Do Mobile Phones Affect Sleep?

Do Mobile Phones Affect Sleep?
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The effects of cell phone radiation on sleep quantity and quality.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Sleep is crucial to the development of physically and psychologically healthy children,” but a number of factors have been identified as interfering with sufficient sleep, including the use of electronic media devices. These days, most children, and nearly all adolescents, “have at least 1 [such] device in their sleep environment, with most used near bedtime.” And such use is associated with “inadequate sleep quantity [and] quality, with resultant excessive daytime sleepiness.” So, there are calls “to minimize device access at bedtime.” But, wait a second; not so fast; “which comes first, media use or sleep problem?” Are they not sleeping because they’re on their phone, or are they on their phone because they can’t sleep?

“Higher media use has been consistently associated with [all sorts of] sleeping problems.” Is it because they’re so caught up they push back their bedtime? Or does it so key them up that they have trouble falling asleep? In college-age students it may be more of the reverse: the not sleeping leading to pulling out their screens instead of just staring at the ceiling—though in early childhood it may be a bit of both. How might screen time interfere with sleep?

It may not just be pushing back bedtimes and overstimulation. “[T]he light emitted from devices [may] affect…circadian timing” by interfering with the production of melatonin, the sleepiness hormone that starts ramping up as soon as the sun goes down. But put a screen in someone’s face, and the excess light at night may confuse your brain. Of course, if you’re sitting there checking email with the lights on, then you’re already overexposed, and the little extra from the screen may not make much difference. But if you are sitting in the dark and need to send off that final text, then having the light settings tweaked to yellow your screen may help.

But what about the cell phone radiation? Might leaving your phone on the nightstand somehow affect your sleep? There’s an enzyme called ß-trace protein that makes a sleep-promoting neurohormone in the brain, and researchers found that those with greater long-term cell or cordless phone exposure tended to have lower levels of this enzyme in their bloodstream. So, the thinking is that the emissions “may affect the release” from the tissues surrounding the brain, especially those right up under the skull, closest to the phone. So, there is a possible mechanism if cell phones do indeed affect sleep, but you simply don’t know until…you put to the test.

Study participants were exposed to 30 minutes of a cell phone in talk, listen, standby, or off modes. All the lights and speakers were disabled. There was insulation used to prevent them from feeling if it was heating up or anything, so the participants didn’t know which group they were in. After the exposure, they took the phone away, shut off the lights, and told them to try to fall asleep. Those exposed to the phone when it was off, or in listen or standby mode fell asleep within about 20 to 30 minutes, but after being exposed to the same phone in talk mode, it took an average of closer to 50 minutes to fall asleep.

The reason for the significant difference between talking and listening might be due to the fact that the typical SAR value, the specific absorption rate—how much cell phone energy your body absorbs—is about nine times higher when you’re talking than when you’re just listening to someone else talk.

When you do finally get to sleep, though, what are the effects of cell phone exposure on sleep quality? There’s been about 20 studies, split about half and half in terms of whether cell phone exposure affected sleep parameters, and not all in a negative way. It reminds me of the brain function data. Yeah, an increase in the excitability in the brain cortex—the outer layer of the brain—in response to exposure to cell phone emissions might disrupt sleep, but that increased excitability may mean like faster reaction times.

Similarly, in affected study subjects, those exposed to an active cell phone showed significantly more R sleep. But R stands for REM, so they got like 4 percent more potential dream time; so, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: StockSnap via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Sleep is crucial to the development of physically and psychologically healthy children,” but a number of factors have been identified as interfering with sufficient sleep, including the use of electronic media devices. These days, most children, and nearly all adolescents, “have at least 1 [such] device in their sleep environment, with most used near bedtime.” And such use is associated with “inadequate sleep quantity [and] quality, with resultant excessive daytime sleepiness.” So, there are calls “to minimize device access at bedtime.” But, wait a second; not so fast; “which comes first, media use or sleep problem?” Are they not sleeping because they’re on their phone, or are they on their phone because they can’t sleep?

“Higher media use has been consistently associated with [all sorts of] sleeping problems.” Is it because they’re so caught up they push back their bedtime? Or does it so key them up that they have trouble falling asleep? In college-age students it may be more of the reverse: the not sleeping leading to pulling out their screens instead of just staring at the ceiling—though in early childhood it may be a bit of both. How might screen time interfere with sleep?

