Tennessee Medicine E-Journal


Introduction: Sleep Centers located in-hospital may produce environmental challenges that can be associated with sleep disruption (i.e. noise) that may threaten MSLT exam accuracy of sleep onset (SO); parameter which quantifies tendency to fall sleep.

Population and Methods: Study aims to compare environmental background noise (decibels) from unoccupied rooms in the medical ICU with those in a sleep laboratory suite at times at which daytime sleep studies are usually performed.

Settings and Data Collection: Data collected included date, time of measurement of background noise, decibel readings in both the ICU and sleep laboratory examination room. An i-phone application “sound meter” was used to measure noise.

Statistical Analysis: The primary outcome data was the decibel measurements in the two environments. Paired t-tests were used to compare noise data. Statview version 5.01 software was used.

Results: Measured mean noise level in ICU was 47.14 decibels (SD +5.02) compared to the sleep laboratory room 39.6 decibels (SD +1.08). Noise levels Mean Difference was 7.54 decibels with a p value of <0.0001.

Discussion: We found a statistically significant difference in noise levels between both hospital environments. Noise levels were measured in the ICU and sleep laboratory during the day in rooms that were unoccupied by patients and neither had any functioning equipment capable of producing noise.

Conclusion: Our study showed that in-hospital sleep laboratory polysomnography room noise levels were within the acceptable levels for daytime sleep testing.