Have you been finding it progressively more challenging to sleep at night as the years go on? Most people chalk it up as a part of getting older with the stress of added responsibilities. Still, it could also very well be the increasingly high amount of time we spend around wireless technology.
It’s common knowledge that our usage of wireless devices can affect our sleep cycle; simply spending 30 minutes before bed without staring at an electronic screen can significantly improve sleep quality due to lower blue light exposure.
But our wireless devices and technologies can disrupt our sleep cycle in other ways, mainly through the electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) that they produce even when not in active use.
What Are EMFs?
EMFs, or electromagnetic fields, are a combination of invisible electric and magnetic fields usually found in any device that carries electrical current, such as electronics and medical devices.
While EMFs are not visible to the naked eye, it is a regular part of modern life due to how much electricity we use. Familiar sources of EMFs include:
- Power lines
- Mobile television
- Microwave ovens
- Communication towers
- Wi-Fi routers
- Portable radios
- Handheld devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops)
- Medical devices (X-rays and MRI machines)
What Are The Side Effects Of EMF Exposure?
EMFs are non-ionising radiation, meaning they don’t have sufficient energy to immediately cause lasting harm to the atomic structure or damage our DNA (unlike ionising radiation).
However, the above statement is only valid because short-term exposure to non-ionising radiation is relatively harmless. Given the near-constant state of EMF exposure that we experience daily, whether or not EMFs are harmful to humans at our current level of exposure has yet to be sufficiently researched.
While the scientific community has yet to reach a consensus on the safety of long-term EMF exposure, some people may find themselves more susceptible to side effects of EMFs, in what the World Health Organisation calls electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
Side effects caused by electromagnetic hypersensitivity include:
- Dermatological conditions (redness, tingling or burning sensations)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Heart palpitations
- Digestive issues
Of course, not everyone will suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity, but there’s no harm in taking preventive measures regarding EMFs.
How Can EMF Exposure Affect Sleep Quality?
The main reason why EMFs can negatively affect our sleep quality is due to their interference with melatonin production in the body, namely disruptions in pineal melatonin production rhythm in the body, which are explored in the research papers here and here.
Melatonin is a hormone that our bodies produce to regulate our circadian rhythm (internal clock) and sleep, so disruptions in melatonin production can wildly throw our sleep cycle out of order.
As for whether or not exposure to EMFs can affect sleep quality, there has been considerable research done on the topic.
A study published by the Nature and Science of Sleep journal concluded that having your mobile phone near your pillow while sleeping positive correlates with daytime sleepiness, sleep disturbances, and increased sleep latency.
Another study shows a positive correlation between occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency EMFs and sleep quality.
Given the information above, it’s safe to say that some evidence suggests a correlation between EMF exposure and worsening sleep quality.
How Can I Protect Myself From EMFs When I Sleep?
Sleeping is perhaps the most effortless time to remove EMF sources from your life, as it’s doubtful you’ll need access to your devices while you’re asleep!
If you can, try and remove unnecessary wireless devices from your bedroom, and make sure to have your home Wi-Fi router off if not in use. It would be best if you also had your wireless devices on aeroplane mode while you sleep, preventing them from transmitting any signals even while idle.
Suppose you cannot remove all EMF sources before you sleep (such as the Wi-Fi router in a shared apartment). In that case, you can invest in EMF-shielding items such as an EMF protection blanket to reduce the effects of electromagnetic frequencies while you sleep.
For a more in-depth look at how you can reduce your radiation exposure, our guide on minimising radiation exposure should help.
If you’re looking to purchase high-quality, anti-EMF apparel to protect you from EMFs while you sleep, look no further than Radia Smart. We make our anti-EMF items out of EMF radiation protection fabric, which can keep you safe from 5G signals and other forms of non-ionising radiation at 99.9% efficiency. Visit our storefront today!