Take a look around your bedroom and note down what you see. Is your phone on charge on your bedside table? Do you have a DECT phone or Wi-Fi router near to where you sleep? Perhaps you have an electric blanket or wireless baby monitor near to your bed.
Most of us have a number of electronic devices in our bedrooms and think nothing of it. These devices emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of varying frequencies. EMFs are everywhere; sometimes, they even occur naturally (for example in thunderstorms). However our exposure to EMFs is increasing due to man-made sources.
Mobile phones and wireless devices emit radio-frequency EMFs while the electricity that comes from power sockets is associated with lower frequency EMFs.
Are EMFs a barrier to restful sleep?
Some people report allergy-like symptoms as a result of being exposed to EMFs. This is called electrical sensitivity. People who have this condition explain that they experience varied unpleasant symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and depression after exposure to these fields.
If you have electrical sensitivity, you’ll be immediately aware of negative health effects from EMFs. However, even if you don’t have electrical sensitivity, you can still be affected by EMFs. For example, you might feel tired or have trouble sleeping after using your computer or smartphone.
Numerous studies have suggested that EMFs can disrupt the circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin production. Melatonin is the chemical produced in the pineal gland that helps to regulate your body clock and sleep cycles.
Melatonin is thought to have anti-cancer associations. This has led some to suggest that being exposed to EMFs during sleep may increase cancer risk. However, more research needs to be done on this topic before a conclusion can be drawn.
Blue light can disturb sleep
Exposure to light at night is something that was uncommon before the invention of artificial lighting. Nowadays, many of us are busy on our phones and tablets right up until bedtime.
Night time light exposure has been linked to types of cancer, obesity and diabetes. This is also associated with night shift work.
Blue wavelengths of light are the most disruptive, according to Harvard Health. Researchers found that exposure to blue light suppresses melatonin for twice as long as green light and moved people’s circadian rhythms out of sync by 3 hours.
This is concerning as blue light is often emitted by modern devices such as smartphones, LED lighting, televisions and tablets.
Are EMFs safe?
There is another good reason to consider a technology ‘de-tox’ in your bedroom and before sleep. The IARC (the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer) has classified powerline and radio-frequency EMF radiation as ‘possibly carcinogenic’.
This is bolstered by numerous studies suggesting negative long-term health effects from EMF exposure. You can read many studies at the ES-UK website.
Since we spend on average 1/3 of our lives in bed, then removing sources of EMF from your bedroom is an ideal way of reducing your overall exposure to these fields.
What can you do about it?
By making your bedroom a ‘sanctuary’ from EMFs, you might find that you sleep better and have more energy.
Dr. Mercola explains that, because we are exposed to so many EMFs during the day, giving our bodies a rest at night time is important.
So assess your sleeping area - do you have a DECT or smartphone near to your bed? Do you have a Wi-Fi router positioned nearby or on the other side of the wall? Perhaps you have a digital alarm clock?
To reduce your EMF exposure, it may help to switch to battery-operated devices and move wireless equipment as far away from your bed as possible. Preferably, you could just turn these devices off.
An NA7 Demand Switch is ideal for easily turning off electrical fields in your home at night.
Measuring the fields
As EMFs are invisible, unless you are electrically sensitive you may struggle to work out where the areas of high exposure are. We offer electrosmog detectors and EMF meters for rental at a very economical price. If these fields are high, you can simply rearrange the layout of your room so that your head is at least 6 feet away from the devices.
We recommend that you never sleep with your mobile phone underneath your pillow or near to your head. A traditional mechanical alarm clock is a good substitute for using your phone as an alarm.
It may also be helpful to avoid using electric blankets, baby monitors and TVs in your sleeping area.
Read more about Electrical Sensitivity, or view a selection of products below to help protect yourself against potential effects of electrostress.
Products that may help you to reduce EMF exposure
Disclaimer: Information included in this website is intended for information purposes only and is not to be used as a substitute for consultation with a medical practitioner.