It may not just be pushing back bedtimes and overstimulation. “[T]he light emitted from devices [may] affect…circadian timing” by interfering with the production of melatonin, the sleepiness hormone that starts ramping up as soon as the sun goes down. But put a screen in someone’s face, and the excess light at night may confuse your brain. Of course, if you’re sitting there checking email with the lights on, then you’re already overexposed, and the little extra from the screen may not make much difference. But if you are sitting in the dark and need to send off that final text, then having the light settings tweaked to yellow your screen may help.

But what about the cell phone radiation? Might leaving your phone on the nightstand somehow affect your sleep? There’s an enzyme called ß-trace protein that makes a sleep-promoting neurohormone in the brain, and researchers found that those with greater long-term cell or cordless phone exposure tended to have lower levels of this enzyme in their bloodstream. So, the thinking is that the emissions “may affect the release” from the tissues surrounding the brain, especially those right up under the skull, closest to the phone. So, there is a possible mechanism if cell phones do indeed affect sleep, but you simply don’t know until…you put to the test.

Study participants were exposed to 30 minutes of a cell phone in talk, listen, standby, or off modes. All the lights and speakers were disabled. There was insulation used to prevent them from feeling if it was heating up or anything, so the participants didn’t know which group they were in. After the exposure, they took the phone away, shut off the lights, and told them to try to fall asleep. Those exposed to the phone when it was off, or in listen or standby mode fell asleep within about 20 to 30 minutes, but after being exposed to the same phone in talk mode, it took an average of closer to 50 minutes to fall asleep.

The reason for the significant difference between talking and listening might be due to the fact that the typical SAR value, the specific absorption rate—how much cell phone energy your body absorbs—is about nine times higher when you’re talking than when you’re just listening to someone else talk.

When you do finally get to sleep, though, what are the effects of cell phone exposure on sleep quality? There’s been about 20 studies, split about half and half in terms of whether cell phone exposure affected sleep parameters, and not all in a negative way. It reminds me of the brain function data. Yeah, an increase in the excitability in the brain cortex—the outer layer of the brain—in response to exposure to cell phone emissions might disrupt sleep, but that increased excitability may mean like faster reaction times.

Similarly, in affected study subjects, those exposed to an active cell phone showed significantly more R sleep. But R stands for REM, so they got like 4 percent more potential dream time; so, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: StockSnap via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

This is part of my extended video series on cell phones. Sometimes my research team takes on non-nutrition topics for which there appears to be controversy and powerful moneyed interests trying to tip the scales. Here’s the rest of the series:

Some of my sleep videos (with more to come!):

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

89 responses to “Do Mobile Phones Affect Sleep?

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    1. Jed, First of all, I’m not affiliated with NF, but I’ll express my opinion here. There have been “snake-oil” salespeople in every culture and every generation throughout recorded history. It never ceases to amaze me how fads come and go, especially in the nutrition world recently, with so many people looking for the one single “superfood” that will cure all ills and make them live forever ;-)

      Concerning celery juice, it doesn’t seem to me that juicing of any plant food is all that great because you’re throwing away the valuable fiber in the plant. It’s much better to blend the food in a blender, thus breaking up the cell walls of the plant and releasing the nutrients, but also keeping all the fiber.

      In fact, Dr Greger has a video (link below) on how to make a V-12 vegetable blast smoothie and uses a celery stick in each batch. This would be a much better drink choice than celery juice, in my opinion!

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/dr-greger-in-the-kitchen-my-new-favorite-beverage/

      1. Hal said:

        “It’s much better to blend the food in a blender, thus breaking up the cell walls of the plant and releasing the nutrients, but also keeping all the fiber.”
        – – – – –

        Another option would be to just chow down on the raw or lightly steamed celery with your teeth. You know, like people did before these blenders (which I don’t own) ever came on the scene. Our teeth and jaws get a nice workout that way.

          1. Barb, doncha hate it when that happens? Seriously, am sure you’ll be all right. I’d let somebody know about it, though. Seems to me you could have a class action suit started or something. (I used to work for lawyers in Manhattan back in the day, so don’t mind me. :-)

            I subscribe to Food Safety News, which sends a daily email letting us know the latest foods that have been recalled. If you don’t subscribe to that, I suggest you should.

