Making a More Electrically Quiet Sleeping Area
for better sleep and other good effects
Part A: Reduce body voltage (electrical pressure on your body) in bed, due to your household electrical system and other bedroom issues
April complained, “I can’t sleep in this house. I can sleep when I go away, but I can’t sleep here.”
I replied, “Let’s see what the electrical pressure is on your body in bed.”
I got out my simple measuring instrument and discovered that April was trying to sleep with electrical pressure of 18,000 mV (millivolts). I was hoping (but not expecting) to see levels under 20 mV.
18,000! No wonder she couldn’t sleep!
What could be causing such elevated electrical pressure? We soon found out. We unplugged her electric heating pad and then we unplugged a clip-on lamp attached to the headboard. The level of electrical pressure dropped from 18,000 mV to about 250 mV.
The lesson here is that electrical devices plugged in near the bed give off electrical pressure whether they are on or off, and some, maybe all, individuals are sensitive to this pressure. Even though 250 mV is still higher than we wish to see, it was enough of a reduction for April to sleep.
What is electrical pressure?
Another word for electrical pressure is voltage, and since household wiring has alternating current, we were measuring AC voltage. Water pressure is present at the faucet even when the faucet is turned off. In a similar way, the electrical system and electrical devices plugged into it give off electrical pressure, even if the devices are not turned on.
You can take a small instrument known as a voltage sensor and move it towards a lamp plugged in next to the bed. The voltage sensor will start to beep as it gets close to the lamp, whether or not the lamp is turned off. The voltage sensor indicates the invisible pressure coming from the turned off lamp.
Your body acts as an antenna in the bed. Voltage affects your body from anything plugged in next to the bed, as well as from an overhead light and from wiring in the wall. Voltage also affects your body from nearby metal that may be acting as an antenna at your bed. For example, a metal bed frame can act as an antenna and increase the voltage on your body.
Why does voltage affect your body?
Your body is electric. The body’s communication system is the nervous system, and the signals that pass up and down nerves and to the organs and cells are electrical. If electrical signals come to your body from the outside, they can affect the body in assorted ways. April couldn’t sleep in 18,000 mV. June’s five-year-old stopped bed-wetting when the voltage at her bed dropped from 7000 mV to 14 mV. Maybe exposure to excess voltage knocks your immune system down a notch without you being aware of it.
Voltage is just one type of invisible electrical field, but it is a very important type to measure and reduce at the sleeping area so that your body can get a restful night’s sleep, get deep into REM sleep, and have a peaceful environment for repair and growth of the body. In this paper, I will explain how you can measure the AC voltage at your bed and what you can do to greatly reduce it.
While there is no guarantee that you will notice any improvement the first night you sleep with reduced voltage, bear in mind that reducing body voltage to almost zero is a good thing and that your body will in all likelihood experience beneficial long-term effects. From the feedback I’ve gotten, it seems that most people who experience sleep difficulties report improvement in their sleeping once AC electric fields are reduced and once their bodies are grounded to the earth (Part B of this paper). Some report experiencing dreaming again or having more vivid dreams.
How can I measure and reduce body voltage at my bed?
You will need some simple supplies:
Note: As you read further into Part B of this discussion, you may decide to purchase an Earthing sheet, which comes with an outlet (socket) tester.
- Package of alligator clips (Radio Shack) or Gator to Gator Grounding Cords (Cat. #A295-18), 4 at $2 each, from www.lessemf.com.
- Socket tester (www.lessemf.com, Cat. #A452, $14.95) or from Radio Shack, about $5)
- 5-6” piece of stainless steel, copper, or iron pipe from the plumbing department of a home supply store – minimal cost
- Body Voltage Meter from www.lessemf.com, #183N, $89.95Tip: Or, you could use a $25 multimeter from Radio Shack. Put the setting on the AC voltage reading, which would be the first choice on the dial.
- Grounding cord (www.lessemf.com, Plug to Gator Grounding Cord, A295-3, $6)Tip: If your bed has a metal frame, order 2 grounding cords.
