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Bioelectromagnetics. 2016 Apr;37(3):175-182. doi: 10.1002/bem.21965. Epub 2016 Mar 10.

Disturbed sleep in individuals with idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF): Melatonin assessment as a biological marker.

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Department of Experimental Toxicology, Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques INERIS, Verneuil-en-Halatte, France.
Peritox Laboratoire de Périnatalité & Risques Toxiques UMR-I-01 Unité mixte INERIS, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France.
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre MEG-EEG, CRICM et CENIR, UMR 7225, Paris, France.


Individuals who suffer from idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) complain of a variety of adverse health effects. Troubled sleep remains a recurrent and common symptom in IEI-EMF individuals. Melatonin, a circadian hormone, plays a major role in the sleep process. In this study, we compared levels of melatonin between a sensitive group (IEI-EMF, n = 30) and a non-sensitive control group (non IEI-EMF, n = 25) without exposure to electromagnetic sources. Three questionnaires were used to evaluate the subjective quality and sleep quantity: the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Spiegel Sleep Inventory. Melatonin was quantified in saliva and its major metabolite 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6s) in urine. Melatonin levels were compared by a two-way analysis of variance at various times between the control and IEI-EMF group. Despite significantly different sleep scores between the two groups, with a lower score in the IEI-EMF group (P < 0.001), no statistical difference was found between the two groups for saliva melatonin (P > 0.05) and urine aMT6s (P > 0.05). Bioelectromagnetics. 37:175-182, 2016.


electromagnetic fields; idiopathic environmental intolerance; marker; melatonin; saliva; urine


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