07 Oct Could EMF Be Causing Your Sleep Problems?
Everyone knows the difference a good night’s sleep can make. With adequate shut-eye, we’re able to think clearer, stay alert and waltz through our day with an energetic spring in our step.
On the opposite side, a lack of sleep can make us feel terrible and cause us to lag through our day simply craving the moment we’re able to go back to bed.
A frustrating part of poor sleep is that even when you have the best intentions for rest and go to bed early, you may find that you’re still taking hours to get to sleep, your sleep is disrupted or you’re waking up tired. Unsure why? Well, new studies show that EMF could be the answer.
The Sleep Cycle and EMF
Sleep is a complex biological process controlled by our central nervous system. It’s divided into three cycles: light sleep, deep sleep and REM sleep, which are characterized by brain activity such as sleep architecture, sleep quality and sleep regulation (if you want to get down to the real nitty-gritty, you can have these measured by recording your brain frequencies with a device called an electroencephalogram).
Disruption to our sleep cycle can be driven by numerous causes such as stress, nutritional deficiencies, hormones and noise. More recently, however, there’s another factor that’s increasingly proving to affect people’s sleep: EMF.
EMF, or electromagnetic fields, is a physical field charged by electrically charged objects. Exposure to EMF comes from things we use every day, such as WIFI, radio-frequency, mobile phones, fit bits, smartphones and mobile phone towers.
Melatonin and EMF exposure – what’s really happening?
Integral to a good night’s sleep is the production of the hormone melatonin, also known as our ‘sleep hormone’. Any hindrance to the production of melatonin is a hindrance to our ability to have a deep, good quality restful and repairing sleep.
EMF radiation is known to reduce the production of melatonin.
A recent study by the University of Melbourne found the main reason for this is the pineal gland, which is the organ that manufactures melatonin amongst other hormones. The pineal gland interprets the electrical nature of EMF radiation as a source of light, so is tricked into thinking it is still receiving sunlight and therefore stunts the production of our sleep hormone.
The study said that the results show the significance of disruption of melatonin due to exposure to weak EMF’s, which may lead to long-term health effects in hormones.
Other studies have shown how EMF affects our circadian rhythm (our internal body clock), thus dramatically reducing our quality of sleep. This has been proven in experiments with people working in highly EMF exposed environments, with their sleep quality dramatically worsening due to their exposure.
EMF and our health
So what other health effects does EMF have? Well firstly, it compromises our cells – the building blocks of the human body that allow us to be alive and thrive. Without a good night’s sleep, our cells can’t repair and renew, which means we aren’t able to fulfil the vital process of detoxifying and regenerating our cells. In fact, when our cells are damaged due to EMF exposure, our DNA starts to mutate and neurological disorders can develop.
All body systems are affected by poor sleep, which if unresolved can lead to chronic health decline and more complex states of disease. Having adequate melatonin is essential to protect us against cancer.
Other effects that sleep deprivation can have on the human body are:
- The inability to handle stress (irritability)
- Brain fog
- Poor decision making
- Waking exhausted
- Compromised immune system
- Hormonal imbalances
Strategies to reduce EMF exposure in our bedroom
The best place to tackle EMF is where it hurts most – the bedroom! Here are a few simple measures you can take to reduce your exposure and promote a restful nights sleep.
Our phones are one of the biggest drivers of EMF exposure in our lives. Not only are they carcinogenic, but it also plays a big role in our sleep.
Scarily, studies have shown over 50% of people sleep with their mobiles next to their bed.
The fix? Don’t have your phone in your room. If you need to charge it, do so in another room (your phone being so out of reach may play the bonus role of getting you out of bed straight away in the morning to turn off your alarm!).
If you must have your mobile in your bedroom, don’t charge it. Place it on Airplane mode, which significantly reduces radiation emissions. Don’t worry – you can still set an alarm while your phone is in this mode.
Wi-Fi floods your house with radio-frequency radiation.
Turn your Wi-Fi off through the entire house at night. Not only will this save your sleep (and the sleep of your family and pets), but it will also boot those persistent teenagers off the Internet earlier!
You can even install a timer that turns off your Wi-Fi for you, available at your local hardware store.
iPads and Tablets
These devices should not be in the bedroom or used too close to bed – their use dramatically affects melatonin production.
If you must use them, install a blue light-blocking app to stop tricking the brain that it’s daylight. Then once it’s time to get some shut-eye, switch it to Airplane mode.
Obviously, if you have a computer in your bedroom, this should definitely be switched off and unplugged.
Where there’s a device plugged into an active powerpoint, there’s an electric field – regardless of whether the device is on or off. Where you can switch off all power points in the bedroom. If you really want to cut down your power bill, make it a nightly practice to switch off the entire house!
Mobile Phone Towers
Be mindful of these. They cause huge exposure to radiation and extend a long range of distance.
The best method to measure how mobile phone towers are affecting your EMF load is to use an EMF Meter. We are now fortunate enough to own our very own meter here at NatMed, which is available for our clients to loan so they can measure their home and bedroom exposure. Contact our friendly staff if you would like more information.
Metal Spring Mattresses
If you have one of these, you may like to consider replacing it. The metal acts as a receiver to EMF and magnifies the radiation. Essentially, if you’re sleeping on a metal spring mattress you’re sleeping on an EMF antenna.
Finally…. Where’s Your Head At?
What’s on the other side of the wall to your bed? Placing our beds against a wall where TV’s, fridges, smart meters and other such devices lay on the other side, means these are dangerously close to our head – even if there is a wall in between. EMF will travel through, causing sleep deprivation and cell damage.
The Next Step
There are many indicators that EMF’s influence the brain’s activity during sleep. If you are suffering from chronic sleep issues and have tried everything such as changing your diet, supplements, meditation and sleeping tablets, perhaps it’s time to consider that EMF is the root cause.
NatMed has invested in an EMF testing device which you are welcome to borrow to test your levels of EMF exposure in your home. If you are interested in borrowing the device to measure your EMF exposure, SMS us on 0488 854 005.
I’m also really excited to be using the NES System at NatMed. This innovative device can instantly detect EMF levels from mobile phones, radiation exposure and problems with circadian rhythm, amongst a host of other factors affecting the energy of the body. If you suffer from poor sleep, in particular, this would be a very powerful tool for you.
It is essential that our bodies are safe and protected from EMF at night, in order to adequately sleep and receive the benefits of vital regeneration processes. I truly encourage you to start making the changes above, even if you do sleep well.
To gain further strategies and receive assistance in understanding why sleep is such an important part of your health journey, contact NatMed today to arrange a free scoping session with an experienced practitioner to chat about how we can help to solve your sleep problems and get you sleeping like a baby… completely EMF free.