- 2′ length of conductive fabric ($4.95 per linear foot, from www.lessemf.com, ) (Cut this in two sections of 2’x 2’ each.)Tip: If your bedroom has no properly wired 3-hole outlet or only 2-hole outlets, then you will also need a length of size 16 or 18 AWG lamp-type wire that is long enough to reach from your meter out a window down to the earth or from your meter to a 3-hole outlet in a bathroom.
If using a ground rod in the earth, you will also need a long screwdriver and a glass of water (unless the earth is damp).You can also purchase a 50’ grounding wire from www.lessemf.com. This would come with a ground rod. (#291-50, $29.95). Or, for $19.95, get A291, a 50’ Banana extension.
How to measure body voltage:
Note: you could make these measurements with a person lying on the bed. However, the instructions are being written using a “body substitute” on the bed, that is, the 2’x 2’ piece of conductive fabric. The fabric will attract voltage the same way as a body would. Numbers won’t be exact, but they are not going to be exact anyway, so a body substitute will work for our measuring purposes. You can always lie down yourself or have someone else lie down on the bed to get actual numbers. Your numbers with the conductive fabric will probably be less than with an actual person lying on the bed.
- Most houses have 3-hole outlets in bedrooms. You must have a properly working 3-hole outlet to follow these instructions. If your home is older, and you only have 2-hole outlets, you can make these measurements, too, but you cannot use your outlets (unless you run a longer wire to a grounded outlet in a bathroom). The alternative to using a 3-hole outlet is to drop the ground wire out a window to a temporary ground rod (such as a large screwdriver or a ground stake from www.lessemf.com.
- Check your 3-hole outlets near the bed with an outlet tester to make sure they are wired properly. Do not use any outlet in this exercise that is not properly wired or that has only 2-holes. An electrician should be called to repair any malfunctioning outlets.
- Once you have identified a properly wired 3-hole outlet, you can use that in this exercise.
- Place the 2 foot piece of conductive fabric on the bed where a person would be sleeping or have someone else lie in the bed.
- Your objective will be to measure the voltage at one piece of the conductive fabric (or person) compared to the voltage in the earth (which we’ll consider zero voltage – but I’ll comment more on that later). To do this, there has to be a wire from the conductive fabric (or person) to the earth, with a meter in between to read the differences in voltage.
- Now take your voltmeter (or multimeter), and observe the two wires that come from it. These wires are called leads. One lead is red, and the other is black. The red lead goes to the conductive fabric (or person) on the bed, and the black lead is grounded to the earth. Let’s position the red lead first.
- Using one set of the alligator clips, connect the metal end of the red lead to the piece of metal pipe. Metal has to touch metal.
- Place the metal pipe on the conductive fabric (or hand it to the person on the bed to hold).
- Next, position the black lead. Pick up the green wire that you got from LessEMF, the one with the alligator clip on one end and the dummy plug on the other. Clip the alligator clip to the metal end of the black lead. Plug the dummy plug into a correctly wired, 3-hole outlet. The plug is a “dummy” because only the grounding prong makes contact in the outlet. The other two prongs don’t make contact with live wires. Their only purpose is to hold steady the grounding prong.The grounding prong connects to the electrical grounding system of your house. The electrical grounding system is in contact with the earth. Using the dummy plug is an easy way to get your earth/ground readings, without throwing a wire out your window and attaching it to a temporary ground rod (screw driver) in the earth.Note: If you have no nearby correctly wired 3-hole outlet, or if your bedroom has only 2-hole ungrounded outlets, then you will have to use a set of alligator clips to attach a longer wire to the black lead, pass the longer wire out the window, extend the longer wire down to the earth, and attach it with another set of alligator clips to the metal part of a screwdriver put in the dirt. Instead of using the house grounding system, you will actually be directly grounding your setup to the earth.Tip: If the dirt is dry, pour a glass of water around the screwdriver (or ground stake) to improve conductivity.
- Okay, now you should have a proper set up. The red lead goes to the body substitute, and the black lead is grounded at the earth (either through the ground hole of a 3-hole outlet or directly outside to the earth). It’s time to see what your body voltage is.
