Human sleep in 60 Hz magnetic fields

Bioelectromagnetics. 1999;20(5):277-83. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1521-186x(1999)20:5<277::aid-bem3>;2-u.


This report describes a double-blind, laboratory-based study of 24 healthy young men in which sufficient data were collected to examine the effects of intermittent versus continuous exposure to a 60 Hz, 28.3 microT magnetic field on multiple EEG measures of night sleep. Intermittent, but not continuous or sham exposure, was associated with less total sleep time, reduced sleep efficiency, increased time in Stage II sleep, and decreased REM sleep. Subjects exposed intermittently to the field also reported sleeping less well and feeling less rested in the morning than subjects in the other two groups. All observed effects were significant at P < or = .04 or less. The public health relevance of these results cannot be assessed as yet. Poor sleep quality, however, can have a detrimental influence on worker safety and performance, and has been associated with decrements in memory and learning processes. Additional research appears warranted.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Magnetics / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Safety
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Stages / physiology