Sleep latency in poor nappers under exposure to weak 2-Hz and 8-Hz electromagnetic fields

It was hypothesized that human sleep might respond to the fields emitted by such natural sources as magnetic activity of the sun and the earth’s magnetic fields. However, the experiments aimed on testing this hypothesis remain scarce. Previously, we found an increase in the amounts of stages N2 or N3 during napping of good sleepers under exposure to low-level (0.004 μT) electromagnetic fields of frequencies 1 Hz or 2 Hz. It remains unexplored whether these fields might additionally decrease latency to stage N1. In this study, we selected 13 people with falling asleep problems to examine the effects of low-level electromagnetic fields on sleep latency. Sleep of these study participants was polysomnographically recorded during three 50-min afternoon napping attempts, either with exposure to either 2 Hz/0.004 μT or 8 Hz/0.004 μT electromagnetic fields or without exposure. We did not find that the sham exposure differed from the 2 Hz and 8 Hz exposures in latency to N1, while latency to N2 after the sham exposure was even shorter than after either the 2 Hz or 8 Hz exposure. We concluded that, although the effects of tested fields might be beneficial for sleep intensity (e.g., due to prolongation of N3), they might not be additionally effective against the falling asleep problems. © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Dorokhov V.B. 1 , Taranov A.O. 1 , Sakharov D.S.1 , Gruzdeva S.S.1 , Arsenyev G.N.1 , Ligun N.V.1 , Gandina E.O.1 , Bakaeva Z.B. 2 , Dementienko V.V. 3 , Tkachenko O.N.1
Taylor and Francis Ltd.
  • 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
EEG spectrum; Extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields; sleep latency; sleep stages
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