- Turn on the Body Voltage Meter, with the setting on “2V.” If the reading is more than 2V, jump the dial up to the next higher setting. Then get your reading in mV (millivolts). (Move the decimal point three places to the right.)If you are using a RadioShack multimeter, turn the gauge to the reading for “AC V.” you should see a curved line over the V, which stands for alternating current. The reading for AC voltage is the first choice when you turn the gauge. Choose the 2-volt setting, if you have a choice. If the reading is more than 2V, jump the dial up to the next higher setting.
- Tip: Since we want to get down to 20 mV or lower, we are going to be talking in terms of millivolts, not volts. There are 1000 mV in 1 V, so you can think of a 2 V setting as 2000 mV. Move the decimal point 3 places to the right to read millivolts. If your multimeter automatically switches back and forth between mV and V, check the units to see if you have to move the decimal point 3 places to the right or not.
- Tip: If your body voltage turns out to be greater than 2000 mV, you’ll have to jump the meter setting up to the next higher level after 2 V.
- Once the gauge is turned to the AC voltage setting, you will get a number in the meter window. Look at the units after that number. They may be millivolts, in which case, just write down that number. Or, they may be in volts, and then mentally move the decimal point over three places to the right. For example, suppose your reading is 0.749 V, then you would record 749 mV. All our talk is going to be in millivolts, even though an electrician would be more used to talking about volts. For example, the 18,000 mV in our story above would be described by an electrician as 18 V.
- So there you are, you have your initial reading of the voltage that you have been sleeping in. At many bedrooms, I measure an initial reading of hundreds or even a few thousand millivolts. Sometimes, the levels are much higher than that. Now let’s see what preliminary steps you can take to reduce your numbers. Ideally, we want to get the reading under 20 mV.
First steps in reducing body voltages
- Using your voltmeter, get your initial reading. Let’s say the initial reading measures 2,800 mV (millivolts). Our target is to reduce that number to under 20 mV.
- So let’s get started. Unplug all electric devices plugged in behind or near the bed. Record your reading.
- Next, if you have a metal bed frame, ground that. Attach one end of a set of alligator clips to the metal bed frame (not an enameled part) and the other end to a gator clip on the ground lead from the voltmeter. Record the reading.Example:2,800 initial reading in millivolts1,400 after unplugging from outlets near bed
900 after grounding the metal bed frameTaking these steps result in a significant reduction in body voltage. However, we are not yet where we want to be. What else could be contributing to the voltage at the bed?
- The next suspect would be the electric wiring in the walls of your bedroom. We’d all be better off if metal-clad wiring was used, but instead, since plastic insulated wiring is cheaper, electricians use that. Metal-clad wiring (BX cable) would shield for voltage but plastic insulated wiring (ROMEX) does not. Instead of having voltage throughout your house of about 4 mV, you live in voltage of hundreds of mV. Rats.Oh, that’s what we’re missing. Rats. Rats? In NYC, the electric code requires BX cable, because rats eat through plastic wiring. We suburbanites and rural folk suffer from a deficiency in rats. Therefore, we don’t get our AC electric fields shielded for us by BX cable. At least we can reduce our exposure to AC electric fields at our sleeping (and sitting) areas.
The next step: turn off the circuit breaker that governs the wall wiring in your bedroom.
WARNINGS: If you see any water or rusting at your electric box, don’t touch the box. Call a licensed electrician to check it for safety.
- When touching the box for the first time, first brush it with the back of your hand to make sure there will be no shock. Wear rubber-soled shoes or stand on a rubber mat. Touch a circuit breaker with only one hand.
- Sometimes circuit breakers haven’t been turned off or on in decades. Occasionally they might not turn on again after being turned off. An electrician would be needed for a repair. After turning circuit breakers on again, check to make sure your refrigerator/freezer are working.
- If your box is old and has fuses rather than circuit breakers, don’t mess with the fuses. Call a licensed electrician.
- There might be some dangerous wiring that was done by someone who lacked electrical knowledge. The box itself could be electrified. Wear rubber soled shoes and brush the box first with the back of your hand.
Picking up from where we left off….900 mV after unplugging from outlets near the bed and grounding the metal bed frame
- 400 mV after turning off the circuit breaker that affects the wall outlets in your bedroomTip: Turn on a lamp on in your bedroom, so that you know when the bedroom circuit breaker is turned off. If your circuit breakers are not labeled, skip to the next step, where each circuit breaker will be measured.
