Study type: Survey (medical/biological study)

The Influence of All-Night Exposure to Pulsed Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields on Human Sleep review

Published in: Somnologie (Somnology) 2005; 9 (4): 176-179

Aim of study (acc. to author)

This article presents a survey of three consecutive studies (see publication 599, publication 646, and publication 5336) investigating the effects of electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones on sleep parameters.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 8 h
first study
Exposure 2: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 8 h
second study
Exposure 3: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: repeated daily exposure, 8 h/night for 2 nights
third study

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Polarization
Exposure duration continuous for 8 h
Additional info first study
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 580 µs
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Distance between exposed object and exposure source 40 cm
Setup The mobile phone was located 40 cm from the head (vertex) of the subjects lying in bed.
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info Following an adaptation night, two polysomnographies were performed with or without EMF for half of the subjects in double-blind order.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 8 W peak value - - -
power density 0.5 W/m² unspecified estimated - -

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Polarization
  • circular
Exposure duration continuous for 8 h
Additional info second study
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber Sleeping chamber constructed of absorbing material
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info double-blind study
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 0.2 W/m² unspecified measured - -

Exposure 3

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Polarization
  • circular
Exposure duration repeated daily exposure, 8 h/night for 2 nights
Additional info third study
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber Sleeping chamber constructed of absorbing material
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info Subjects spent 2 sessions, at least 7 days apart, of 3 consecutive nights in the sleep laboratory: one session consisted of an adaptation night and 2 consecutive nights for the recording of the polysomnographies. Half of the subjects were exposed to EMF in the first or the second session (blinded).
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 50 W/m² unspecified unspecified - -

Reference articles

  • Wagner P et al. (2000): Human sleep EEG under the influence of pulsed radio frequency electromagnetic fields. Results from polysomnographies using submaximal high power flux densities.
  • Wagner P et al. (1998): Human sleep under the influence of pulsed radiofrequency electromagnetic fields: a polysomnographic study using standardized conditions.
  • Mann K et al. (1996): Effects of pulsed high-frequency electromagnetic fields on human sleep.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • during exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

A pronounced hypnotic and REM sleep-suppressive effect of the field was the main finding of the first study (publication 599), but it could not be replicated by the following ones, even though the power flux density applied in the third study (publication 5336) exceeded by far that of the pilot study.
Potential explanations are differences in physical qualities of the fields applied in the different investigations (like the type of polarization), interindividual differences in sensitivity to electromagnetic fields among the subjects under study, and the existence of 'window effects', where interactions with sleep architecture only occur in special ranges of power flux densities.

Study character:

Exposure

Study funded by

Related articles