            But if you don’t post anymore, we’ll know why. :-)

            1. YR, I think that should be:

              But if you don’t post anymore, we’ll know why :-(

              But seriously, Barb. If I were you I’d go to the doctor & get checked out. Better than waiting around wondering if the slightest fatigue or discomfort might be a symptom. Listeria is not something to mess with.

              1. Nancy, oops, yes you’re right! Should be a ( and not a ).

                I suppose the way a doc could check her is by taking blood. Or would there be another way?

              2. Thanks YR and Nancy, I will get checked out but my impression is that only certain lots were affected. I did go to the store this morning… they got an email while we spoke.
                The sheer numbers of recalls in the food business is amazing… and in pet food too. I check that every couple of months before I buy anything!

            1. Do you like cranberry juice straight? I’ve never tried a whole serving that way, but it might be too unsweet for me. I’m sold on the health benefits though.

              1. Scott, you get used to it, I have done 100% and the Juice cocktail and I will say if you want to transition, the trick is starting with a full glass of water with a splash of 100%. Then work your way to two splashes, then a pour. I tried a glass full the first time I tried it and that is for people who prefer jumping in the pool but jumping in the pool works fastest, but people are wimps when it comes to food.

        1. YR, is there anything you know of that’s unhealthy about blenders? Could using one contribute to health problems? Or is it maybe just counter space that motivates you not to have one? I know there’s the concern about fruit sugars getting absorbed too fast when in smoothies. But that apparently is mitigated by drinking them slowly. I guess the ones with plastic pitchers might pose some issues. Most are BPA free anymore, but there’s apparently more than just BPA to be concerned about. I think those concerns are increased when hot foods come into contact with plastics.

          I remember you also don’t have a microwave oven. Before I moved to an elderly housing complex a few years ago and met a couple of neighbors who fear using a microwave, I hadn’t really encountered much of anyone opposed to them. I tended to run with the so-called “earthy crunchy” crowd in my heyday too.

          My parents who are in their 90’s don’t use a blender or cell phones regularly (any more), but they use their microwave oven almost daily. They have long lists of health problems, but as far as I know, they aren’t believed to have anything to do with microwave use. The evidence actually points to several of their health issues being associated with the kinds of foods they tend to heat/cook in the microwave oven…or on the stove or in any other oven for that matter.

          1. “YR, is there anything you know of that’s unhealthy about blenders?”
            – – – —

            No, Scott. I had one eons ago, but the sharp blades scared me, and I hated to have to clean the darn thing later. So I junked it. And yes, it took up precious room in my small apartment. As would a microwave. I don’t need all those gadgets in my life. Simplify, simplify!

            I had a delicious almond butter/frozen coconut milk smoothie the last time I was down in the City. There’s a great place near Lex. and 42nd Street that specializes in making them. Costs around 9 bucks, but so worth it!

            (Knock on wood. I don’t have any health problems so far, and I ain’t no teenybopper.)

            1. All that one-upping of Tom may help keep you spry, YR!

              I’m in my 60’s now and I don’t think I have any health problems that are considered lifestyle related. But I have a few others for sure. Hopefully, the major ones are controlled.

              If you couldn’t tell, I’m intrigued by your simplified lifestyle. I definitely appreciate the challenges of small apartment living. I could stand to downsize my world. Moving made me do that some, but probably not enough.

              The smoothie you described has my mouth watering. If I lived in NY…

            2. YR,
              Wouldn’t get rid of my MW in spite of my little kitchen. The ole ‘waver (as I like to call it) is great for defrosting and heating frozen whole grains and homemade (vegan) soup. Raw, steamed or ‘waved, that’s my motto.

