Investigating the combined effect of ALAN and noise on sleep by simultaneous real-time monitoring using low-cost smartphone devices

Nahum M. Gabinet, Boris A. Portnov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The association between artificial light at night (ALAN) and noise, on the one hand, and sleep, on the other, is well established. Yet studies investigating these associations have been infrequent and mostly conducted in controlled laboratory conditions. As a result, little is known about the applicability of their results to real-world settings. In this paper, we attempt to bridge this knowledge gap by carrying out an individual-level real-world study, involving 72 volunteers from different urban localities in Israel. The survey participants were asked to use their personal smartphones and smartwatches to monitor sleep patterns for 30 consecutive days, while ALAN and noise exposures were monitored in parallel, with inputs reported each second. The volunteers were also asked to fill in a questionnaire about their individual attributes, daily habits, room settings, and personal health, to serve as individual-level controls. Upon cointegration, the assembled data were co-analyzed using bivariate and multivariate statistical tools. As the study reveals, the effect of ALAN and noise on sleep largely depends on when the exposure occurred, that is, before sleep or during sleep. In particular, the effect of ALAN exposure was found to be most pronounced if it occurred before sleep, while exposure to noise mattered most if it occurred during the sleep phase. As the study also reveals, the effects of ALAN and noise appear to amplify each other, with a 14–15.3% reduction in sleep duration and an 8–9% reduction in sleep efficiency observed at high levels of ALAN-noise exposures. The study helped to assemble a massive amount of real-time observations, enabling a robust individual-level analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113941
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume214
Issue numberPt 2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Light
  • Sleep
  • Smartphone

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