Work stress, worries, and pain interact synergistically with modelled traffic noise on cross-sectional associations with self-reported sleep problems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To examine the risk of sleep problems associated with work stress (job strain, job demands, and decision authority), worries and pain and to investigate the synergistic interaction between these factors and traffic noise. Sleep problems and predictor variables were assessed in a cross-sectional public health survey with 12,093 respondents. Traffic noise levels were assessed using modelled A-weighted energy equivalent traffic sound levels at the residence. The risk of sleep problems was modelled using multiple logistic regression analysis. With regard to sleep problems not attributed to any external source (general sleep problems), independent main effects were found for traffic noise (women), decision authority (women), job strain, job demands, suffering from pain or other afflictions, worries about losing the job, experiencing bullying at work, having troubles paying the bills, and having a sick, disabled, or old relative to take care of (women). Significant synergistic effects were found for traffic noise and experiencing bullying at work in women. With regard to sleep problems attributed to traffic noise, strong synergistic interactions were found between traffic noise and, respectively, job demands (men), having pain or other afflictions, taking care of a sick, old, or disabled relative, and having troubles paying the bills. Main effects were found for worries about losing the job, experiencing bullying at work, job strain (men), and decision authority (men). Synergistic interactions could potentially contribute with 10-20% of the sleep problems attributed to traffic noise in the population. Work stress, pain, and different worries were independently associated with general sleep problems and showed in general no synergistic interaction with traffic noise. In contrast, synergistic effects between traffic noise and psychological factors were found with regard to sleep problems attributed to traffic noise. The synergy may contribute significantly to sleep problems attributed to traffic noise in the population.


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  • External Organization - Unknown
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • Life stress, transportation, Noise, Psychological stress, exposure, Occupational
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-224
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (013078001), Division of Social Medicine and Global Health (013241820), Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science (011010000), Work and Organizational Psychology (012010170)

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