Medical Mobile phone radiation wrecks your sleep

  1. SF

    SF 0

  2. jcsd
  3. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    The first problem is that they didn't actually use cell phones in the test. More tests actually using the devices and with more controls and with more subjects are needed since as the article stated, other tests have contradicted their results.

    Wouldn't you say that this would really skew the results as half of the participants know that they are being tested so will display hightened anxiety that would cause sleep problems?

    The article doesn't say what percentage of the people with "sleep problems" were in the group that thinks they have problems. Also, what testing was done on these people prior to this "test" to determine what their normal sleep patterns are? They seem to be leaping to a conclusion without eliminating other factors.

    I did find that
    Well, that's just about half.,23599,23083688-29277,00.html
  4. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That would have likely confounded the wouldn't then know if it was the radiation or the activity of talking on the phone.
    From the description in the news story, it sounded properly controlled. I don't see anything in the article contradicting the results. This study specifically tested sleep patterns, while the so-called "contradictory" results the mobile companies are referring to only addressed whether the participants could tell when the signal was turned on.

    That's not what it said. In the study, the so-called "electrosensitive" participants couldn't tell if or when they were exposed, so that means they 1) weren't really that sensitive, and 2) were just as blinded to treatment as all the other participants. As long as these participants claiming to be "electrosensitive" were balanced across treatment and control, this isn't really an issue anyway. It does refute that they are getting headaches, and other reported symptoms from the phones OTHER than the sleep disturbance.

    There's no reason from this article to think they didn't already consider that. Someone doing a sleep study would know to screen for known sleep disorders; these studies were done at institutions that have strong scientific reputations.

    If half the treatment group responded differently from the sham group, that's a pretty big effect. It does suggest that not everyone is equally susceptible, but something to consider. I'd be more curious about the differences in the sensory systems of the responders and non-responders in this case. Why are half the people responding to these frequencies, thus actually able to detect them, while the other half aren't. Are there any other characteristics that can be sorted among these responders and non-responders?

    It's interesting. When I started reading the article, I was thinking that just talking on the phone, any phone, prior to bed would be sufficient stimulation to keep one awake a bit longer, but they are just testing the radiofrequency exposure rather than actually talking, so that rules out that possibility.

    On the other hand, is it a sufficient enough effect for people to want to change their behavior even if replicated? Perhaps it's really only something for someone with sleep difficulties to consider, but then, how long before bedtime should one stop talking on the phone? This only tested the effect of exposure right at the time when one would be going to sleep. Would an exposure an hour, two hours, four hours before bed have the same effect, or would you be able to tell someone with a sleep disorder to limit cell phone usage to more than say 2 hours before bedtime?
  5. There are a couple of questions you should always ask about these reports:

    (1) Who funded the research? Why?
    (2) What are the credentials of the researchers and what else have they produced? What is the citation record of the researchers?
    (3) How were the subjects selected? Was the sample size adequate? Was it representative?
    (4) Were there adequate controls? Was this double-blind?
    (5) Who published the report? Do they have an agenda? Is the writer objective?

    There are further questions to be asked when the experiment is repeated by others.
  6. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    My point is that not all cell phones emit the same radiation or use the same frequencies. Non-cellular cordless phone go from 900MHz to 5.8 GHz, which are WAY HIGHER.

    I didn't see anything that said what percentage of the people that thought they were sensitive had sleep delays and what percent didn't. Just because they said they couldn't tell if they were receiving signals, doesn't mean they didn't exhibit symptoms. The article is really lacking any statistics.

    But the article doesn't say.
  7. Aren't we bombarded by radiation from radio towers of near the same power. This so called test facility would have to have insulated walls to where cell phones didn't recieve any signal and get service. You need to block out everything. Secondly there could be some kind of placebo effect going on if the people in the test knew the phone was there and they believed it.
  8. SF

    SF 0

    Also, it has been shown that there's NO such thing as "electrosensitivity": the people who describe themselves as "electrosensitive" are just acting psychotic.

