According to the Science Direct database, more than 1000 research papers were published on the influence of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on living organisms as recently as 2013.
This as scientists, activists, and politicians seek to secure a firmer handle on the impact that current technologies have in our modern lives.
Do You Need to Reduce EMF’s In Your Bedroom? The initial answer to that question is NO. The keyword in that context being NEED. You might WANT to but you do not actually NEED to reduce EMF in the bedroom.
Do You Need to Reduce EMF’s in the Bedroom?
A research paper published by scientists Grzegorz Redlarski, Bogdan Lewczuk, Arkadiusz Żak, Andrzej Koncicki, Marek Krawczuk, Janusz Piechocki, Kazimierz Jakubiuk, Piotr Tojza, Jacek Jaworski, Dominik Ambroziak, Łukasz Skarbek and Dawid Gradolewski in 2015 firmly established that the modern technologies of which we speak have become a primary source of electromagnetic pollution.
That impacts us in our places of work, in our homes and more specifically in our bedrooms. The jury is out on just how great that impact is and whether individuals actually need to do something about it.
What Are EMFs?
Electromagnetic Fields are a by-product of electric fields and magnetic fields. The World Health Organisation (WHO) – which has a particularly vested interest in this subject – explains that electric fields are created by differences in voltage, while magnetic fields are created when an electric current flows.
Wow, that is a considerable amount to take in, so let us attempt to break it down a little. So, the strength of an electric field is determined by the height of the voltage. That is to say, the higher the voltage, the stronger the electric field will be.
A similar case presents itself for magnetic fields, where a greater current ultimately means you will have a stronger magnetic field.
This is a considerable amount of scientific jargon – a bit too much to consume during your recreational time. However, it is becoming an increasingly important conversation to have as EMFs begin to have a bigger impact on our daily and personal lives.
A 2015 scientific paper has actually revealed that modern technology has become a source of electromagnetic pollution much greater than anything produced by natural sources of electromagnetic fields and radiation.
Climate change has become all the rage for the world’s population and the public. Along with the media they have reacted to that with a significant purpose.
However, EMFs are actually the burning (pun intended) issue right now as global authorities grapple with the prospects of the world’s population becoming more unhealthy because of it in the short-term.
The glaring reality is that EMFs are all around us – probably more than love (we stole that from Love Actually). As we have hinted above, there are two main sources. The major sources of EMFs can either be man-made or natural sources.
A common example of a natural source for an electric field is something like a thunderstorm – of which the electric fields cause lightning to jump across our skies. As we all know, that can be quite a spectacle.
Meanwhile, a man-made example of an electric field source is something as simple as the fluorescent lighting on our streets. As we all already know, there is tremendous exposure to that in our homes and even in our bedrooms.
Then there are magnetic fields. The earth’s magnetic field is an obvious example of a natural source, which not only helps birds and fish navigate their way around the planet during migration but it also helped humans after they established that the compass needle always points north.
Okay, so we are still wondering why so many people care about this EMF subject. Well, it is simple. So many sources of EMFs exist in the comfort of our living rooms, our bathrooms, and our bedrooms.
A glaring example is the hi-fi system, which features in so many of our lives. There is probably a case to be made that there are those among us who cannot live without one of those systems.
In that hi-fi system, you will have a voltage which then drives an electric current. The result of that is a magnetic field which essentially produces the sound that comes from the speakers of the hi-fi system in question.
EMFs and Sleep Disorders
While proving anything about the relationship between EMFs and your health is proving to be an epic nightmare for researchers, the investigations into the possible connection between aches, pains, headaches, depression, lethargy, sleeping disorders, and EMFs is still ongoing.
Those investigations are being spearheaded by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
There have been some reports – although seldom substantial – that individuals can be hypersensitive to electromagnetic fields or EMFs, which could contribute to a sleep disorder or depression that might be associated with a sleep disorder.
Among the main issues, researchers are faced with is that if there is an inconsistency in the results produced by studies. The reactions to EMF exposure have not produced any irrefutable evidence yet. They are likely never to in our lifetime.
In addition, finding a suitable method to prove this connection with EMFs is also proving deeply problematic, although the researchers keep trying to learn more about the subject. That said, most of the effort is being spent on trying to establish a connection between EMFs and cancer these days. There is more on that later in this blog post.
How EMFs Affect You?
Now, this is the question that so many researchers and global bodies are trying to grapple with daily. Among those institutions is the European Commission, which is actually trying to position itself as a leader in this field (another intended pun) of research.
The first reality we have to come to terms with is that the technological explosion we witnessed in the 20th century was merely the tip of the iceberg. The innovative technologies we have already experienced in the 21st century strongly suggest that there is only going to be more of this throughout the next 80 years.