What to do next for maximum reduction of body voltage and grounding
Well, we’ve made a good reduction, but we’re still pretty far from being under 20 mV. We’d like to be a lot lower, as close to zero as we can get. It’s very possible that another circuit (or more than one) is affecting your sleeping area. So, one by one, you need to check the other circuits in the house. Sometimes a really strange finding is the result. At one house, the circuit from the garbage disposal in the kitchen sink was affecting the bedroom. At another, it was a circuit in the basement that was affecting the second floor bedroom. Go figure.
So now we’re at 400 mV, after you turned off the circuit breaker for the wall outlets in your bedroom. The next step is to leave the house power on but to turn off all circuit breakers.
Tip: First turn off computers and TVs, and, if you have a security system, notify the alarm company that you’ll be working with the electric system for a little while.
After all circuit breakers are turned off, you’ll turn them on, one by one, and get the voltage reading at the bed.
That is, turn off the top left circuit breaker. See what the voltage reading is. Turn that circuit breaker off again, and turn on the second left circuit breaker. Record that voltage. Turn that one off and turn on the third left circuit breaker. And so on, until all circuit breakers have been measured.
L1 – 22 mV (“L1” is the first circuit breaker on the left side of the breaker box.)
L2 – 22 mV
L3 – 44 mV
L4 – 22 mV
L5 – 20 mV
L6 – 320 mV
L7 – 18 mV
R1 – 1,200 mV
R2 – 440 mV
R3 – 22 mV
R4 – 25 mV
R5 – 18 mV
R6 – 22 mV
R7 – 22 mV
Obviously, R1 is the biggest player, followed by R2 and L6. L3 has a little effect.
Here are the next steps:
- Turn on all the circuit breakers. Your initial reading should be back – around 900 mV. Numbers are relative, not exact, so don’t worry about little differences. As I said above, if you move your arm in bed, or turn over, or touch your spouse, your numbers will adjust accordingly, depending on how near or how far your body is from voltage sources.
Let’s summarize where we are:
2800 initial reading with electric devices plugged in as usual, and bed frame not grounded
1400 after unplugging electric devices
900 after grounding the metal bed frame
240 turn off R1 (wall receptacles for your bedroom)
40 plus turn off R2 (overhead light in room below your bedroom)
37 plus turn off L6
35 plus turn off L3
So, L6 and L3 didn’t do much, but you could get significant reduction if you could turn off R1 and R2 at night…or leave them off semi-permanently.
When I measured body voltage at Paul and Roberta’s bed, the readings were 38,000 mV. Roberta said that Paul was a poor sleeper. We went through this exercise. We unplugged from the nearby receptacles. They had a wooden bed frame, so the bed frame didn’t have to be grounded. Paul turned off the circuit breaker that governed the wall outlets in their bedroom. At the end of these steps, the reading still was 38,000 mV! How could that be?
I suggested that Paul turn off the main power switch, to make sure the high reading was due to something in the electric system. He did that, and the reading dropped to 75 mV. There was some circuit that was significantly affecting their bedroom. Paul turned off all the circuit breakers and then we measured the voltage due to each circuit by turning on each circuit breaker, one at a time. That is, the top one on the left was turned on, measured upstairs with the volt meter, and then turned off. Then #2 was turned on, measured, and turned off. Then #3, etc.
Soon we had the answer: it was one of the basement circuits that was affecting their 2nd floor bedroom. They temporarily turned off that circuit breaker until they could call in an electrician to check for wiring errors. Roberta reported that Paul was sleeping better after turning off the basement circuit.
Question: In the example, since 2 circuit breakers had to be turned off to get to 40 mV, does this mean that there are wiring errors in those 2 circuits?
Response: No. Even with circuits wired correctly, there is some voltage from nearby circuits. When there is an unusually high reading, such as with the 35,000 mV in the earlier example, we couldn’t guess whether there were or weren’t other wiring errors. There are folk who specialize in wiring according to the National Electric Code, and those folk are licensed electricians. However, even some licensed electricians aren’t used to tracking down wiring errors, and other wiring errors sometimes are so hard to find that it can be more cost-efficient to run a new circuit and shut down the old circuit.
