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Specific noises (e.g., traffic or wind turbines) can disrupt sleep and potentially cause a mismatch between subjective sleep and objective sleep (i.e., “sleep misperception”). Some individuals are likely to be more vulnerable than others to noise-related sleep disturbances, potentially as a result of increased pre-sleep cognitive arousal. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationships between pre-sleep cognitive arousal and sleep misperception. Sixteen healthy sleepers participated in this naturalistic, observational study. Three nights of sleep were measured using actigraphy, and each 15-s epoch was classified as sleep or wake. Bedside noise was recorded, and each 15-s segment was classified as containing noise or no noise and matched to actigraphy. Participants completed measures of habitual pre-sleep cognitive and somatic arousal and noise sensitivity. Pre-sleep cognitive and somatic arousal levels were negatively associated with subjective−objective total sleep time discrepancy (p < 0.01). There was an association between sleep/wake and noise presence/absence in the first and last 90 min of sleep (p < 0.001). These results indicate that higher levels of habitual pre-sleep arousal are associated with a greater degree of sleep misperception, and even in healthy sleepers, objective sleep is vulnerable to habitual bedside noise.

Original publication




Journal article


Clocks Sleep

Publication Date





88 - 99


actigraphy, environmental noise, pre-sleep arousal, sleep misperception