Tags: cell | phones | sleepless

Cell Phones Cause Sleepless Nights

Wednesday, 03 Sep 2008 09:39 AM

By Sylvia Booth Hubbard

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Can’t sleep, or you’re not sleeping well? A joint U.S./Swedish study says your cell phone’s the culprit. Scientists from Wayne State University in Michigan and from two Swedish universities say cell phone radiation hinders the ability to enter the deep stages of sleep.

The study involved about 70 men and women between the ages of 18 and 45. Half of the subjects were exposed to wireless signal radiation identical to that sent out by cell phones, while the other half received no radiation. The group that wasn’t exposed experienced normal sleep, but the group that got the radiation took longer to reach deep stages of sleep and spent less time in deep sleep once they reached it.

Swedish scientist Bengt Arnetz, who led the study, says there’s no doubt cell phones “have measurable effects on the brain.” He thinks cell phones trigger the brain’s stress system, making it hard to relax and sleep. “And bear in mind, when you’re talking on the phone, there is a mental stimulus from the conversation itself, in addition to the radiation,” Arnetz said. “The combination makes it doubly hard to relax into deep sleep.”

Previous European studies corroborate the study, such as one which followed about 1,600 Belgian teenagers for a year. It showed that most of the teenagers talked in bed at night before falling asleep, and that those who did so more than one night a week were five times as likely to report being tired as non-phone users.

The new U.S./Swedish study was funded by a trade association that represents the largest European cell phone companies. After it was published by MIT, the association tried to play down the results as “inconclusive.”

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