmental effect, or the circumstances under which such predictions need to be included in environmental impact analyses. However, with the large body of scientific evidence on sleep disturbance due to environmental noise that has accumulated over the past 20 yr, it is now possible to promote an interim sleep disturbance curve for use in the federal environmental impact analysis process. This presentation focuses on the results of recent research and the implications for environmental policy decisions. Both laboratory and field research, including research in the United States and Europe, are addressed. Development of the sleep disturbance curve incorporated into the 1992 report of the Federal Interagency Committee on Noise (FICON) is also reviewed.