Effects of exposures to weak 2-Hz vs. 8-Hz electromagnetic fields on spectral characteristics of the electroencephalogram in afternoon nap

The human brain seems to be able to respond to low-level extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields. Controlled laboratory studies of human sleep under exposure to such fields are scarce, especially on the effects of 1 Hz–16 Hz fields overlapping with the frequencies of the electroencephalographic (EEG) signal (e.g., delta, theta, alpha, and sigma activities). In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, we examined the effects of exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields of frequencies 2 Hz and 8 Hz on the EEG power density spectra in the range from 1 Hz to 16 Hz and sleep structure. Sleep of 14 young healthy volunteers was polysomnographically recorded during three 50-min afternoon naps (either without exposure or with 2 Hz/0.004 μT or 8 Hz/0.004 μT electromagnetic field). During the first 30 min of a nap the sham, 2 Hz or 8 Hz/0.004 μT exposures had the same effect. For the remaining 20 min, amount of stage 3 sleep and powers in 1 Hz-8 Hz range continued to build up under the 8 Hz/0.004μT and, especially, under the 2 Hz/0.004 μT exposure, whereas they did not change in the sham condition. Therefore, the low-level 2 Hz electromagnetic fields might stimulate deep sleep in the afternoon nap. © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Dorokhov V.B. 1 , Taranov A.O. 1 , Sakharov D.S.1 , Gruzdeva S.S.1 , Tkachenko O.N.1 , Arsenyev G.N.1 , Ligun N.V.1 , Sveshnikov D.S. 2 , Bakaeva Z.B. 2 , Dementienko V.V. 3 , Puchkova A.N. 1
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  • 1 Laboratory of Sleep/Wake Neurobiology, Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 2 Department of Normal Physiology, Medical Institute of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 3 Laboratory of Medical Electronics, Kotelnikov Institute of Radio, Engineering and Electronics, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russian Federation
delta sleep; EEG spectrum; Extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields; sleep stages; slow-wave activity
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