Many people are used to modern life conveniences. Not many, however, are aware of the potential health risks associated with the gadgets that keep the world going. For instance, it turns out gadgets — like Wi-Fi routers, microwaves, computers, cellphones, and some other appliances — send out an invisible energy wave stream known as an electromagnetic field (EMF) that's concerning to some experts. So, should you also be concerned?
What are EMFs?
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are a space of moving electrical charges. There are both natural sources of EMF’s, like sunlight, and non-natural or man-made sources, like cellphone radiation. Certain EMFs, particularly those that involve ionizing radiation, can be hazardous.
The sun has been sending out waves since the start of the universe that create EMFs, or radiation. As it's sending out EMFs, you can actually see its energy radiating out, which is visible light.
Indoor lighting and electric power lines spread across the planet at the turn of the 20th century. Scientists started realizing the power lines that supplied the energy to the population of the world were transmitting EMFs, similar to how the sun does naturally.
Throughout the years, the scientists also found a lot of appliances using electricity also create EMFs, similar to how power lines can. Medical imaging procedures and tests like X-rays and MRIs also do as well.
Types of EMFs
There are a couple of forms of EMF exposure. There is non-ionizing radiation (low-level radiation) and high-level (ionizing) radiation.
EMF exposure intensity is reduced as you further yourself from the object sending the waves out.
1) Low-Level (non-ionizing) Radiation
- House energy meters
- Power lines
- Wireless (Wi-Fi) routers
- Hair dryers
- Electric blankets
2) High-Level (Ionizing) Radiation
Why You Should Reduce EMFs in Your Bedroom?
EMFS are in just about all people's homes, yet they can lead to significantly poor sleep. Unless you're living with no modern day appliances or technology or have an understanding of EMFs that you've taken precautions to avoid them, you likely have a whole lot of EMF activity around you as you're sleeping. In other words, lots of people have many EMFs inside their bedroom, and their house in general.
But, bedroom EMFs can impact your sleep each night, even though you can't see them.
Sleep is an important biological function and electromagnetic frequency radiation is an often overlooked factor impacting quality sleep in today's modern time. When you're sleeping, your body is regenerating itself for optimal functioning, including repairing itself physiologically and mentally (neurotransmitter repair and manufacturing neurochemicals).
But, for it to effectively do its job, it requires an atmosphere conducive for obtaining the best quality sleep possible. This will encompass tactile and visible factors, such as sleeping in a cool and dark room, as well as sleeping in a room protected from EMFs.
EMFs come from any objects that use electricity. So, when thinking about your bedroom, consider everything you have in it that runs on power. Bedroom EMFs come from:
- Desktop computers
- Mobile phones
- Wifi routers
- Bedside Clocks
- Mobile phone chargers
- Wireless phones (not mobile)
- Cable box
- Mattresses plugged into the wall
- Exercise equipment
- Wireless speakers
- Heated blankets
- Baby monitors
- Certain light bulbs
- Extension cords
- Heating pads
- And more
EMFs can come from other types of sources as well like:
- Neighbor's strong EMF field
- Circuit breakers in your bedroom
- Power lines and cell phone towers near your house
- Bedroom positioned close to an electric meter outdoors
You may not think this radiation is harmful, but researchers have been studying this as far back as the late 1800’s.
Some of their concerns include:
- DNA damage
- Fertility concerns
- Reduction in free radicals
- A negative effect on offspring (i.e. emotional or behavioral issues)
- And more
The World Health Organization (WHO) has put EMFs in a classification of being " possibly carcinogenic to humans." On the other hand, other sources claim that low-level exposure to EMF is unlikely to be harmful.
With that said, if you’re interested in reducing your exposure to EMFs, particularly in your bedroom, keep reading.
How to Reduce EMFs in Your Bedroom
There are certain things that may help provide you and your family protection from EMF radiation overexposure.
- Unplugging the Wi-Fi Router Prior to Going to Bed
While it's convenient to have a wireless home and it keeps everything looking tidy and organized by decreasing unsightly cords, Wi-Fi routers typically operate 24/7. And, this means, you and your family are constantly being exposed to EMF radiation.
You can start by not placing your Wi-Fi router in your bedroom if at all possible. But, if you must, at least unplug it at night before you go to bed each night. Alternatively, plug the wifi router into a timer that automatically turns it off at 11pm and back on at 7am. This will decrease your exposure for around eight hours every day.
- Leaving Electronics, Including Smartphones, Outside Your Bedroom at Night
Electronics all emit EMFs that are harmful to your body. While you will be exposing yourself to some EMF radiation when using electronics like your laptop or smartphone during the day, you don't need to continue exposing yourself to unnecessary radiation during the night while you're sleeping. Take them out of your bedroom. This will substantially reduce your overall EMF exposure, reducing any health risks associated with radiation. It could also help enhance your quality of sleep.
Sitting in your bed scrolling down your phone isn't just bad for your sleeping habits since the light stimulates your brain and keeps you awake and active, but it also usually means you'll be placing your phone next to you on your nightstand before you fall asleep. You are increasing your EMF exposure every night when you place the phone just inches from your body and brain.
This could negatively affect regulation of your circadian rhythm and melatonin production. Therefore, power your phone down and leave it in the other room during the night.
If you must keep your phone on in your bedroom, at least set it on "Airplane Mode" and leave it across the bedroom away from you as much as possible. You can also turn off “location services”, and charge it through a power bank charger if necessary.
If you need an alarm in the morning, consider using a battery-operated alarm and instead of an electric one.
- Avoiding Using Electric Blankets
It might sound warm and cozy wrapping yourself up in an electric blanket at night. But, they can be a potential almost whole-body source of EMF exposure . If you're using an electric blanket or heating blanket at night, consider halting this habit. Using an electric blanket every night is considered "chronic exposure."
- Refraining From Sleeping on a Metal Coil Mattress
Electromagnetic field exposure can come from various sources throughout your house like your tablet and cellphone, as you've just learned. But, you probably didn't know your mattress or box spring could also expose you to additional EMF radiation. Many mattresses and box springs have metal coils inside of them that may act like antennas, amplifying EMF radiation from your bluetooth and wifi devices in your house, particularly those in your bedroom. These EMF waves can become trapped in the metal coils and could amplify, conducting them towards your body.
If this is a concern for you, choose a box spring without metal coils and a mattress, such as the Latex For Less latex mattress, that does not incorporate metal coils.
- Considering EMF Meters and EMF Shields
There are also EMF meters you can use to measure electronic magnetic fields in your bedroom. You might also consider using EMF shielding products, though their effectiveness is debated.
While it's still uncertain exactly what the long-term consequences of EMFs are to human health, it’s likely exposure to them will only increase with each generation. Begin now by making daily routine changes to reduce your EMF exposure to potentially make a positive difference in your well-being and health.