Question: Practically speaking, how would you even get the reduction to 40 mV? Do you have to live with the two circuit breakers turned off?
Response: First, figure out where the circuits go for the two circuits. Sometimes the circuit breaker governs a circuit in an area not even in use. You could leave such a circuit breaker off semi-permanently. Other times, a circuit breaker governs an essential circuit, such as the kitchen overhead light. In such a case, the first step might be to have an electrician check the connections at the kitchen light, plus other connections on that circuit, to see if there are wiring errors. I won’t go into some of the occasional complications here, other than to say that the first step could be to have an electrician check that all connections are proper and according to the electric code. If more troubleshooting is needed, there are electrical consultants who can come to your home and assist with ferreting out possible wiring issues. Please contact me for a referral, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: Let’s say that there are no wiring errors, what then?
Response: You would have the option of turning off one or more circuit breakers at night to reduce electric fields in your bedroom. Many individuals do this, but for some, this is not an option. Perhaps they cannot negotiate stairs to reach the panel box, or perhaps they have a partner who is not amenable to turning off circuit breakers. If the budget allows, a critical circuit could be rewired to metal-clad cable, which would shield for voltage. Such rewiring could be in a wall cavity, or the new metal-clad wire also could surface-mounted, on the surface of the wall. Or, maybe a sub-panel would be put on the second floor, so that all bedrooms on the second floor could be turned off easily at night. Or, maybe a door switch could turn off all outlets in the bedroom at night. There are various possibilities and options. Some individuals are so electrically sensitive that they want to try whatever it takes so that they can better tolerate the electrical systems in their homes.
Question: What if this sounds like a bit more than I can take on?
Response: Maybe you could turn off at least the worst offender circuit at night? But even if you can’t manage that, and many of my clients can’t, there is something else that you can do which may well improve your quality of sleep and which may be a very good idea, even if you don’t notice any immediate positive results. We’ll talk about that next in Part B, Grounding your Body.
Part B: Grounding your Body
(Note: Part B has some controversy, which will be discussed at the end of this paper.)
Let’s continue the example above. Let’s say you were able to reduce body voltage from 2800 mV to 40 mV through various steps discussed above. The next thing we’ll try is to see what difference it makes if your body is grounded while you are in bed.
Question: What does “grounding your body” mean?
Response: Grounding your body in one sense means the discharge of excess electrons. A common example of grounding is when you walk across the carpet and get a shock when you touch a metal doorknob. Extra electrons that have gathered on your body jump to the metal doorknob as an escape route.
Question: But I don’t get a shock if I touch anything metal in bed.
Response: Right. That brings us to another possible use of being grounded. Grounding may be a two-way street. Not only can excess electrons be discharged into metal, but maybe extra electrons from the earth can pass into your body as needed.
Some electrical engineers think this is magical thinking and a bunch of hooey. They might be right. However, many individuals report good results, including lessening of rheumatoid arthritic pain, that appear to be associated with reduction in inflammation and with increased antioxidants.
Could it be that electrons from the earth are coming through the wiring into the body and acting as anti-inflammagens and antioxidants? We don’t know, but the question is in intriguing. How else do you account for some reduction in inflammation just by grounding and reduction in body voltage? Well, whatever the mechanism and explanation, we welcome anything that helps people, and grounding the body seems to help many people.
One hypothesis about how being grounded helps the body is that the Earth is a storehouse of electrons from the thousands of lightning strikes each day. Humans for untold millennia walked either barefoot or walked in leather shoes, which grounded them. The natural state for human beings is to be grounded, and if this hypothesis is true about our bodies needing extra electrons, humans up to the last few “rubberized” decades were in contact continually with the earth and its electrons. Maybe we are being harmed by no longer having such contact. Maybe it is not only the fresh air, saltwater, and ions that make us feel so good at the beach, but also the fact that we are grounded as we walk in bare feet and have skin contact with sand and the Earth.
