Online publication only
Today, millions of Americans in cities awaken around 3 in the morning and then struggle to get back to sleep. As the number of devices (cell phones, iPods, GPS, Wi-Fi, smart meters, wireless broadband for laptop computers, etc.) that emit microwave radiation has increased in the past 10 years, so has the number of Americans who suffer from sleep interruptions. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the percent of people who are not satisfied with the quality of their sleep has increased from 15% of the population (43 million) in 2002 to 40% (120 million) in 2009. In addition, there has been a proportional increase in the number of people using prescription drugs for insomnia.
Marching in step with both these numbers has been a steady and proportional increase in the number of cell phone towers and antennas and devices that use wireless technology based on high-frequency microwave radiation. Today we have over 100,000 cell phone relay towers in the US and 2 million antennas.The increasing level of electromagnetic pollution has caused the nation's health to spiral downward. It is like watching a train wreck in slow motion; no one seems to be able to stop it. Too many people are in denial that any problem exists at all. Most public discussion has been limited to cell phones and how long it takes for them to give you a brain tumor, but the sleeping giant of all health problems from this technology is itself sleep interruptions. The number of adults developing high blood pressure due to sleep interruptions is increasing by about 500,000 every month. The percent of adults with hypertension is moving on a fast track from 1 in 3 to half the population. Like a volcano building up pressure leading to an eruption, tens of thousands of strokes and heart attacks will soon follow, if not already under way. I have written a book, Insomnia, Fatigue and Cell-Phone Towers, in an attempt to awaken the public to the perils of electromagnetic pollution from microwave radiation and provide a number of solutions. The following interview with Beverly from Las Vegas is excerpted from the book and shows the depth of the problem as well as the denial of the problem that grows worse by the hour.
Beverly moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, from Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1993. While in Salt Lake City, she stated that she had no problem getting to sleep or staying asleep at night. She also vacationed in the Himalayas, where high altitude notoriously causes light sleep, and there she says she "slept like a baby." Her problems with sleep interruption began in 1993 shortly after she arrived in Las Vegas. "Before the move I was always one of those people blessed with good, sound sleep."
Her new home in Las Vegas was a lovely, gardenlike subdivision close to the airport about 1 mile away. She said that cell phone towers were already being installed in Las Vegas in high locations in 1993. She doesn't think that the cell phone towers going up at that time were the immediate source of microwave radiation that interrupted her sleep. She thinks that the radio towers at the airport that directed airplane traffic in and out of the increasingly busy Las Vegas terminal were the primary culprit. When she'd vacation in the mountains in Utah, she'd sleep normally again. She thought that maybe it was just stress.
Beverly said that the sleep interruptions have gotten worse over the years. Las Vegas has been America's fastest-growing city, at 10% compound growth per year. By then new cell phone towers and high-rise buildings were going up all over the valley, while the airport got much busier too, with about 40 million visitors annually. Around 2001 or 2002, Bev got a cell phone, and over time her use of it increased.
Conrad: When did you first notice that your sleep patterns were changing?
Bev: Previously, I would be tired at 9 or 10, get into bed, and then not be able to go to sleep until 1 or 2 (interestingly, now that I know it was after the airport closed at night). In the last five years or so, I would frequently wake up from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. I would be wide-awake and unable to get back to sleep because my mind was active. I'd be pacing around the house or doing tasks that should be done in daytime. Several hours later, I would feel exhausted and doze off for a few brief hours. It was all just very erratic, except that over the years my sleep got worse. I kept thinking, what's changed, what's wrong with me?
Conrad: About 5 years ago when the sleep quality really got bad, how did you feel when you woke up?
Bev: Well, I was OK for a couple of hours. Then I would start making personal and business phone calls on my cell phone, and by mid-morning, I had brain fog.
Conrad: What do you mean by "brain fog"?
Bev: I found it hard to concentrate on what I was doing. It was difficult to focus, to prioritize; sometimes even to think or balance the checkbook was a chore. I often felt like I needed a midmorning nap. Sometimes I could stop for a midmorning nap, other times I had to keep going.
Conrad: Did you feel the need to take other naps during the day?