It is a reality we cannot turn a blind eye to and if we are going to be truly honest with ourselves, it is a reality we should actually embrace. After all, it is about the advancement of mankind.
However, the experts believe that at the very least the developments of the 21st century need to be managed in a way that limits the health risks posed to mankind.
More than a billion people use mobile phones around the world today. Increasing numbers of humans have access to microwave ovens, hairdryers, electricity in general remotes, hi-fi systems, radios, tablets, and computers. All of those things produce their own electromagnetic fields. Man-made electromagnetic fields.
When we are out of our homes, we use trains, trams, power cables running everywhere and radio frequencies. All of that has exposed us to electromagnetic fields, even though that would ordinarily be on a small scale.
The problem with all of those things – and others – is that there is not compelling enough evidence to suggest that any of them have a material impact on our daily lives. However, there is an increasingly popular view that at the very least there is a long-term consideration to be had.
How Do EMFs Impact Your Health?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) provides a useful summary of what actually happens when you are exposed to electromagnetic fields. It is obviously their job to conduct studies on this but the fact they are leading research in this particular field speaks to the urgency with which the matter at hand is being treated.
As we have already pointed out earlier in this blog post, there is actually nothing new about EMFs, especially of the man-made kind. The exposure to EMFs has merely been significantly accelerated during the first two decades of the 21st century.
There is an argument to be made that because humans have already been exposed to EMFs for such an extended period – without there being any form of extinction – the warnings about its impact are being grossly exaggerated.
Experts Struggle for Evidence of EMF Impact on Health
Bodies like the WHO (we also mentioned to the European Commission earlier on these blog pages) are trying to establish a firmer handle on the subject matter. Some of their research findings have been more compelling than others.
The first thing worth knowing, perhaps, is that there are electric currents running through our bodies already, before any form of exposure to electric fields or electromagnetic fields for that matter.
It is a basic and normal bodily function. In addition to that, the majority of the electric fields that the human body is exposed to are low frequency. We are talking about things that always make the conversation – like hairdryers, microwaves and mobile phones.
The impact those low-frequency fields have on the human body is no different to the impact the electromagnetic fields would have on any other material made up of charged particles. Currents flow through the body as a result.
However, it is worth noting that neither of those low-frequency exposures is ever enough for something like an electric shock or anything like it. As we live in an increasingly developed world, power lines have become somewhat of a staple in our lives.
You just can’t avoid them or the towers that house them. They are everywhere. Even while standing directly under one of these towers or lines, the impact it has on the human body is minimal – if we are comparing this kind of thing to electric shock.
That is why researchers spend so much time digging deeper for answers on this subject because, on the face of it, life just goes on.
A key feature that remains a by-product of EMFs is heating. However, the low-frequency EMFs that the human body is exposed to only produce a level of heating that is comfortably below the body threshold.
So, the key is understanding whether there is any impact on human health if and when this threshold is not reached. There is no compelling evidence, whatsoever, to confirm what researchers are looking for, whether that be in the short or long term.
The investigations are ongoing but there is still a strong suspicion, among the learned in our midst, that there will still be a compelling case on the long-term health effects in the foreseeable future.
The scientists do point out that the biological effects of EMFs are very real indeed. However, it does not necessarily stand to reason that those biological effects will have an adverse effect on health.
People often take for granted just how sophisticated the human body and its mechanisms are.
More often than not humans have been adequately equipped to deal with and adjust to the EMFs they encounter in their immediate environments, including the bedroom.
So, even if the EMFs are proven to have biological effects on the human body, it does not mean health will deteriorate to a significant extent. Despite the evidence being so slender, the reporting on the possibility of a health impact continues to intensify. Authorities are determined to fill those gaps.
What has piqued researcher interest though is that they have managed to attribute some lower-level symptoms to EMF exposure. Those include but are not limited to headaches, anxiety, suicide and depression, nausea, fatigue, and loss of libido.
However, once again securing a link between all of the symptoms can be – and has proven to be – a rather strenuous business for the scientific brains that exist out there.
EMFs and Pregnancy
One area that remains of major concern is the possible impact of EMFs on pregnancy. That still has everybody’s attention and probably with good reason. However, what does the WHO have to say about that?
Well, the WHO has investigated this one at great length too and the findings have not been at all compelling either. They have looked at things like exposure to computer screens, waterbeds and electric blankets, radiofrequency welding machines, diathermy equipment, and even radar.
They were attempting to establish if any of the following were possible as a result of that low-level EMF exposure: spontaneous abortions, malformations, low birth weight, and congenital diseases.
