I'm sure you've already read a ton of articles and books about how important sleep is for your general health and well-being. I'd guess that most of what you read was true.
But did these articles and books talk about creating a low EMF bedroom? I'd guess that most, if not all, did not. And yet if you are in any way concerned about your health and well-being dealing with nighttime exposures to EMFs is the absolute foundation on which you can build a healthy life.
Create A Low EMF Bedroom – The Foundation Of A Healthy Life
If your bedroom isn't totally conducive to optimum recuperation you need to make changes – the sooner the better.
Your immune system does its major repair work while you sleep. This is when your body’s cells regenerate, rejuvenate and detoxify.
What does this mean on a cellular level? It means that if at night your cells and organs are not able to performs these processes and our cell membranes are subjected to constant stress, then healthy cells can be damaged while unhealthy cells, that's to say infections, mutations and neural disorders, can proliferate.
Nighttime is also the time that your pineal gland produces melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate sleep and contributes to many vital bodily processes.
Studies show that exposure to power frequency EMFs and radio frequency radiation impede the production of melatonin.
If your sleeping space is not conducive to the deep sleep phase eventually your immune system will become overburdened and you'll be opening the door to illness.
Studies show EMFs exposures can interrupt sleep cycles and they are linked to a host of ailments and symptoms like: irritation of allergies, tiredness upon awakening, heart palpitations, muscle pain and weakness, and daytime irritability as well as generally weakening your immune system.
10 Tips For Creating A Low EMF Bedroom
1. Cellular Phones In Your Bedroom
Cell phones in the bedroom, even switched off, are a definite no-no. Why? Because you might forget to switch it off. In which case it will be emitting and receiving while you sleep.
Your cell phone can play havoc with your sleep pattern and immune system. Don’t bring your cell phone anywhere near your bedroom.
2. Cordless Phones In Your Bedroom
Cordless phones are a no-no. A cordless phone is like a mini cell phone tower in your home. You don’t want this next to your head when you're sleeping. Remove cordless telephones from your bedroom and use a regular, wired phone if you need to stay in touch with the outside world during sleeping hours. Same goes for wireless baby monitors and wireless speakers, get rid of them.
3. Lighting In Your Bedroom
Avoid exposing yourself to bright lights in the two hours before you sleep, exposures of this kind will disturb your natural sleep pattern and can create long term harm. Several studies have suggested that keeping our bodies exposed to artificial light at night, increases cancer risk, especially for cancers such as breast and prostate cancers.
Let's not forget the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) has classified light at night as a class 2A carcinogen – placing it on the same level of severity as the effects of cigarette smoke on lung cancer.
If you use CFLs (compact fluorescent light-bulbs) get rid of them. CFLs emit electromagnetic radiation as a byproduct of the energy saving mechanism used to reduce voltage. Just hold an AM radio close to a lit CFL bulb and listen to the radiation. Instead of CFLs use incandescent bulbs.
4. Electrical Devices In Your Bedroom
Unplug all electronics during sleeping hours. Use a battery-powered alarm clock and never sleep under an electric blanket.
One of the most important but overlooked elements in sleep disturbance is the placement of wired, electrical devices or AC (transformers used to charge or power devices) sources in your bedroom. These devices emit surprisingly strong electrical fields, even if the appliance is turned off – above 1 mG is considered dangerous. There are countless sources within your home that can contribute to the constant radiation of erratic electrical fields, so for sure you don’t want any of these devices in your bedroom. Keep things like TVs, stereos, air con units, refrigerators, at least 6 feet away, that means 6 feet in the vertical sense too. Make sure your fuse box is not within this distance.
Also recommended: go to your electrical panel and cut the power supply on the circuit breaker for your bedroom before you retire for the night. If you're unsure which circuit breaker controls your bedroom power, just switch off the circuits one by one until you find which one switches off the power in your bedroom.
5. Dirty Electricity In Your Home
You might have everything switched off and unplugged but if you’ve got dirty electricity running through your household wiring, your bedroom and your home will be electrically polluted and your health is going to take a toll.
Dirty electricity is a term used to describe a form of EMF pollution found on house wiring which studies show can cause adverse biological effects. You can buy or hire testers (a Graham Stetzer meter) to take readings and then filter out the dirty power by using GS filters.
6. Wi-Fi In Your Home
If you use a wireless router in your home you are transmitting a radio frequency signal (see wifi radiation article) that adds to the toxic load that your body has to deal with, further interfering with your ability to sleep. Instead use a wired internet connection and knock off the WIFi. Careful because some routers have the WiFi setting on auto reset. That means if you unplug your router at night and switch it back on in the morning it will switch the WIFi on again.
If you live near a cell phone tower you'll want to seriously investigate some protective measures to insulate yourself from the harmful effects of cell tower radiation. There are special shielding materials that reflect radiation so you can, at least partially, reduce your exposure.
7. Neighbor Generated Electrical Pollution
Don't ignore neighbor generated electrical pollution. You might have everything switched off in your home, your own electrical supply may be clean and your internal electrical pollution may be negligible. But if your neighbor has a flat screen TV which every time they turn it on is making their electric supply dirty, and by the same token yours, then something needs to be done. If they have a WiFi router pumping out radiation 24/7 and you are only the thickness of the wall away you need to take action. Go and see them, explain to them the problem.
