Cell Phones Linked to Insomnia and Headaches

Talking on your cell phone before going to bed could interfere with getting a good night's sleep, a recent study suggests. Carried out by Sweden's Karolinska Institute and Wayne State University in the US, the study suggests radiation from the handset can cause insomnia, headaches, and confusion. Scientists studied 35 men and 36 women between the ages of 18 and 45 who were exposed to radiation equivalent to that received when using a mobile phone. Others were placed in the same conditions, but given only false exposure. Those exposed to radiation took longer to enter the first of the deeper stages of sleep, and spent less time in the deepest one.

Lead researcher, professor Bengt Arnetz, claims, "The study strongly suggests that mobiles phone use is associated with specific changes in the areas of the brain responsible for activating and coordinating the stress system".

Another theory is that radiation may disrupt the production of the hormone melatonin, which regulates the body's internal rhythms. Close to half of the people in the study believed themselves to be "electrosensitive", reporting symptoms such as headaches and impaired cognitive function from cell phone use.

 However, they proved to be unable to tell if they had been exposed to the radiation in the test. The group Powerwatch, which studies the effects of electromagnetic fields on health, suggests evidence is mounting that we should treat these devices in a more precautionary way. Director of Powerwatch director, Adasdair Philips, states, "This research suggests that if you need to make a phone call in the evening, it is much better to use a land line."


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