          2. Hi Scott,
            there are a lot of thoughts they let you to a decision against a blender or a mircrowave. Starting by the fact, that millions of years humans have survived with out a blender, because the movement of a healthy lower jaw with a couple of teeth in is enough for chewing the nutritions up. If you take your time. Second, if you blend for example one banana, one orange, one apple, one pear and 3 spoon of oats with a glas of water… you will have no problems to drink this smoothie in about 1 – 2 Minutes. Try to eat this amount of fruits – I quess, most of the people will have a break after the Banana-Orange-Apple trio… Why? Because also your chewing is part of the digestion and the signals to the brain. With a smoothie you will get more calories in less time – not good for people who struggle with…
            Third, like Dr. Greger also has mention before, you will detroy with a blender some fibres – which is not in the mind of the nature.
            I know the next will be a little bit harder to understand – if you are a little bit familar with the homeopathy so you know already about “informations”. So consider, if you buy a industrial food, all the informations of the production, the machines are in the food at the end – is the same with fruits or vegetables from the big indutrial famr or the little organic farm near you… and so it’s the same when you blend your food with blades of steel.
            Why should we use blender? One argument is, because it’s fast… fastfood? Why do whe have no longer time to eat, why are we too lazy to chew our food slowly? Because we have to run, run, ruin, run,…. but for what?
            All what I said can you transfer to the microwave – the most useless thing on the world. Do you know the first application area for microwaves? Yes, for astronauts and this makes sense, because the microwave is much smaler the a oven. ;-) But in our kitchens?
            And there is another though… everybody speaks from the global warming and all this things in this context – do you know how much energy and resources we need to make one blender, one microwave – right up from the beginning of production until the daily use and at the end we have to dispose this machines – and still I don’t know a cradle to cradle blender or microwave.
            Are this enough thoughts for thinking for you? Cheers Steffen

            1. Steffen, I think Scott has had his microwave oven for many years and is not about to give it up. No doubt a blender too.

              I agree with your thinking, though.

            2. Thank you for your comments, Steffen. Certainly food for thought. You are right in your presumed assumption that I’m no rocket scientist, but I do have to wonder about some of your contentions. Should we also not have refrigerators, stove tops or conventional ovens? We didn’t have those a million years ago either. If we weren’t rushed, we could live life without those too. Taking the time to hunt and gather our food, use real fire to cook it with, and in most cases eat it in its freshest state had the enormous benefit of keeping us well connected to the earth from where we came. Of course, in giving up these newfangled conveniences, we would face a dramatic increase in food borne pathogens as a result of our food being more likely to be insufficiently cooked or improperly stored. We had a lot more of that sort of thing a million years ago too, and most of us consider that not such a good thing since life expectancy was cut short by it. I wonder what other dissonant challenges might get in the way of those who like to think of the conditions of a million years ago as the benchmark for measuring how well we are doing today.

    2. I recently saw on a friend’s Facebook page that he is raving about how his energy level and mental clarity have improved with three weeks of drinking celery juice. He has also posted that he follows a Paleo or ketogenic diet and he works out a lot. The man is in his 60s.

      My thought when I read his rave about celery juice was that he’s getting a lot of antioxidants and other plant advantages that he hasn’t been eating, so it would make sense that he’s feeling so great. Perhaps that’s why people are finding a boost from the juice. But when I looked into the origins of the celery juice fad I found the recommendation is for a pint of it daily. Whew! That’s a LOT of celery! I still see eating real plant foods, plenty of them, and no animal foods, as the evidence-based, healthiest diet for humans.

      1. Well, gee whiz! I was just thinking about one of the first smoothies I made in my Vitamix years ago, and it was made with pears and celery. So it was not juice, but rather a pear/celery smoothie. I remember feeling particularly energized afterward. And no, I have not repeated that particular recipe, so I don’t know why I felt so good after drinking it. These days I make complex smoothies of amla, turmeric, black pepper, cranberries, greens, lemon chunk to include some peel, flaxseed, and some frozen fruit. After reading these comments, I’m thinking about trying that pear/celery smoothie again.

  1. No electronics allowed in the bedroom. No books either. Bedroom is for sleep only. These things have made a HUGE difference in sleep quality. (Also no caffeine, ever.)

      1. It was hard to give up coffee and tea. I was a coffee connoisseur, roasting and grinding my own premium beans, etc.

        But I have learned that sleep is so precious–absolutely as important as diet, nutrition, and pure water. Sleep quality when it is really good can be a revelation. Life-changing. But it is incredibly sensitive to disturbances–chemical, electronic, and otherwise. It needs conscious attention and a high priority, not just an afterthought.

        Give yourself the gift of a week of absolutely uncompromised quality sleep, and you will be hooked!

