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Your phone may be keeping you awake - and not because it's ringing.
According to a research study earlier this year which got little attention on this side of the Atlantic, mobile phones send out radiation that hampers people's ability to sink into the deep stages of sleep. Scientists from Karolinska Institute and Uppsala University in Sweden, and from Wayne State University in Michigan, gathered 35 men and 36 women between the ages of 18 and 45 and exposed about half of them to 884-megaherz wireless signals identical to those emitted by cell phones. The other half got no radiation. The result: The people who had been subjected to the radiation took longer to enter the deep stage of sleep that refreshes and restores, and spent less time there, than the other group.
The study was funded by a trade association called the Mobile Manufacturers Forum, which represents the biggest cell phone companies in Europe. After the findings were published by MIT, the embarrassed cell phone makers tried to play down the experiment's results, saying they were "inconclusive."
But Bengt Arnetz, the Swedish professor who led the study, says there is no doubt that cell phones "have measurable effects on the brain." He believes that the radiation from phones activates the brain's stress system, making people feel more alert and decreasing their ability to wind down and snooze.
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