Mobile phones and sleep - A review
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The increasing use of mobile phones has raised concerns regarding the potential health effects of exposure to the radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. An increasing amount research related to mobile phone use has focussed on the possible effects of mobile phone exposure on human brain activity and function. In particular, the use of sleep research has become a more widely used technique for assessing the possible effects of mobile phones on human health and wellbeing especially in the investigation of potential changes in sleep architecture resulting from mobile phone use. Acute exposure to a mobile phone prior to sleep significantly enhances electroencephalogram spectral power in the sleep spindle frequency range. This mobile phone-induced enhancement in spectral power is largely transitory and does not linger throughout the night. Furthermore, a reduction in rapid eye movement sleep latency following mobile phone exposure was also found, although interestingly, neither this change in rapid eye movement sleep latency or the enhancement in spectral power following mobile phone exposure, led to changes in the overall quality of sleep. In conclusion, a short exposure to the radiofrequency electromagnetic fields emitted by a mobile phone handset immediately prior to sleep is sufficient to induce changes in brain activity in the initial part of sleep. The consequences or functional significance of this effect are currently unknown and it would be premature to draw conclusions about possible health consequences.
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