    The presence of these self described "electrosensitives" makes the study analogous to a study trying to determine the existence of ghosts when half of their subjects are "ghost hunters", or trying to determine the existence of psychic powers when half of their subjects are "uri geller".
  9. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    The link in the OP is dead now, but a properly designed study should even be able to defeat such people. There is a famous "touch therapy" study done by a teenage girl as a school science project (and published in the NEJM with the help of her mother) that showed no effect, though everyone involved in the study was "psychic".
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2008
  10. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    So what? They weren't measuring the effects of non-cellular cordless phones, just cellular phones. Higher frequency doesn't necessarily mean anything if the responses are only occurring within a narrow range (see the studies cited below).

    Because it wasn't an actual research article that was posted, it was a news story about an article. Have you ever seen a news story report statistics?

    This is from the Karolinska group reported in the news stories.

    Based on that article, it was actually the group that didn't think they were sensitive to RF exposure who exhibited more symptoms. They just didn't know it was related to the exposure.

    In this next study, they narrow down the frequency ranges that are affecting sleep to specifically the frequencies used for the "talk" mode.

    The sum total of the studies available indicates that there is a frequency range used by mobile phones that can affect the initiation of sleep, specifically, the frequency used by cell phones in the "talk" mode, and there may be a subset of people more sensitive to this than others. The duration of exposure may also be important. It doesn't look like there's much evidence that it disrupts the rest of your sleep once you get to sleep. These are controlled studies, where participants get both sham and cell phone radiation frequency exposures and are unaware of which treatment they get during each exposure, and are done by reputable groups.

    What's interesting is the cell phone manufacturers are funding these studies, and they are reporting on potentially deleterious effects of cell phone use. If they were being influenced by the funding sources, you'd think they'd be downplaying the deleterious effects. As the one study indicates, the sleep disturbances are limited to only a particular frequency range, so it's possible that cell phone manufacturers can modify the design to use a different frequency range that won't have these effects.
  11. My cell phone definitely interferes with my sleep. When it is low on battery it beeps and I have to get out of bed to turn it off.

    That said, unless you are talking on the phone in your sleep, most cell phones will transmit very little radiation while you sleep. They are designed that way, obviously, to improve battery life. Everyone knows that the battery will last a lot longer if you are not using the phone than if you are using it.

    Even that small amount of radiation will be even further reduced if you simply don't place the phone under your pillow. I suspect that the number of people who sleep with their cell phone on or next to their head is quite small. Particularly among self-described "electrosensitives".
  12. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    That's what I kept saying
    Well it appears that some in the real group reported headaches, The results showed that headache was more commonly reported after RF exposure than sham, mainly due to an increase in the non-symptom group.
    Psychosomatic. I wonder how many of the non-symptom group also had reactions to the sham.

    That's another issue, all phones used were GSM phones, only AT&T, & T Mobile use GSM in the US. Verizon uses CDMA and Sprint uses CDMA & IDEN. They also have different radio frequencies. Sprint uses CDMA in the 1200MHz range. Is it only the lower GSM signals that cause a reaction?
  13. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It may be the case. I don't know if they've looked at all the different ranges, but it sounded to me like there was a reason to consider those lower frequency ranges as the primary culprit. Maybe that's why there are some people who think they are electrosensitive and others who don' could be that some are on the networks that use frequencies that cause these problems.

    The reports aren't discussing having cell phones on while sleeping, but using the cell phone in the "talk" mode within an hour or so before going to sleep, and the effect that has on how long it takes for you to fall asleep.

    It's not "tragic" results here. None of these studies are saying you shouldn't use a cell phone or you're going to have insomnia if you do. The take-home message I'm getting out of this is that if you're someone who is having difficulty falling asleep at night, and you talk on the phone near your bedtime, it's worth adjusting your schedule to not talk on the cellphone so close to your bedtime. Either use a landline for those calls, or don't take those calls. It's like saying don't spend a lot of time staring into a bright computer monitor or drinking a cup of coffee just before bed.
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