Noise is now recognized as a serious health problem in our modern societies. Although its deleterious and direct effects on cognitive tasks (long-term memory, mental arithmetic activity, visual tasks, etc.) are clearly admitted, no studies have determined a delayed indirect effect of noise on cognitive processes. Furthermore, the link between sleep disturbances related to environmental noise (EN) exposure and these indirect deteriorations of human performances has never been demonstrated. This could be due to inappropriate evaluation of sleep as well as to uncontrolled and confounding factors such as sex, age, and also inter-individual vulnerability. Based on a recently validated animal model [Rabat A, Bouyer JJ, Aran JM, Le Moal M, Mayo W. Chronic exposure to an environmental noise permanently disturbs sleep in rats: inter-individual vulnerability. Brain Res 2005;1059:72-82], aims of the present study were (i) to determine long-term memory (LTM) deficits following a chronic exposure to EN and (ii) to link these behavioral problems to sleep disturbances related to EN. For this purpose in a first experiment, LTM performances were evaluated before and following 9 days of EN. Results show LTM deficits following a chronic exposure to EN with inter-individual vulnerability. Vulnerability profile was related to the psychobiological profile of rats. Results of the second experiment show LTM deficits correlated to both debt of slow wave sleep (SWS) and to daily decrease of SWS bout duration. Our results demonstrate that chronic exposure to noise indirectly disturbs LTM possibly through SWS disturbances and suggest a possible role of the stress hormonal axis in these biological effects of noise.