Cellphone radiation may ruin a
good night's sleep.
CTV.ca News Staff
A small study in Sweden and the United States finds that using a
cellphone just before bedtime interferes with sleep patterns.
Scientists at the Karolinska Institute and Uppsala University
and Wayne State University in Detroit studied 35 men and 36
women. Thirty-eight of the volunteers said they had symptoms
that they attributed to cellphone use, such as trouble
concentrating and sleep problems. The other 33 volunteers
reported no "mobile-related symptoms".
Half were exposed to 884 MHz wireless signals like that emitted
by cellphones for three hours, while the others thought they
were being exposed to it. The participants did not know which
exposure they were receiving.
Those who were actually exposed to the radiation took longer to
get into deep sleep. They also spent less time in the deepest
part of sleep.
The participants took an average of about six minutes longer to
reach the deep stage of sleep than when they had received the
"sham" exposure. They also spent an average eight minutes less
time in the deepest "stage 4" sleep.
Reports of headaches were greater during radio wave exposure
than during sham exposure in the subjects who had previously not
reported mobile-related symptoms. However, in those who were
symptomatic, there was no difference in the reporting of
headache between the two exposures.
Neither group was able to detect with accuracy whether they were
being exposed to the true radio waves or to sham exposure.
The study is published by the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology's Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium
(PIERS). It was funded by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum,
which called the results "inconclusive."
One of the study's researchers, Dr. Bengt Arnetz, says it
appears that cellphones affect the areas of the brain
responsible for activating and co-ordinating the stress system.
It's also possible that radio waves disrupt production of the
hormone melatonin, which controls the body's internal circadian
Sleep expert Dr. Jeffrey Lipsitz says he finds the study's
"Aside from the sleep aspects, honestly, it's a little worrisome
that you could measure any significant difference in people just
because they've been exposed to radio waves that simulate
cellphone use," he told Canada AM Monday.
"So you kind of wonder what else might be going on to the brain
as a result of extended cellphone use, and what does that mean
for all of us?... It certainly cries out for more research."
Lipsitz says the results of the study might have the greatest
implications for teenages, who tend to use cellphones more in
the evening and tend to talk for long periods of time.
"So if they're using cellphones for long hours in the evening
and then going to sleep and their sleep is disturbed -- and
they're the ones who probably need more sleep than the rest of
us anyways and not getting it -- this may have implications with
regard to health and development and functioning in school and
so on. So there are some serious implications to this."
Learn how to protect yourself from harmful radiation
emitted by your cell phone.
Click on the picture below.
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