  2. Hello! İ was instructed to ask questions here in the comments, so here İ go. İ’m a medical student and after İ graduate İ would like to also finish a nutrition program. Which european university do you think has the best nutrition faculty? Of course one that promotes a plant based diet hopefully or at least has courses on it. My small university (in Tg-Mures, Romania) has a nutrition faculty that also covers some courses on plant based nutrition but İ would like to hear other opinions, too. Thank you!

    1. Cornell University has an online certificate program,not an actual degree program in WFPB nutrition Is this what you’re looking for , or a more rigorous program?

  3. I am a reading addict, and I remember as a kid often reading half the night or more. I shared a room with my sister, who complained about the light — but luckily for me, the closet had a light. It also had a shoe box, which made a nice low reading bench, so I would wrap myself into a blanket, close the door, and read, read, read. I wonder what effect that had on my sleep? Or on my health? I don’t recall feeling sleepy at that age.

    1. So, Dr. J, you were a closet reader. I was a flashlight under the covers reader.

      I sometimes read something boring to help me fall asleep. But if I read something interesting, it could keep me up for several hours & interferes with my sleep.

      1. Nancy, I was a flashlight under the cover reader, too.

        I didn’t have a sleep problem when I was young. I slept extra hours of deep sleep probably from allergy meds. I used to get sick if I didn’t get 10 or 12 hours a night. Then, I would fall asleep when I got sick and would wake up a day or two later and sleep right through everything.

        Pondering the cell phone connection, but I pick it up after a long time of staring at the ceiling.

  4. I’m still not sure after viewing what the bottom line is with respect to sell phones and sleep. Could someone sum up the conclusions that could be reached from the doctor’s video?

      1. I think the conclusion is that it does affect you having it on near your bed if it is in talk mode.

        And havibg it bright blue light mode also affects you.

        I have blue blocker glasses. Thry haven’t helped my sleep but they do block the light and it was something to try. I also have pinhole glasses which also seem to block the light some.

        I don’t thinkit resolved blaming cell phones for teenaged night owls, but not keeping it near your kids or grandkids bed might help them.

        I am pondering the enzyme thing. I knew about Melatonin, but hadn’t heard about that.

        1. Thanks Deb, do you have access to read the whole article to be certain what the researchers meant by talk mode? The phone is on and able to receive calls and messages (not an active phone connection open)? How close were the phones to their heads? Some people have to keep their cell nearby at night for emergency work calls

          It seems it’s not just the blue light but brightness so it helps to dim lighting too

    1. Hello Herb,

      This video certainly has a ton of information, so I’ll do my best to break it down for you into what I believe were the 3 main points.
      1. Staring at cell phone screens before bed may disrupt sleep.
      2. Even the radiation from a cell phone being active while sleeping (without light exposure) can increase the time necessary to fall asleep.
      3. People who use their cell phones more actually get more REM sleep (dream sleep), which may actually be good.

      Using this information, you can determine the pros/cons and decide for yourself if you should ditch the cell phone at night.

      I hope this was helpful,

      Matt, Health Support

  5. Most people who stare and stare into their cell phone already seem asleep to everyone else who doesn’t. We all have had people texting or talking on the phone walk right into us completely oblivious to their surroundings. I see people walk out into traffic INTENTIONALLY putting the phone against their head on the side traffic is coming from as if to say to drivers ‘I used my phone to avoid seeing you so you better not hit me as I walk out in front of you without looking’. Cell phone traffic force field apps do not even exist. Darwin works in mysterious ways.

    1. RB,

      Yes, but it isn’t the cell phone.

      Kids used Walkmen and IPods and IPads and other things to shut people out. We hurt each other and pull away and some go out all the time and some go inward. That is my observation.

  6. ““Sleep is crucial to the development of physically and psychologically healthy children,” but a number of factors have been identified as interfering with sufficient sleep, including the use of electronic media devices. These days, most children, and nearly all adolescents, “have at least 1 [such] device in their sleep environment, with most used near bedtime.”

    With respect to brain development in children an article of interest:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mental-wealth/201402/gray-matters-too-much-screen-time-damages-the-brain

    the 2014 Psychology Today article on how too much screen time changes the brain for the worse, especially for the young where brain neurodevelopment depends on what they use their brains for. ” In short, excessive screen-time appears to impair brain structure and function. Much of the damage occurs in the brain’s frontal lobe, which undergoes massive changes from puberty until the mid-twenties. Frontal lobe development, in turn, largely determines success in every area of life—from sense of well-being to academic or career success to relationship skills.”

