Think about what your bedroom environment looks like you may have a digital clock, TV, your mobile charging next to your bed, a wireless home phone and possibly a wireless modem router (or do you keep your Wi-Fi switched on all night?). Does this sound familiar? If you have answered yes to any of these then perhaps you are unknowing affecting your sleep just by keeping these in your bedroom while you are in bed at night.
All of the items listed above are sources of electromagnetic radiation and if they are located within 2 meters of your body then they will be affecting your body.
So how do these items affect our sleep?
Electromagnetic radiation sources affect melatonin levels in our body. Melatonin is the main hormone that controls your circadian rhythm (also known as our body clock). Melatonin is secreted by our pineal gland (found in the brain) in response to darkness at night and is reduced in response to light.
Numerous studies have reported that long term exposure to electromagnetic fields can affect melatonin receptors (particularly MT1) therefore reducing the production of melatonin in our body. This can in turn affect our sleep cycles and potentially result with insomnia. This can then result in anxiety, mood and behaviour problems due to sleep deprivation. Melatonin is also a potent antioxidant within the body (as it supports the glutathione peroxidise to reduce free radicals) and reduces oxidative stress.
What’s the solution? We need to apply the precautionary principle!
Replace the alarm clock with a battery powered one or if you use your phone keep your phone just outside your bedroom to ensure it is well away from your head.
Switch off your Wi-Fi modem at night (if it is in your bedroom move it into another room where no one is sleeping).
Remove the electronic items out of the bedroom or at the very least 2 meters away from your body.
For more information on reducing your electromagnetic radiation exposure please visit the ‘Healthy Home Expert’ website.
Barrenetxe J1, Delagrange P, Martínez JA.2004 “Physiological and metabolic functions of melatonin”. J Physiol Biochem. Mar;60(1):61-72.
Bijlsma, N. 2015 “Wireless Technology as sea of radiation” Healthmasters Live notes, March.