BGU researcher: Noise at work linked to low sleep quality

Those who suffer tinnitus suffered from frequent insomnia or snored, feeling tired when they woke up.

By JUDY SIEGEL
February 15, 2011 05:58
1 minute read.
Tsafnat Test

work sleep 58. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Having a noisy workplace may not only give you a headache and harm your hearing but also disrupt your sleep, according to a Ben-Gurion University researcher whose article on the phenomenon was just published in the prestigious journal Sleep.

Tsafnat Test, who carried out her study as part of the MD degree she is due to receive in a year, examined (with colleagues) 298 male workers in factories in the South who volunteered to participate.

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All of them had been exposed to noise at work during the day or night for a long period, with all of them wearing protective earpieces (but not necessarily through their whole working life).

Those who suffered ringing in the ears (tinnitus) suffered from frequent insomnia or snored, feeling tired when they woke up, while those who did not have hearing problems did not.

Over 50 percent of those who suffered from reduced hearing ability reported having tinnitus, compared to 14% of those whose hearing was not harmed by the noise on the job.

Results of the observational cross-sectional study “surprised” the researchers, Test told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

More studies are needed to find the exact reason for the phenomenon, as it is not easily understood, she said. Ringing in the ears was found not to cause the sleep problems, she added. Perhaps concern about hearing problems caused insomnia, said Test, but the research must go further to point to the reasons for the low sleep quality.

The participants were compared for a large number of sleep elements such as excessive movement during sleep, tiredness at work, snoring and early waking.


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