Bev: Yes, sometimes in the afternoon or again in the early evening, which would disturb my sleep cycle even more. It was erratic, no rhyme or reason why I'd be tired at some times of the day and not others. Now I look back and think maybe it had to do with when I'd used my cell phone for long calls – or perhaps times of increased tower activity. The thought of cell phone towers or radiation never occurred to me. Even though I read newspapers and watch news, I don't recall information about the subject that grabbed my attention.
Conrad: In other words, since you couldn't get a full 8 hours sleep at night, you got it in bits and pieces throughout the day, an hour or 2 here and there until it probably added up to 8 hours.
Bev: Rarely eight hours. You know we just keep going. However, the sleep was not deep enough, long enough or rejuvenating. This is how I have been living for the past 5 or 6 years or more. I thought menopause, some hidden illness, or growing older was the cause of my problems until I read your series of articles in the Journal of Immunity earlier this year on the adverse health effects of cell phone tower microwaves. I began to think about it – connect dots.
Conrad: Did you go to a doctor to evaluate your problems?
Bev: Yes, and my blood tests all came out OK. The doctor did not know why my sleep was interrupted. He recommended sleeping pills. I tried a variety of sleeping aids and pills, but I still did not feel my sleep was refreshing. I hate to take medications unless absolutely necessary, so I mostly just suffer tiredness. The stress was still there.
Conrad: How about your neighbors and friends?
Bev: I live in a neighborhood in which we know one another and chat. Most of my neighbors and friends are telling me the same thing. When I started asking around, no one seems to have good sleep since moving to Las Vegas! And it's not because we party and gamble, as our life beyond The Strip is very normal here. I have one neighbor who says she sleeps like a baby – interestingly, she has an aluminum roof. Others wake up at 2 or 3 a.m. and cannot get back to sleep until 5 a.m. or so.
We often wake up at identically the same time. It not a sound or loud noise waking us up but it is something. The times we wake up at the same identical hour even minute will vary from day to day and week to week. I'm curious if cell towers are nightly powered up as maintenance or something at the airport. It's odd we often wake up at the same time. What really shocked me was plugging my address into www.antennasearch.com. Today there are 246 towers and 384 antennas within 4 miles of my home!
Conrad comment: Possibly, this is caused by a certain threshold level of microwave radiation generated by several cell phone calls being made at the same time of the night by several persons in the same area or even random persons driving through the neighborhood while talking on their cell phones. Thousands of people could be affected by a single phone call in the middle of the night from microwave radiation that is emitted from a cell phone tower.
When you multiply that by several dozen phone calls, you have a cumulative effect that could jolt the central nervous system of people from a sleeping to a waking state. This is because the body's nerve cells may detect a certain level of radiation passing through it as an invasion or threat. That could cause the adrenal glands to dump adrenaline and that would excite the brain into waking us up. I think when people are jolted awake in the night; the body is sending us a message: There is an imminent threat affecting you – be aware.
Conrad: Have you tried testing your home for microwave radiation levels?
Bev: Yes. I bought an electrosmog detector that converts the invisible microwaves into sound at varying levels depending on the quantity of radiation present. It is kind of like using a Geiger counter used to measure nuclear radiation. I found out there were high levels of microwaves in parts of the house. The sound level varied with different locations in the house. Also around my microwave oven and cordless phones. I suspect the levels may change in different parts of my home at different hours due to tower traffic but haven't done 24-hour monitoring.
Conrad: Did you try to reduce or block the microwave radiation from entering your bedroom and what effect did this have on your quality of sleep?
Bev: I decided to do an inexpensive experiment to find out if microwave radiation might be affecting my quality of sleep. I thought I would do that before spending hundreds of dollars on a microwave-free zone inside my house where I could have uninterrupted sleep – hopefully. In a conversation with you, Conrad, we worked out the idea together. I bought two Coleman emergency blankets for about $4 each that I found in the local sporting goods store. The emergency blanket is lightweight and is made out of aluminized Mylar. It reflects the body's heat back into oneself. It conducts electricity, so it would provide a very thin metallic shield to absorb and stop the microwave radiation. I placed the emergency blanket between a quilt and blanket above the bedsheet so it covered most of my body except for my head but wasn't visible or on my skin. Then I wrapped my pillow in another emergency blanket underneath the pillowcase. The pillow makes a bit of a crackling sound but was tolerable for a few nights as an experiment.
