EMFs in your bedroom are one of the things that could be dramatically affecting your sleep every night, and yet you can’t even see them. EMFs (electromagnetic fields) are in nearly everyone’s homes. Yet they can also be a cause for poor sleep.
What Are EMFs?
Electric and magnetic fields are known as EMFs. They are non-ionizing sources of radiation. EMFs are generated around anything that uses or moves electricity.
Quick Tip: If you want to know if (and where) you have high EMFs in your home, I suggest using this EMF Meter which I own. It will tell you where your problem spots are immediately. Here’s our tutorial of how to use an EMF meter.
Though the term radiation might have you scared, don’t be freaked out just yet. There are two types of radiation. The one you’re probably thinking of is the ionizing radiation, mostly commonly associated with nuclear reactor plants and X-rays. Yes, ionizing radiation can cause health problems such as cancer.
Non-ionizing radiation is what you are typically exposed to each day. It comes from a variety of sources, including power lines, radio waves, microwaves, and electronics.
EMFs are energy waves which surround electrical devices that are plugged in and turned on. You cannot see them or feel them. Not only do EMFs exist around the appliances and devices that you plug into an electric socket, but EMFs exist around the electric wiring and panels that help supply electricity to your house, too.
EMFs in the Bedroom
Do you have EMFs in your bedroom? Let’s just go ahead and say Yes.
The average person has A LOT of EMFs in their bedroom and their home in general.
Unless you are living without much technology or modern day appliances, or know so much about EMFs that you have taken precautions to avoid them, you probably have a lot of EMF activity where you sleep.
EMFs come from anything that uses electricity. So just think about your bedroom and everything that uses power to run. EMFs in your bedroom come from:
- Bedside Clock (plugged in)
- Mobile phone chargers
- Mobile phones
- Desktop Computers
- Whole-House Wifi
- Wifi routers
- Wireless phones (plugged in phones, not mobile)
- Mattresses plugged into the wall
- Cable Box
- Wireless speakers
- Some light bulbs
- Exercise equipment
- Baby monitors
- Extension cords
- Heated blankets, heating pads, etc.
EMFs can come from other sources, too, including:
- Circuit breakers in the bedroom
- Bedroom positioned near electric meter outside
- Neighbor’s strong EMF field
- Cell phone towers and power lines near your home
- Home located on the wall with a community’s electric meter system
What’s Wrong with EMFs?
To be clear, the study of the effects of EMFs on health are just starting. While EMFs have always been present (in modern day electricity, as well as natural phenomenon like lightning), we have never had a generation using as much technology, Wifi and EMFs as the current generation.
Which makes knowing any long-term health risks of EMFs hard to find.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has already stated that EMFs are likely to have a physical effect on your health. They have made the statement based on the fact that EMFs have their own electric and biochemical responses. And our bodies have their own electric and biochemical responses, too. So when you have something, such as EMFs, which can cause a change in the body’s normal response, there could be a problem.
And this study suggests that EMFs could be “possibly carcinogenic.” Which means they could cause cancer cells to form.
In the studies that have been done, including WHO’s research into EMFs, the concerns with electromagnetic fields and non-ionizing radiation include:
- Decreased melatonin production in the pineal gland (which affects sleep)
- Aches and Pains
EMFs also come from devices that tend to give off lighting that affects our normal sleep patterns and body rhythms, too. How to Darken Your Bedroom For Better Sleep is another topic, but very closely related to avoiding EMFs in your bedroom.
How to Reduce EMFs in Your Bedroom
Okay, so how do you reduce your exposure to EMFs in your bedroom but also still live a modern day life with a quality of life that you like?
THAT, my friends, is the HUGE question!
Because getting rid of EMFs isn’t easy and the answers to reduce EMF exposure are not always what you want to hear.
So this is my take on EMFs and health:
Do what you can without driving yourself crazy. And don’t stress about the rest.
Yep, I said. You might not be able to completely fix this health hazard.
But you CAN do as much as you possibly can to prevent the problem. Especially one that you cannot see, like EMFs.
So here’s my steps (in order of easy from difficult) to reduce the affects of EMFs on your sleep:
Turn Off Your Cell Phone at Night
Want to keep that mobile phone right by your bed to scroll Facebook, watch YouTube and answer quick work emails?
Yeah, I hear you.
But you don’t need that piece of technology turned on all night. Turn off your phone completely. Especially if it is by your head on the nightstand.
(At the VERY least, put your phone in airplane mode if you are not going to turn it off.)
Don’t Charge Your Phone Overnight on Your Bedside Table
Sure, you want a full battery on your phone as you start the day. But don’t charge it overnight on your nightstand. In fact, don’t charge it overnight at all. It’s just a waste of power and might affect the battery.
If you must charge your phone in your room, be sure the charger is at least 6 feet away from where you sleep. Consider charging it in a drawer, on the dresser, in an adjacent bathroom, etc.
Remove Your Cell Phone from Your Bedroom
Challenge yourself to stay off of the phone or laptop as you go to bed at night. It could be a win-win situation.
