Does Your Cell Phone Disrupt Your Sleep Or Is It Just The Messages?

More and more we are using our cell phones. We may call them “smart,” but they rarely are with the effort we put into our tweets and Facebook updates. Some years ago the idea that they were the cause of cancer was bandied about and studies were done, but no smoking gun was found.

Not that it would have made much difference, as our phones are as addictive as cigarettes. Personally I feel that it’s a pity that manners don’t demand that we go outside to use them in the same manner as we demand of smokers. I find second-hand cell phone listening as irritating as second-hand smoking.

However, a new concern has surfaced and that is does you cell phone disrupt your sleep? This question was in danger perturbing the sleep of Mohler et al so they decided to sort things out with a longitudinal study, which they published last week in the Public Library of Science (1).

After a rigorous exclusion of people with a strong reason to fall asleep such as shift workers or people taking sleeping pills, they settled on a group of 955 participants who had similar exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic radiation and checked their sleep patterns at the start and end of a year. From this group, they picked out 120 individuals for close scrutiny.

The results? Well, they could find no effect of the exposure to radio frequency radiation from cell phones and cell phone towers on the disruption of sleep patterns.

There is always a caveat though. Leaving your cell phone on when you have a large cohort of texters and twitterers might well result in a different experience, but for now we can all rest easy and get a good night’s rest.

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