    Similarly, the Dec. 15th, 2018 issue of the New Scientist (issue), had an article on the human sense of direction which had a relevant paragraph to this issue:

    “But perhaps we are better off not relying on technology. “I’m fairly confidant that regular use of map software impairs a person’s ability to wayfind on their own,” says Montello. [Dr. Dan Montello of UCSB] “It certainly impairs cognitive map formation.” He believes that satnav and phone map apps are undermining our natural navigation abilities, going as far to describe this as “technological infantilism.”

    More importantly, even for disbelievers in the damaging neurological effects of RF radiation from WiFi and cell phones, it has become depressingly clear that too much “screen time” – however this happens – increased suicides and depression in children (see: “Increases in Depressive Symptoms, Suicide-Related Outcomes, and Suicide Rates Among U.S. Adolescents After 2010 and Links to Increased New Media Screen Time. Twenge, J.M. et al, 1, Clinical Psychological Science Vol. 6, Issue 1, pp 3-17, 2018. https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/teen-suicide.pdf), but to the lack of development not only of cognitive skills but of different areas of the brain as well.

    1. Alef, that is a good one.

      Yes, I worry about this generation in more ways than one.

      The problem is that people need to use technology in their careers and in school and it is useful for so many things, including this site.

      I think if I were raising kids in this age, I would only let them use it for learning, rather than as their only social output.

      So many of them have nobody at all. The parents are texting and on social media and are not bonded with their children.

      I interact with an 8 year old whose mother didn’t teach her even the alphabet and hadn’t learned it when she left kindergarten a few months before her 7th birthday.

      I have used so many educational Youtube videos with her that I can say that there are so many amazing free resources. Hard to figure out the balance.

      1. I watched the 8 year old just about catch up watching YouTube phonics videos, but know that cell phones already destroyed her life and she still doesn’t own one.

  7. Also, for those with an interest, check out these recent papers on EMFs & Child Development from 2017 and 2018:

    “Effects of Mobile Phones on Children’s and Adolescents’ Health: A Commentary” Child Dev. 2018 Jan;89(1):137-140. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12831. Epub 2017 May 15 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28504422

    From the abstract: “With respect to health implications of digital (wireless) technologies, it is of importance that neurological diseases, physiological addiction, cognition, sleep, and behavioral problems are considered in addition to cancer. Well-being needs to be carefully evaluated as an effect of changed behavior in children and adolescents through their interactions with modern digital technologies.”

    “Electromagnetic Fields, Pulsed Radiofrequency Radiation, and Epigenetics: How Wireless Technologies May Affect Childhood Development” Child Development, January/February 2018, Volume 89, Number 1, Pages 129–136 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28504324

    From the abstract:

    “Mobile phones and other wireless devices that produce electromagnetic fields (EMF) and pulsed radiofrequency radiation (RFR) are widely documented to cause potentially harmful health impacts that can be detrimental to young people. New epigenetic studies are profiled in this review to account for some neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral changes due to exposure to wireless technologies. Symptoms of retarded memory, learning, cognition, attention, and behavioral problems have been reported in numerous studies and are similarly manifested in autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, as a result of EMF and RFR exposures where both epigenetic drivers and genetic (DNA) damage are likely contributors.”

    1. Oh – and this excerpt from Dr. Lennart Hardell’s article:

      According to the opinion of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection in a 2008 report to WHO, the following health hazards are likely to be faced by the children mobile phone users in the nearest future: disruption of memory, decline of attention, diminishing learning and cognitive abilities, increased irritability, sleep problems, increase in sensitivity to the stress, and increased epileptic readiness. Expected (possible) remote health risks include brain tumors, tumors of acoustical and vestibular nerves (in the age of 25–30 years), Alzheimer’s disease, “got dementia,” depressive syndrome, and the other types of degeneration of the nervous structures of the brain (in the age of 50–60; http://www.who.int/pehemf/project/mapnatreps/RUSSIA%20report%202008.pdf).

