Effect of short-wave (6-22 MHz) magnetic fields on sleep quality and melatonin cycle in humans: the Schwarzenburg shut-down study

Altpeter, Ekkehardt-Siegfried; Röösli, Martin; Battaglia, Markus; Pfluger, Dominik; Minder, Christoph E; Abelin, Theodor (2006). Effect of short-wave (6-22 MHz) magnetic fields on sleep quality and melatonin cycle in humans: the Schwarzenburg shut-down study. Bioelectromagnetics, 27(2), 142-50.. New York,NY: Wiley-Liss 10.1002/bem.20183

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This paper describes the results of a unique "natural experiment" of the operation and cessation of a broadcast transmitter with its short-wave electromagnetic fields (6-22 MHz) on sleep quality and melatonin cycle in a general human population sample. In 1998, 54 volunteers (21 men, 33 women) were followed for 1 week each before and after shut-down of the short-wave radio transmitter at Schwarzenburg (Switzerland). Salivary melatonin was sampled five times a day and total daily excretion and acrophase were estimated using complex cosinor analysis. Sleep quality was recorded daily using a visual analogue scale. Before shut down, self-rated sleep quality was reduced by 3.9 units (95% CI: 1.7-6.0) per mA/m increase in magnetic field exposure. The corresponding decrease in melatonin excretion was 10% (95% CI: -32 to 20%). After shutdown, sleep quality improved by 1.7 units (95% CI: 0.1-3.4) per mA/m decrease in magnetic field exposure. Melatonin excretion increased by 15% (95% CI: -3 to 36%) compared to baseline values suggesting a rebound effect. Stratified analyses showed an exposure effect on melatonin excretion in poor sleepers (26% increase; 95% CI: 8-47%) but not in good sleepers. Change in sleep quality and melatonin excretion was related to the extent of magnetic field reduction after the transmitter's shut down in poor but not good sleepers. However, blinding of exposure was not possible in this observational study and this may have affected the outcome measurements in a direct or indirect (psychological) way.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Röösli, Martin; Battaglia, Markus; Minder, Christoph Erwin and Abelin, Theodor

ISSN:

0197-8462

ISBN:

16342198

Publisher:

Wiley-Liss

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:48

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2013 13:43

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/bem.20183

PubMed ID:

16342198

Web of Science ID:

000234773500009

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/20062 (FactScience: 3180)

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