8. Blackout Your Bedroom
The more you can achieve total blackout conditions to sleep in the more chance you have of going into a deep, restful, restorative sleep. You could take tablets to help you sleep, personally I stay away from them. Sleeping tablets will inevitably be chemical based, they will thus contain toxins and long term they may aggravate your condition.
9. High Levels Of EMFs from Nearby Cell Phone Towers
If in doubt about this, hire or buy an EMF meter to check the levels of EM pollution in your home generally and your bedroom particularly. If this is a problem then your best solution, assuming moving house is not an alternative (I joke not) is special protective paints and protective netting.
If the electromagnetic pollution in your bedroom is high you could just hang an EMF Faraday canopy net above the bed, like mosquito netting this is a canopy made from RF reflective material. A more complete solution is to paint an undercoat on the walls and ceiling with EMF paint and hang EMF netting over the windows. See my article on how to shield from cell tower radiation for a full explanation.
10. Static Magnetic Fields In Your Mattress
There are 2 issues here; metal bed-springs can have residual magnetism and also spring mattresses can actually act as a giant antenna! The magazine Scientific American states “In the U.S. bed frames and box springs are made of metal, and the length of a bed is exactly half the wavelength of FM and TV transmissions that have been broadcasting since the late 1940s….radiation envelops our bodies so that the maximum strength of the field develops 75 centimeters above the mattress in the middle of our bodies. When sleeping on the right side, the body's left side will thereby be exposed to field strength about twice as strong as what the right side absorbs.”
Solution: buy a chemical-free organic mattress that does not contain metal coils and prefer wood over metal for the frames and headboards.
Safe Radiation Levels For Your Bedroom
The international guidelines are extremely confusing about what can be considered a “safe” level of radiation.
The Building Biology Evaluation Guidelines, widely recognized as being among the most prudent, have the following four categories of risk for sleeping areas; nil, slight, severe and extreme anomaly. These guidelines don't pretend to tell us what constitutes a safe level of EMF exposure but they do give us an indication of risk for each of the categories; electric field, magnetic field and RF radiation. Its important to test your environment for at least these three categories of EMFs.
These guidelines are stringent but attaining even the lowest EMF exposure levels recommended by Building Biology means you are still exposing yourself to higher levels of EMFs than those which are naturally occurring in nature.
Michael Bevington in his book “Electromagnetic sensitivity and Hypersensitivity” notes that the EMF exposure levels in nature are:
• Magnetic Field: 0.000002mG (or 0.0002 nT)
• Electric Field: 0.0001 V/M
• Radiofrequency Radiation:<0.00002 V/M
When we compare even the lowest, strictest levels of Building Biology magnetic field Guidelines (<0.2mG) to those found in nature (0.000002mG) there is a difference of many orders of magnitude.
The same goes for radio frequency radiation as for electric fields.
A beneficial EMF environment for sleep is where the man-made EMFs and the natural direct current EMFs of the earth are as close as possible to those found in nature. Reducing exposure to man-made EMFs can be achieved by following the steps outlined above and increasing exposure to the natural EMFs of the earth can be achieved by grounding (there are some caveats).
This might not be easy to attain but if you are suffering from electrosensitivity, sleeping in such an environment is the fastest route to regain your health and vitality.
Lastly, there is another important point to understand, your circadian rhythm.
Light At Night Carcinogenic
Your circadian rhythm can be thought of as a 24-hour internal clock that runs in the background of your brain and cycles the body between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals primarily in response to light and darkness.
When your eyes are exposed to blue light, your brain perceives that it is daytime and time to be awake. So when you expose yourself to artificial blue light through watching TV or using your computer or cell phone at night, you are sending a message to your body that it is daytime and you should be awake. Because this information doesn’t match up with the usual pattern of your circadian rhythm, the result can be sleeping difficulties as your body tries to decipher confusing signals about whether it is time to wake up or sleep.
Studies show that exposure to light at night affects the body's circadian rhythm.
Light at night is considered so dangerous by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) that it has classified light at night as a class 2A carcinogen. This places it on the same level of severity as the effects of tobacco smoke on lung cancer.
Your Bedroom – Healing Sanctuary Or Mission Control?
What I've found time and time again is that exposures from indoor sources of EMFs are much higher than the external EMF sources. So you might think that the cell phone tower which you can see from your window is the cause of all your woes but 99 times out of 100 this is NOT the case.
The problem is EMFs from sources/devices WITHIN your home.
Some careful analysis of your use of electronics will help you eliminate electrical and electromagnetic-frequency-energy sleep-disturbing irritants, making your dreams peaceful and your rest healing and restorative.
EMF dangers are real—use these tips to create a low EMF bedroom. Create a bedroom that is a healing sanctuary and not a place that robs you of the rest your body requires for optimum health.
No Place to Hide, Volume 2, Number 3 March 2000, p. 19 based on Neuroscience Letters, November 1999 pp 207-210
Medical implications of melatonin: receptor-mediated and receptor-independent actions. www.advms.pl. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2012.
Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2013 May;154(4):405-16. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncs255. Epub 2012 Oct 10.
Pineal melatonin level disruption in humans due to electromagnetic fields and ICNIRP limits.