      Disturbed sleep among adolescents seems to be a growing problem, and several reports suggest negative effects from use of mobile phones. Certainly further studies should explore potential adverse health effects from RF radiation. One example is the b-trace protein (lipocalin-type prostaglandin D synthase) that is a key enzyme in the synthesis of prostaglandin D2, an endogenous sleep-promoting neurohormone. Cumulative use of wireless phones was associated with lower concentrations of b-trace protein in subjects aged 18–30 years, thus indicating a mechanism for cell phone impact on sleep (S€oderqvist, Carlberg, Zetterberg, & Hardell, 2012). “

  8. My wife raised three children, with the practice of allowing each of them to stay awake as long as they wished, but only if they were reading. In those days, the 60s and 70s, we used books with paper or velum pages, and the telephone was a landline that was used for conversations during waking hours. There was no television or radio listening allowed, only book reading. Decades later, those three people are still alive, two are lawyers, one is a special ed teacher in upstate New York. None of them ever went to jail; all of them vote; one has been a vegetarian, for decades. I think that they were very lucky to have misspent their youths in Gutenberg’s world, not Zuckerberg’s. Reading is Fundamental.

      1. Lida, that exactly what I thought when I started reading steve’s comment. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he forgot the ‘and I’ part.

            1. YR, it’s amazing how some people just can’t seem to get that right. But I guess you have to know how words function in a sentence, & I have a sneaking suspicion that they don’t teach it school anymore.

        1. YR, It’s true. I am an evil stepparent. While I knew the family, fifty years ago, it was a chance meeting, in the late 80s, with a somewhat gay divorcee, that led to my current 31 year marriage.

          1. Well, in today’s kinky-boots world, Thea (if “Steve”) could indeed be married to a female. How long ago were people of the same sex allowed to get marriage licenses? :-)

            Fumbles, why and when were you under the impression that the person no-longer-posting-as-Thea was this Steve?

              1. Hal, I posted to Deb a while back that we two old friends knew nary a thing about the show, but heard it was terrific and had won various awards. She got two tickets for the price of one, so we sallied forth. At some point she said “If I knew this was about transvestites, I wouldn’t have wanted to see it.” Same here; I was all set to get up and leave, but we stuck it out. We should have known, just from the title, that it wasn’t something like “South Pacific” (my favorite movie; it was on TCM a coupla nights ago).

                Briefly, it had its cute moments, but I thought they overdid it with the “message” they were trying to put across.

                1. YR, Yes, it’s hard to tell anything about a movie these days by looking at the title! Or even the write-up may be misleading. I think they purposely do that to generate one’s curiosity so they go to the movie just to find out what it’s about. At least you got in for half price!

                    1. Yes, that’s what I thought. But with both movies and live Broadway shows, you never really know what to expect until you’ve bought your ticket and get there ;-)

                    2. Hal, you probably wondered why I even mentioned South Pacific. Guess I was implying that they don’t make Broadway musicals like they used to. It ran on Broadway for a looooog time.

                      We lost around $80 on Kinky Boots, but I hadn’t been to NYC in quite a while (where my friend lives), so we had a nice catch-up. Ate later at a yummy Mexican restaurant. So it wasn’t all bad!

            1. He-who-shall-not-be-named first mentioned this a year or so ago. Since then, ‘Steve’ has confirmed it. Of course, there may be more than one ‘Steve’.

  9. but but but… if you are talking on a cell phone instead of just listening, your brain activity will be higher during that period. I don’t think radiation exposure is being tested in this instance. I find that if I listen to something I have heard before, like a rerun of Mash, I go to sleep quickly, ie. within 5 minutes.

  10. For me, when I read emails, read on the screen it affects my sleep a lot, when I just look at a video it doesn’t seem to affect my sleep at all, I do use f.lux software to yellow the screen and use dark mode (for example in YouTube).

  11. On phone radiation and sleep: I gather the test subjects weren’t talking on the phone as somebody asked, but it seems they had a fake base station to generate the level of radiation for each phone mode. How close was the base station to their heads? I expect they measured the radiation level in the room as well as in the brain?

    The research is older and the modes of talk, sleep, standby may not apply to the latest phones. It’s not on my modern phone. I think there used to be a mode that pulsed the base station intermittently, but now we expect to be on all the time.

    this research could be better explained, does anyone have access to full article to explain the “Talk mode” versus “listening mode” and standby modes, and there was a sleep mode? I ask for better detail as some jobs require a mobile phone to be available at night. (No judgement or advise please, just the information).

