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An Unsuspecting Link to Sleep Deprivation and Stress

Science suggests both wired and wireless links to sleep deprivation and stress.

Key points

  • Over 70 million Americans experience sleep disturbances; 30 percent suffer insomnia.
  • Electromagnetic field radiation (EMF) has been linked to poor sleep quality and stress.
  • High EMFs in the home sabotage efforts to make it a sanctuary and a place for rest.
  • Reducing electro-pollution is the biggest little-known secret to a good night's rest and wellness.
Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels
What's Really Keeping You Up At Night and Stress Out?
Source: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Sleep is one of the most important factors in self-care, productivity, and human performance. However, according to the American Sleep Association, some 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder.

About 30 percent of adults experience insomnia, the most common type of sleep disorder, short-term and 10 percent suffer from it long-term. Science suggests both wired and wireless links to sleep deprivation and stress.

Most people overlook what I call "The E-Factor" when exploring the cause of restless nights, stress, a decline in fruitfulness, the inability to focus, and other human performance issues. "The E-Factor" refers to environmental factors like electricity, electromagnetic field radiation (EMF), the electro-pollution they produce, and their effects on physical and mental performance.

Electro-pollution is colorless, odorless, and invisible radiation (energy) or electromagnetic waves which has both an electric and magnetic field that travels from a source (i.e., a WiFi router) through space or the environment (i.e., your home or workplace), moving subatomic particles (i.e., light in the body) at the speed of light.

It directly affects the human body's electric and biochemical responses. Sleeping with electrical or EMF radiation-emitting devices within proximity of you disrupts and changes your sleep cycle. Prolonged EMF and electrical radiation-related sleep disturbances can lead to chronic diseases.

Sources of EMF radiation include cell phones, laptops, computers, iPods, tablets, appliances, smart devices, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, power lines, appliances, and everything else that uses electricity or makes wireless connections. Home wiring and electricity powered by power lines are a source of electrical radiation. Excessive amounts can sabotage your efforts to make your home a sanctuary and a place of rest.

From hormones like melatonin to chemistry and the body's electrical system, EMF radiation can lead to imbalances that affect how you think, feel, and perform. Sleep is disturbed due to the pineal gland's interpretation of radiation as light and therefore interferes with the creation of melatonin ("the sleep hormone"). EMF radiation also affects when you wake up due to disruptions in circadian rhythms.

According to two times, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and the author of Body Electric, Robert O. Becker, the body's total living environment is the earth's EMF. Earth's magnetic field is a range of natural electric and magnetic waves extending from its core into space.

That's important to understand because all of the technology we use emits man-made or artificial electromagnetic waves of energy. In excess, it becomes a form of pollution called electro-pollution. It's harmful because the body's cells interpret it as normal, even though it is very different from the natural EMFs in which it evolved.

I had the joy of interviewing a physician-epidemiologist specializing in public health and the author of Dirty Electricity, Sam Milham, M.D., during my "Our Invisible World" series on my Strong Lives podcast. He talked about the 30-plus years of research he conducted about the effects of high frequencies and electromagnetic interferences in electricity ("dirty electricity") in homes and workplaces. He found that it was the cause of sleep disturbances, most diseases, including cancer, and death.

Since the body is electrified by nature and, therefore, has its electromagnetism, scientists make the case that it, and other living things, is extremely sensitive to environmental EMF radiation. Research shows that excessive amounts of electro-pollution, a by-product of EMF radiation, can overwhelm the mind and body, leading to sleep disturbances. Consequently, poor sleep quality is a significant stress factor.

Smart desks and conference rooms, multi-device keyboards, smart thermostats, smart meters, voice-based artificial intelligence-powered digital assistants like Alexa, smart homes, computers, and other technology all emit EMF radiation and have become an integral part of daily home and work life.

Research shows that long-term occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency EMFs lead to depression, stress, anxiety, and the ability to rest well. ). However, too few people make a connection between EMFs, the quality of rest that they get, and stress.

You're surrounded by a tsunami of invisible EMF waves of energy 24/7. Although electro-pollution escapes the normal human senses, and, therefore, its physiological effects are often undetected, research about its hazards can't be ignored. To live a strong life and realize your fullest human potential, it's important to understand both the benefits and the risks of using technology and electricity.

Reducing electro-pollution in the home and workplace is the biggest little-known secret to improving sleep quality and wellness. Since technology and the electricity that fuels it are here to stay, the following tips are a few ways to get a better night's sleep:

  1. The first line of defense entails lowering exposure as much as possible. That can be accomplished by increasing the distance between your body and EMF (electromagnetic fields) emitting devices that cause electro-pollution, opting for hands-free use of your cell phone when possible, and putting your laptop and phone in airplane mode when not in use.
  2. Secondly, mitigate the effects of radiation by harmonizing the EMF in your environment. That can be done by using whole house EMF filters, replacing florescent lighting, which transfers current to the body just by being in a room that's lit with them, with incandescent light bulbs, and replacing as many wireless forms of connection to wired, i.e., keyboards, computer mice, and ethernet vs. WiFi.
  3. Replace your alarm clock with a battery-operated analog one. Most people use their cell phones to wake them up in the mornings; however, they emit a significant amount of radiation 24/7 at the rates of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
  4. Remove any electronics from your bedroom. The adverse effects of using electronics due to the blue light that they emit, a visible source of disturbance, before bedtime is well documented. However, not enough attention is given to the invisible sources of interference with sleep, like the radiation that electronics of all types emit.
  5. Invest in a 3-axis EMF meter like the Tri-Field TF2 to measure all three electromagnetic fields (electric, magnetic, and radio) in your environment. Just as a thermometer is used to measure the body's temperature abnormalities, an EMF meter detects the various fields of radiation in an area. It provides measurements placed in categories of safety ranging from normal to avoid exposure.
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