Mobile Phones can wreck your sleep

Phone makers own scientists discover that bedtime use can lead to headaches, confusion and depression
 
Radiation from mobile phones delays and reduces sleep, and causes headaches and confusion, according to a new study.
The research, sponsored by the mobile phone companies themselves, shows that using the handsets before bed causes people to take longer to reach the deeper stages of sleep and to spend less time in them, interfering with the body's ability to repair damage suffered during the day. 
The findings are especially alarming for children and teenagers, most of whom – surveys suggest – use their phones late at night and who especially need sleep. Their failure to get enough can lead to mood and personality changes, ADHD-like symptoms, depression, lack of concentration and poor academic performance. 
The study – carried out by scientists from the blue-chip Karolinska Institute and Uppsala University in Sweden and from Wayne State University in Michigan, USA – is thought to be the most comprehensive of its kind.
 
Published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium and funded by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum, representing the main handset companies, it has caused serious concern among top sleep experts, one of whom said that there was now "more than sufficient evidence" to show that the radiation "affects deep sleep".
The scientists studied 35 men and 36 women aged between 18 and 45. Some were exposed to radiation that exactly mimicked what is received when using mobile phones; others were placed in precisely the same conditions, but given only "sham" exposure, receiving no radiation at all. 
The people who had received the radiation took longer to enter the first of the deeper stages of sleep, and spent less time in the deepest one. The scientists concluded: "The study indicates that during laboratory exposure to 884 MHz wireless signals components of sleep believed to be important for recovery from daily wear and tear are adversely affected."
The embarrassed Mobile Manufacturers Forum played down the results, insisting – at apparent variance with this published conclusion – that its "results were inconclusive" and that "the researchers did not claim that exposure caused sleep disturbance".
But Professor Bengt Arnetz, who led the study, says: "We did find an effect from mobile phones from exposure scenarios that were realistic. This suggests that they have measurable effects on the brain."
He believes that the radiation may activate the brain's stress system, "making people more alert and more focused, and decreasing their ability to wind down and fall asleep".
About half of the people studied believed themselves to be "electrosensitive", reporting symptoms such as headaches and impaired cognitive function from mobile phone use. But they proved to be unable to tell if they had been exposed to the radiation in the test.
This strengthens the conclusion of the study, as it disposes of any suggestion that knowledge of exposure influenced sleeping patterns. Even more significantly, it throws into doubt the relevance of studies the industry relies on to maintain that the radiation has no measurable effects.
A series of them – most notably a recent highly publicised study at Essex University – have similarly found that people claiming to be electrosensitive could not distinguish when the radiation was turned on in laboratory conditions, suggesting that they were not affected.
Critics have attacked the studies' methodology, but the new findings deal them a serious blow. For they show that the radiation did have an effect, even though people could not tell when they were exposed.
It also complements other recent research. A massive study, following 1,656 Belgian teenagers for a year, found most of them used their phones after going to bed. It concluded that those who did this once a week were more than three times – and those who used them more often more than five times – as likely to be "very tired".
Dr Chris Idzikowski, the director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, says: "There is now more than sufficient evidence, from a large number of reputable investigators who are finding that mobile phone exposure an hour before sleep adversely affects deep sleep."
Dr William Kohler of the Florida Sleep Institute added: "Anything that disrupts the integrity of your sleep will potentially have adverse consequences in functioning during the day, such as grouchiness, difficulty concentrating, and in children hyperactivity and behaviour problems."
David Schick, the chief executive of Exradia, which manufactures protective devices against the radiation, called on ministers to conduct "a formal public inquiry" into the effects of mobile phones.
 

20 lowest-radiation cell phones

Choosing a Low Radiation Cell Phone

The amount of radiation absorbed by your body when making a mobile phone call can be measured - this measurement is called the SAR (specific absorption rate) and is a guide to how much electromagnetic radiation you will absorb whem making a call. The higher the SAR the more radiation is absorbed. Choosing a low SAR mobile phone could reduce your exposure by a factor of 2-3 times  compared to using a higher SAR phone. See below for tables of of devices with their SAR Values.>

What is SAR?

Rank Model SAR (digital) Carrier
1 Samsung Galaxy Note 0.19 T-Mobile
2 Samsung Galaxy Note 0.27 Unlocked
3 Samsung Galaxy Note 2 0.28 Verizon Wireless
4 Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket 0.3 AT&T
5 Kyocera DuraXT 0.328 Sprint
6 Pantech Discover 0.35 AT&T
7 Samsung Galaxy Beam 0.36 Unlocked
8 Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II 0.37 Verizon Wireless
9 Pantech Swift 0.386 AT&T
10 Samsung Jitterbug Plus 0.4 GreatCall
10a Jitterbug Plus 0.4 GreatCall
12 Samsung Gusto 2 0.41 Verizon Wireless
12a Kyocera DuraMax 0.41 Sprint
12b Samsung Gusto 2 0.41 Verizon Wireless
15 Samsung Galaxy Appeal 0.42 AT&T
16 Samsung Galaxy Note 2 0.43 Sprint
17 HTC One V 0.455 U.S. Cellular
18 LG Optimus Vu 0.462 Unlocked
19 Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G 0.47 T-Mobile
19a Samsung Rugby 3 0.47 AT&T

 

20 highest-radiation cell phones

If you have one of these particularly bad cell phones then you should take extra precautions when making long calls.

Remember to use a headset (air tube if possible) or just hold it slightly away from you head. Hot ears, headaches or fealing sick are all symptoms of too much exposure - so make the investment and upgrade to a better device.

What is SAR?

20 lowest-radiation cell phones

Read more: 20 highest-radiation cell phones

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