Thursday, January 31, 2008

Want A Good Night's Sleep? Just Say No To Cell Phone Use Before Bed

Cell phones have become a huge part of our lives. In fact, most of us wonder how we ever managed to survive without them in the past. I know I do. I remember, prior to cell phones, trying desperately to find a working pay phone, in questionable areas, often with little success.

People carry them everywhere, talk on them everywhere, including places they shouldn't, like public restrooms and theatres. Thank you very much, but I don't want to hear you doing your "business" while chatting with me on the phone, and as an actress, holding a conversation while I'm performing is distracting and downright rude. There are even those who have totally replaced their landlines with a cell phone. What's next? Surgically implanted handsets? Frankly, I prefer the quality of the landline, but admittedly the cell phone is incredibly handy and I'd be lost without mine. However, with all our cell phone usage, we still have no clue about the long term health hazards of extensive use.

We know the obvious- that they can be distracting and dangerous while driving, but who would have thought that using your cell phone at least an hour before bedtime could cause insomnia? According to various studies, including one at Wayne State University, Michigan and others at the Karolinska Institute and Uppsala University in Sweden and the University of Zurich, the radiation and electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones can alter brain waves and cause major sleep disturbances:

The results showed that using the handsets before bed causes people to take longer to reach the deeper stages of sleep and to spend less time in them.

And considering that sleep is how our tired bodies and minds are restored:

Failing to get enough sleep can lead to depression, lack of concentration and personality changes. In teenagers and young children, lack of sleep can result in attention disorders and poor academic performance.

making sure you stop your chatter on cell phones before bed time, just makes sense.

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