Exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation shortens sleep duration and lengthens sleep latency and sleep inertia in humans living in proximity to the base transceiver stations
Radio-frequency electromagnetic radiations (RF-EMRs) are ubiquitous at present. Therefore, it is essential to assess the impact of RF-EMRs on human health. In this study, we examined the non-thermal effects of RF-EMR expo-sure on behavioral sleep patterns in humans. A total of 1072 randomly se-lected individuals living in the proximity of base transceiver stations (BTS) participated in the study. The sample consisted of 122 subjects from zone A (Inter-tower region), 310 from zone B (0-150 m), 316 from zone C (150-300 m), 197 from zone D (300-500 m), and 127 from the control zone (without BTS installations). We classified the zones as a function of distance from the BTS. We measured electric-field strength at each participant’s house using Narda Broadband Field Meter-550 equipped with EF0-391 probe. We used Munich-Chronotype Questionnaire to determine each subject’s behavioral sleep patterns. ANOVA results revealed the highest E-field strength in zone-A than the other zones and control. Results from ANCOVA, Kruskal-Wallis, and Mann-Whitney U tests showed that the participants from zone A had shorter sleep duration, and longer sleep latency and inertia than those living in other zones. Further, a significant effect of co-factors ‘gender’ and ‘year of resi-dence’ was validated on mid-sleep (work and free days). Compared to wom-en and > 5-year residents, men and 1-5-year residents had delayed mid-sleep. We concluded that RF-EMR might alter the behavioral sleep patterns of subjects living in the vicinity of BTS. However, further confirmatory and extensive studies are necessary, involving a large sample living near many more BTS installations.