Welcome to “Earthing”
We are energy beings. The concept of being grounded, in contact with Earth’s energy, is found in yoga, tai chi, and other Eastern meditative practices. You and I are just applying this same grounding principle in a measurable way. We’re not doing yoga but rather using a grounding sheet to connect us with Earth’s energy.
In part A, we did what we could to measure and reduce body voltage readings due to the household electrical system, electrical devices, and metal bed frames. In part B, we are adding to that by grounding our bodies and seeing what difference that makes.
Clint Ober is one of the pioneers in this field, offering products that ground you, running a website with testimonials from those helped by being grounded, and promoting research to substantiate various health effects from being grounded. His book, co-authored with Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., and Martin Zucker, is Earthing – The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?, with a forward by James L. Oschman, Ph.D., author of Energy Medicine: Scientific Basis.
Working from both testimonials and limited research, Ober offers the hypothesis that being grounded is healthful and allows the entrance of electrons that are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory to the body. Many individuals not only report improved sleep, but also more energy, better mental focus, less pain, reduction in rheumatoid symptoms, faster recovery after injury and physical exertion, cessation of feelings of exhaustion, more dreams, more vivid dreams, cessation of bed-wetting, etc. Many testimonials are found on his website, www.earthing.com. Information on research results, such as the realignment of natural cortisol rhythms, is found in the Earthing book. More is presented at the website, www.earthinginstitute.net.
And happily, being grounded also helps us to reduce body voltage at the bed. Let’s get back to our hypothetical example from above:
2,800 mV – initial reading
1,400 mV – unplug electric devices,
900 mV – ground metal bed frame
40 mV – turn off 2 circuit breakers
2 mV – add on a grounded Earthing sheet
2,800 mV reduced 99.9% to 2 mV? A body voltage of 2 mV when you’re sleeping? Amazing! That seems unbelievable – yet this is a common result when we set out to reduce body voltage.
But what if you can’t turn off any circuit breakers at night? What difference would just use of a grounded Earthing sheet make? Let’s see, hypothetically.
2,800 – intial reading
1,400 – unplug electric devices
900 – ground metal bed frame
80 – with grounded Earthing sheet
135 – unground the metal bed frame
150 – plug in electric devices
In other words, if you could at least not plug anything in at the outlets near the bed and ground the bed frame, you can get a reduction to 80 mV, even without turning off any circuit breakers. That’s not our target but still a lot better than 2,800 mV.
Even if you did nothing – still had your lights plugged in and the bed frame ungrounded – you could still get a huge reduction from 2,800 mV to 150 mV – just by being grounded at night!
150 mV is not as low as we’d like, but it’s still a whole lot better than 2,800 mV. Some individuals sleep better even at 150 mV. You do the best you can.
Here’s how to install an Earthing sheet at your bed:
Tip: There MUST be skin-Earthing contact. If you like to sleep in a cold bedroom and bundle up at night, purchase an Earthing pillowcase. If you like to sleep in the altogether, you could get an Earthing sheet, or a half-sheet, or even an Earthing recovery sack (like a sleeping bag).
- Go to www.earthing.com and review the products. Let’s say you have decided on a fitted bottom sheet. These sheets are cotton, interwoven with conductive silver threads. They come with a white grounding wire that fits into the ground hole of a properly wired 3-hole outlet. They are washable (delicate cycle, warm water).
- Put the sheet on your bed. Attach the grounding wire at the sheet and at the outlet. Sleep. That’s all there is to it. There are all sorts of responses to the Earthing sheet. Sometimes individuals have been so sleep-deprived that it can take weeks or a few months to finally have the level of exhaustion lift.I bought the half-sheet, so I use it wrapped around the bed during hot weather and over my pillow during cold weather when the room is cold and I’m bundled up. The half-sheet is very wide, wide enough to be tucked in for a king-sized bed.Tip: Check out the monthly specials at www.earthing.com. I use a grounding wrist-band at my computer. Other grounding products are listed at the website, www.lessemf.com. I bought the ground strap for my car and have a grounding wrist-band attached to the metal chassis under the driver’s seat. LessEmf and RadioShack sell anti-static wrist bands for under $10. LessEMF (www.lessEMF.com) sells conductive fabric at a fraction of the cost for Earthing products, but it is doubtful that there is a resister built in the green conductive clip/plug that you’d need with it. You can buy a resister (to be discussed below) at www.lessemf.com (In-line fuse holder, #286, $4.95).