    Saying but more REM means more dreams and may not be a bad thing? But all the other messages say in our distracted modern world we’re not getting enough deep sleep to clear brain each night to avoid Alzheimer’s.

    1. Your little toy-toys should stay the heck out of the bedroom, I say. Are people so lonely they have to keep texting one another constantly? Sad.

      The only thing I have in mine is a white noise machine. Maybe that’s not such a good thing either, but it really does help drown out any street noise, etc. Rarely use it though.

  12. I am a physician, 65 y/o and suffering from insomnia for 30 years. I have taken every conceivable sleep-promoting drug, including sedating antipsychotics, mainly because I prescribe them to patients and I have had free access to samples. Ambien and Lunesta helped for a while, and then they didn’t. Belsomra, for me, was horrible. The newest sleep-promoting drug is Silenor which, in reality, is repurposed, super low-dose Doxepin, also known as Sinequan, an effective tricyclic antidepressant. At tiny doses it doesn’t promote sleep but instead enables one to fall back to sleep after awakening, something I could never do. Apropos to Dr. Greger’s video I have found that a combination of Doxepin 10 mg., which is far below the typical antidepressant dose of 150 mg., combined with having Bob and Ray playing at low volume on my iphone via Amazon Music, affords me the best sleep I have had in years.

    1. Wow, Psych MD, that is great!

      I went WFPB and got rid of so many symptoms of so many things, but sleep has been quite a project.

      What I found which worked for me was trying to watch the midnight television time slot of Victoria, which I have enjoyed but it worked two weeks in a row, meaning that I missed the episode, but it was showing again at midnight and I was awake and I fell asleep by 12:30 versus 4;30 trying to watch it.

      That made me laugh because when I was younger I tried to watch Tora Tora Tora several times and fell asleep before Pearl Harbor was attacked every single time. The plane engine sound must have been what did it.

      1. You couldn’t even understand, I can turn on the television and not fall asleep every time, but I wanted to see it and thought how it should be easy to stay awake since I can’t fall asleep at all, but BOTH times I fell asleep.

        It has to be a different part of my brain or something.

      1. YR, Such a cool version of that song! But what I’m wondering is how you find these cool Youtube clips so quickly. You always seem to find the appropriate clip for quite a few comments on here. A superb hidden talent, I suppose … or maybe just an excellent memory :-)

          1. Scott, I search by quackquack sometimes, but usually just use my AOL search engine.

            I remember the SNL skit when it first showed on TV, so just typed in a few words: Bob and Ray Do You Want My Body SNL. Several Youtubes to choose from, but I posted the first I came across.

            I was a dedicated B&R fan. They had a unique brand of humor, and worked very well with with each other.

    2. Psych MD, I’m sorry about your insomnia. Years ago, I was a research scientist, and I discovered that reading aloud scientific research articles published in peer reviewed journals (like the kind reviewed here at nutiritonfacts.org!) to my infant daughter put us both to sleep! The methods sections were especially soporific.

    3. Are you on a WFPB diet? I wouldn’t be surprised if that helps. I’m sure you’ve seen the videos here on melatonin rich foods. My go to for a natural sleep aid is valerian root, half a dose has helped with anxiety.

  13. I try to follow the rules: Bed is for sleeping and romance only. Regular sleep and waking times. Regular routine on way to going to bed. Blue blocker glasses last few minutes. Reading a paper text last few minutes before going to sleep. Prayer/meditation as I go to sleep.

    The data on electronic devices is there. We need to be restrictive of when we use them and other technologies.

    It reminds me of American food and TV: There is good stuff out there, but you need to be extremely choosy if you want to do it well.

    Libertarianism gives us the right and support to make innumerable unhealthy choice that make some unscrupulous person wealthy.

    John S

    1. Libertarianism? Doesn’t democracy in general give us that same right? That is a good thing. People should have the right to decide when they check their texts and so on… how on earth could it be suggested that it would be a good thing to take away simple rights? But, it’s important to have the science out there so people can make informed decisions.

  14. What about tv? It doesn’t seem to negatively impact my sleep in regards to how tired I get. The only time tv impacts my sleep is when I’m too stupid to turn it off.

  15. I always put my phone in flight mode to not get disturbed during my shuteye. I incorporate this as part of my evening routine and have found that, in my experience, that it increases my sleep quality substantially.

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