After all of that effort, they got nothing- so far!
There are some reports about premature birth and low birth weight but the weight of the evidence itself simply hasn’t been enough.
EMFs and the Impact on Your Eyes
As we all already know, it does not take a considerable amount to irritate the eyes. A little wind, some accompanying dust or a flicker of light. However, there are occasional murmurs that the exposure to EMFs in environments that expose individuals to high levels of radiation and even radiofrequency has contributed to the development of cataracts.
Again, in an attempt to be absolutely certain on this matter, WHO researchers have opted to err on the side of caution and not make any definitive findings on this subject either. The issue once again has been that the evidence was simply too slender.
Mobile Phones and EMFs
While there probably needs to be an acknowledgment that there is somewhat of an obsession about mobile phones and the electromagnetic fields that they generate, one also cannot ignore they have probably also become the most prominent feature of our daily lives.
When we are home and preparing to sleep at night, we are able to avoid – to varying degrees – many of the EMF sources in our lives. However, the mobile phones tend to follow us not only into our bedrooms but into our beds too.
We might not want to openly admit it right now but texting and video calling are addictions that now drag well into the night. In many of our other posts on these blog pages, we have made reference to matters that impact adversely on sleep.
They include things like sleep latency and sleep efficiency. Both of those are adversely affected by our late-night exposure to mobile phones. It is straightforward really if you are texting with a friend or partner until midnight, you are probably not recording the kind of quality sleep that you need to perform at the optimum level the next day.
The exposure to the lighting on those phones does not advance your sleep cause either.
However, we will not dwell on those aspects for too long. There are bigger issues at play here and they have to do with EMF.
The one thing that has become all too common is that of falling asleep while texting or even just watching a video on your phone.
You spend the next few hours of your sleep period lying on that phone, whether that be with your face or any other part of the human anatomy. That is tremendous exposure to EMFs, which undoubtedly increases your health risks.
So, there is now even a debate that centers on whether you should have that phone in your room at all. That is something which has been interrogated at great length by the European Commission, among others.
They have tried to establish if the use of mobile phones promotes chemical carcinogens.
The word carcinogen is the second scariest C word out there, after Cancer – which is directly associated with it. The link between mobile phones and cancer has often been made and that chorus is now getting louder. However, it must be noted that the studies remain inconclusive.
Firstly, we have already established that mobile phones generate and transmit EMFs. That is a given. We have also established that the EMFs transmitted by mobile phones aren’t that big and should not be that significant – although that is now partly an outdated view.
Thirdly – and perhaps most significantly – it is now becoming increasingly apparent that the users of those mobile phones actually absorb some of the energy from those EMFs. This is not a dance.
So much of what is important in the human body is controlled from the head and that is where we probably hold our phones the most. That is why people are growing increasingly concerned.
How to Reduce EMFs?
We have spent a long time on this blog post rattling on about something that no scientists and researchers can really prove at this juncture. Is there a connection between low-frequency EMFs and deteriorating health? The answer to that question is a vehement no according to studies undertaken to date.
However, that does not mean we can’t take precautions and among those precautions is the proposed reduction of EMFs, even though the subject is now being turned into a “political football”.
It is important to consume everything that you read with a truckload of salt because of it, including this blog post.
So long as there is uncertainty, there is probably a need to take some precautions and this is what the experts believe you can do.
Taking these precautions affords scientists and researchers the much needed time to learn more on the subject matter. The proverbial two birds with one stone.
The first one is mainly for the politicians and authorities but remains important nevertheless. The United Nations advises that meaningful barriers be placed around strong electromagnetic field sources. That is to prevent people from entering these zones and exposing themselves unnecessarily.
The next one is also for the politicians but the public is entitled to express its voice on this subject too. The recommendation is that the public is consulted on where new power lines are going to be erected.
The same principle would also need to apply for the construction and erection of new mobile phone bases.
More often than not people do tend to get caught up in the aesthetics but it is important for everybody involved to consider that having those EMF sources presents some level of risk and the public is once again well within its rights to express its wishes on the subject.
Final Thoughts – Do You Need to Reduce EMF’s In Your Bedroom?
Wow, what a lot to digest. I truly believe, as in all aspects of life, common sense should prevail. Waiting on studies to be compiled usually involves recordings, including health issues.
Our ancestors did not sleep with their clunky telephone box beside there heads waiting to be updated. Nor did they sleep with the television on in their bedrooms.
Early to sleep and early to rise to milk the cows and tend to pastures to proved what was required to survive.
It can’t hurt to keep devices out of the bedroom.
As always here’s to better sleep!