Abstract In a field study, carried out between 1994 and 1998, the noise impact as well as psychological reactions in four areas exposed either to railway or to road traffic noise were measured for 1600 persons. Furthermore, body movements during sleep were assessed for about 400 persons by actimeters. The noise impact was determined by noise measurements and calculations inside and outside the bedrooms of all persons concerned and was described by different acoustical indices. The psychological reactions were recorded by questionnaires. The analyses show typical differences in the acoustical and psychological factors between road and rail traffic noise; on the other hand, the differences with regard to body movements are rather low. There is also a high correlation between the acoustical and psychological variables for both road and rail traffic sources, whereas the correlations between the body movements on the one hand and the acoustical and psychological variables on the other are rather low.