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maandag 21 januari 2008

Effects of cell phones on sleep

The British newspaper The Independent published an article called Mobile phone radiation wrecks your sleep. The results of the research - sponsored by Mobile Manufacturers Forum, an international association of radio communications equipment manufacturers - done by the Universities of Uppsala (Sweden) and Michigan (USA) has shown that "radiation from mobile phones delays and reduces sleep, and causes headaches and confusion." "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. ... Professor Bengt Arnetz, who led the study, ... 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". ... [The study] 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."

I don't know how many of you use your cell as an alarm clock, but I know that I have for the last 5 years or so. From now on I think I'll stop using it for that purpose. Especially since Hammy and I have bought an excellent replacement: the Wake-Up Light. The idea behind this product is that, about half an hour before you're supposed to get up, it "gradually fills your room with light, allowing you to wake up naturally. You'll rise feeling fresher, more alert ..." The light activates your energy hormones, giving you more energy than usual by the time you wake up. Now, I'm quite a heavy sleeper. It happened fairly often that I sleep through my alarm clock, or stop it without waking up. So, I was sceptic at first, but this stuff really works. Before, I "snoozed" for more than half an hour before getting up, now I'm out of bed ten minutes after waking up.

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