Not only do you not have EMF emissions from your phone, but you would also prevent the blue light from a mobile phone that is known to cause problems with melatonin levels and getting to sleep fast.
Leave the phone in another room, or at the very least, in an ensuite bathroom.
Do Not Wear Watches or Sleep Monitors to Bed
It’s ironic. You can’t get good sleep. So you wear a biosensor product (such as a watch, bracelet, etc.) to record your sleep patterns. Yet the product runs on Wifi to report the findings.
What if your sleep problem was exposure to Wifi and electronics?
Do you REALLY need to have a piece of electronics measuring your sleep cycle at night? Do you NEED to wear a watch to bed for any reason?
Unless you are under a doctor’s orders (or other medical professional’s advice) to wear sleep monitoring devices, it could be wise to reduce your use or discontinue using the biosensor. It’s a medical decision that only you can make.
Move Electronics Away From Your Bed
EMF emissions radiate from their source. But they only travel so far.
Which is great news for you if you want to distance yourself from EMF exposure.
If you can’t remove electronics from your bedroom, consider moving them within your bedroom. Six feet is the recommended minimum distance that you want to have between an electronic product and your body to prevent EMF exposure. More distance, up to 15 feet, is ideal.
The farther you are from electronics, the less you have to worry about EMFs from the electronics.
Remove Electronics From Your Bedroom
Okay, you don’t have to remove ALL the electronics. (Although that would be ideal.) But get rid of things that you don’t need or you can find battery operated versions.
Your clock on your nightstand is the perfect example. Not only is it plugged in with EMF emissions, but it also glows with a light that can affect your sleep. Switch to a battery operated alarm clock instead (one without bright shining lights).
If something is plugged into a wall outlet in your room, ask yourself if you really need it. Do you need all of the lamps? Or the cable box in your bedroom? Or other items you can see?
You don’t have to become completely minimalist in your bedroom, it’s just a matter of decluttering and reducing your exposure to EMFs in ways that make sense. See our guide of How to Declutter Your Bedroom for Better Sleep for more ideas on how to remove electronics in your bedroom.
Move Your Bed
If your bed is on a wall with an electric meter or circuit breaker on the other side, it would be wise to move your bed’s position.
This is also true if there is a refrigerator or other source of major electricity that is directly behind the wall of where you sleep.
Consider your bed’s position in the bedroom and how close it is to major electrical fields both inside your bedroom and on the other side of the walls, whether an interior wall or exterior wall.
Turn Off Wifi at Night
You might get a cold sweat thinking about turning off your Wifi, but it is a source of EMF emissions. Especially if the EMFs are coming from a Wifi router located in your bedroom.
Consider a timer to turn off your Wifi at night when it’s not being used (you’ll be surprised at how inexpensive they are!). Or manually turn it off.
Keep in mind that you might have electronics in your house that are running on Wifi all of the time. Things like thermostats, smart home systems, lights, fans, etc. It’s never a great idea to have a home that is so dependent on being on the electrical grid and especially an internet connection.
Use EMF Blocking Products
There are products that claim to block or reduce EMF exposure in your home.
Quite honestly, I’ve never tried them, so I can’t say for sure how well they work. But there are lots of websites and information from people who are very sensitive to EMFs that you can research if you want to follow this path.
There is even a grounding mat for your bed when you sleep to reduce the effects of EMFs.
Turn Off the Power At Night
You can choose to turn off the power to certain appliances around your bed at night. Or turn off the entire power in your bedroom at night. Or in all rooms of the house.
It’s really dependent on how much you need electricity while you sleep.
And how sensitive someone might be to electrical exposures and how it affects their sleep.
Power can be turned off all at once with the flip of a switch with a power strip. These power cords are easy to find online.
Hard Wire Your Wifi and Internet
Instead of relying on wireless Wifi, have your internet connection hard wired in your home, instead.
Sleep on a Mattress without Metal Springs
There is some thought that the metal springs in most common mattresses can act like an antenna, magnifying EMFs.
Of course, there are plenty of opinions that mattress springs are not harmful when it comes to EMFs.
It seems that there is a difference between continuous coil innersprings in a mattress, and springs that are individually encased in fabric.
Latex mattress beds do not contain innersprings. If you are seriously concerned about innerspring mattresses and EMF exposure, I’d suggest you do a lot more research before switching beds solely to avoid EMFs in your bedroom.
How To Test EMF Levels In Your Home
Trying to test EMF levels in your home is not an easy – or inexpensive – task. You can’t see EMFs. And you can’t take an air sample or water sample to send to a lab.
You must test for EMFs either by having a professional come to your home, or by investing in equipment and learning how to interpret the results. I personally bought this EMF reader online, and was surprised by how much information it gave me. It’s really educational to go through your home and test the EMF fields around every appliance and gadget to know what to avoid and what seems to be within okay range.
I suggest you might visit the EMF Analysis website, too, which has a wealth of information on what to buy, how to test, and his personal story of having an EMF-related illness.