Night noise is linked to insomnia and lower sleep duration. This link is mostly supported by multiple research studies. This association was considered substantial enough for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to issue the night noise guidelines in 2009 (see below). I show 2 relevant research studies below, but one can quickly find multiple other research studies and reviews. A good starting point is searching for
pubmed street noise sleep in your favorite search engine.
Most studies with large sample sizes tend to be epidemiological, and
it is possible that confounding factors other than noise contribute
to the associations found.
Large confidence intervals found in epidemiological studies suggest that noise sensitivity varies widely across people, so YMMV when applying these results to real life.
Intervention studies on this subject tend to have fewer subjects,
which may reduce the reproducibility.
World Health Organisation (WHO). Night noise guidelines for Europe. Copenhagen, Denmark: World Health Organisation (WHO); 2009. http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/43316/E92845.pdf
Considering the scientific evidence on the thresholds of night noise
exposure indicated by Lnight,outside as defined in the
Environmental Noise Directive (2002/49/EC), an
Lnight,outside of 40 dB should be the target of the night
noise guideline (NNG) to protect the public, including the most
vulnerable groups such as children, the chronically ill and the
elderly. Lnight,outside value of 55 dB is recommended as an
interim target for the countries where the NNG cannot be achieved in
the short term for various reasons, and where policy-makers choose to
adopt a stepwise approach. These guidelines are applicable to the
Member States of the European Region, and may be considered as an
extension to, as well as an update of, the previous WHO Guidelines for
community noise (1999).
Jaana I. Halonen, Jussi Vahtera, Stephen Stansfeld, Tarja Yli-Tuomi, Paula Salo, Jaana Pentti, Mika Kivimäki, and Timo Lanki. Associations between Nighttime Traffic Noise and Sleep: The Finnish Public Sector Study. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Oct; 120(10): 1391–1396. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491945/
Methods: Noise levels of nighttime–outdoor traffic were modeled based
on the traffic intensities in the cities of Helsinki and Vantaa,
Finland. In these cities, 7,019 public sector employees (81% women)
responded to postal surveys on sleep and health. We linked modeled
outdoor noise levels to the residences of the employees who responded
to the postal survey. We used logistic regression models to estimate
associations of noise levels with subjectively assessed duration of
sleep and symptoms of insomnia (i.e., difficulties falling asleep,
waking up frequently during the night, waking up too early in the
morning, nonrestorative sleep). We also used stratified models to
investigate the possibility of vulnerable subgroups.
Results: For the total study population, exposure to levels of
nighttime–outside (Lnight,outside) traffic noise > 55 dB
was associated with any insomnia symptom >= 2 nights per week [odds
ratio (OR) = 1.32; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.05, 1.65]. Among
participants with higher trait anxiety scores, which we hypothesized
were a proxy for noise sensitivity, the ORs for any insomnia symptom
at exposures to Lnight,outside traffic noises 50.1–55 dB
and > 55 dB versus <= 45 dB were 1.34 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.80) and 1.61
(95% CI: 1.07, 2.42), respectively.
Kjell Vegard Weyde, Norun Hjertager Krog, Bente Oftedal, Jorunn Evandt, Per Magnus, Simon Øverland, Charlotte Clark, Stephen Stansfeld, and Gunn Marit Aasvang. Nocturnal Road Traffic Noise Exposure and Children’s Sleep Duration and Sleep Problems. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 May; 14(5): 491. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5451942/
The present cross-sectional study used data from The Norwegian Mother
and Child Cohort Study. Parental report of children’s sleep duration
and sleep problems at age 7 was linked to modelled levels of
residential night-time road traffic noise. The study population
included 2665 children from Oslo, Norway.
No association was found between road traffic noise and sleep duration
in the total study population (odds ratio (OR): 1.05, 95% confidence
interval (CI): [0.94, 1.17]), but a statistically significant
association was observed in girls (OR: 1.21, 95% CI: [1.04, 1.41]).
For sleep problems, the associations were similar (OR: 1.36, 95% CI:
[0.85, 2.16]) in girls. The ORs are presented for an increase of 10
dB. The findings suggest there is an association between road traffic
noise and sleep for girls, underlining the importance of protecting
children against excessive noise levels.