Conrad: The results?
Bev: A significant improvement in the quality of my sleep. I am sleeping longer hours and with fewer interruptions. I definitely noticed an improvement. So much so that I will now invest in special microwave-blocking netting around my bed. Also I was recovering from a case of shingles, and I'm sure the shingles decreased faster after I added the emergency blanket.
Conrad: Your comments jibe with those of a retired person in California, Jack Fristoe, who told me an emergency blanket added two hours of sleep to his nightly routine and a better quality of sleep at that. Have you done anything else?
Bev: Yes. I made two small changes: (a) I got a low SAR cell phone (AT&T Impression), and (b) I limit my cell phone use (I did not and do not use a Bluetooth) and I went back to using a land line (not a cordless phone, but a corded phone with a 20-foot line so I can walk around if need be). The side of my head does not feel warm as it did when I had used the cell phone for an hour or more every day. Also, I don't feel the brain fog after being on the land line after long calls like I did when I used the cell phone. The difference I feel is noticeable. Yet I don't feel obsessive about it. When I'm on the run, I answer my cell phone or make a brief call if important, but mostly I let it take a message and tell people I'll call them back when I get to my home or office. I still do phone business and have as many pleasant personal conversations but now make them on a land line. Just "back to basics" choices. Using the land line has definitely made a big difference.
Conrad: Do you plan on doing anything else like having steel or aluminum roof installed with aluminum siding and aluminum window screens to completely block all microwave radiation from entering the house?
Bev: Not yet. That would involve spending thousands of dollars, and stucco construction prevents aluminum siding. However, I am first planning on buying conductive cloth and have a canopy built over my bed so my head and entire body is protected at night from the cell phone tower microwave radiation. That alone will cost me several hundred dollars. I want the finished design to be homey and not tacky. I don't want a home that looks like a jail cell! Yet I will be exploring and considering additional home modifications over time. I've learned cell phone and tower radiation is a valid and serious concern with real and dangerous effects.
Conrad: I understand. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Bev: Yes. First of all: thanks, Conrad. You're helping us wake up. I have friends, a married couple with three children, who told me recently, no one in their household can sleep normally anymore and the young wife feels inexplicably ill and tired much of the time. They went to www.antennasearch.com and found that a large new cell phone tower was installed 10 houses away at the same time the wife started feeling ill. Then they borrowed my electrosmog detector and found their cordless phones were emitting high radiation as well.
Also, more frighteningly, I have a friend Jane [pen name used for privacy reasons], who is the wife of a neurosurgeon. Jane has used a Bluetooth device on her ear to make cell phone calls all day. A few months ago, she developed severe headaches during a flu; the headaches did not go away for weeks and an MRI disclosed a brain subdural hematoma –blood that hemorrhaged between her brain and her skull.
The doctors were literally shocked that someone in such perfect health would have this happen to her. They could find no cause whatsoever. Had they known to test weeks earlier, they would have drained the fluid off her brain in surgery. I told her I thought the Bluetooth device might have caused this to happen. She began to limit using the wireless Bluetooth device and her cell phone, and the blood is now slowly draining, eliminating the need for surgery. While not yet convinced, she has limited using the Bluetooth device. She and her husband are investigating the possibility of cell phone radiation as causing neurological problems, subdural hematoma, and if or where this has happened to anyone else.
Conrad: You know the Bluetooth device on the ear emits constant microwave radiation, damaging cells nearby in the head. Thank you for this interview, and good luck.
Beverly can be reached at her office at email@example.com.
Conrad LeBeau can be reached at 414-329-0648. His book Insomnia, Fatigue and Cell-Phone Towers (2010) is available online at www.lebeaubooks.com or amazon.com.
He has also written the books Hydrogen Peroxide and Ozone and Natural Remedies for Intestinal Health, a quarterly report called the Journal of Immunity; the Immune Restoration Handbook with Mark Konlee; and other articles published online at Keep Hope Alive on how he quit smoking, national health care reform proposals, and numerous other proposals for economic freedom and justice for the people.