With the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park wind turbines set to be connected to the grid in the coming months, a new study has been completed to determine whether residents who live within 10km of a wind farm report more sleep issues
The report published by Flinders University has discovered that only 0.3 percent of South Australians living within 10 km of a wind farm attributed sleep disturbance to their noise; far less than other factors such as insomnia, stress and snoring spouses.
Lead Sleep Health Investigator at Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute, Professor Peter Catcheside, says the wind farm sleep disturbance percentage is no higher than the rate of sleep disturbance attributed to road traffic or other noise sources (2.2%) and less than sleep disturbance attributed to any other cause (16.1%), such as insomnia.
Of the 500 South Australians sampled – living either within 10km of a wind farm or within 800m of a major road, or in a quiet rural area – the proportion of residents living near wind farms with moderate-to-severe sleep difficulties for any reason, was not different compared to those living in quiet rural areas.
“Due to the unique sound made by wind farms and the known sleep disruption from other noise sources, such as road traffic, it’s important to investigate the potential relationships between noise and sleep disturbance,” says Mr Catcheside.
Ongoing lab analysis will allegedly help to clarify wind farm compared to road traffic noise effects on direct measurements of sleep.
The preliminary research will be presented at the Australasian Sleep Association’s Sleep DownUnder 2021 conference being held virtually this week.