CAUTION: Sometimes even though an outlet tests ok with an outlet tester, there still is not a good connection to the grounding. That’s why I always recommend checking body voltage readings with a voltmeter after setting up the Earthing sheet. At one house recently, the first 2 bedroom outlets did not show any reduction with the Earthing sheet, but at the 3rd outlet, the reading went way down. All 3 outlets tested fine with the outlet tester.
Washing the Earthing sheet
The company says it can be washed in warm or cold water with a mild detergent and then dried on delicate cycle. Some complaints are listed on Amazon, however, that the sheet became damaged and stopped working (when monitored with a voltmeter) – and that the company was not keen on replacing it. I see that the fabric has changed with the new products, so I’m assuming this complaint was addressed. Still, it’s a good to check the body voltage with a voltmeter from time to time.
For me, assuming this Earthing concept is valid (spend time at www.earthinginstitute.org), maybe the company is doing the best it can with the product. I’d rather celebrate the product and be cautious about expecting perfection with the durability or with the company representatives.
Expanding the Earthing concept
You can follow the same measuring instructions at a computer or reading chair. We may do well to be grounded a good part of each day. One colleague, a yoga teacher, lies on the earth for 20 minutes each day, weather permitting.
Controversy: Safety concerns with Earthing
There are safety concerns with using a phone or a computer during an electric storm, and there are safety concerns with using the Earthing sheet during an electric storm. What if the house is hit by lightning? Could that lightning be reflected at the Earthing sheet? Potentially, yes. The Earthing company has built in a resistor to each of its Earthing sheets but they also recommend unplugging the Earthing sheet during an electric storm.
Should you dismiss the Earthing sheet because of concerns about lightning? But what if you are sleeping better with an Earthing sheet and don’t want to give it up? You may have balance better sleep against a small risk factor for lightning and make your decision based on that. Grounding the Earthing sheet to the earth outside instead of to the ground hole of an outlet may reduce the risk further.
Another concern is that of “dirty electricity.” We’ve been talking about using the electrical grounding system as an Earthing ground. What if there is some electricity flowing on the grounding system that shouldn’t be there? Would this electricity be reflected back onto the Earthing sheet? The company puts in a resistor for each sheet to minimize the chance of this happening.
Also, you can gauge whether there is dirty electricity on your grounding system. Here’s how: Adjust a cheap radio between stations so that there is static. As you pass the radio back and forth in front of the receptacle, see if the static increases. If it doesn’t, there probably is little concern with dirty electricity.
Question: Maybe I’ll just use a ground rod in the dirt to avoid this dirty electricity question.
Response: You may need to do that. Still, that may not totally avoid the question. We assume that our electricity returns to the power plant through wire, but that isn’t accurate. The electricity leaves our house through a wire and travels down the road, but sooner or later, that wire turns downward into the earth. The return path of the electricity is through the Earth, not through a wire. Thus, because of the design of the electrical system in this country, there is no “ground zero.” There is the potential for dirty electricity in the earth, too.
For these reasons, an electrical engineer colleague is ambivalent about the Earthing concept, though he recently told me that a client of his was encouraging him to recommend Earthing. The client reported that he had been using a sheet for a few years and that his arthritis was gone. In fact, he was working on getting his children and grandchildren to use Earthing.
My philosophy is to give my clients the choice of what they want to do after I disclose the concerns about being grounded. I sleep better and am willing to accept the small but potentially significant risk. Earthing appears to have taken the edge of exhaustion for me, and I have more energy consequently. Others may not want to accept the risk even though they might sleep better with Earthing.
My electrical engineering colleague recently pointed out that if you don’t also reduce house voltage at your bed, then that voltage could pass through your body, so he advised doing both – reducing house voltage plus using the Earthing sheet. The feedback I get is that Earthing works even in situations where clients can’t turn off circuit breakers. Of course, maybe their results would be even better if they could.
AC voltage is just one type of electromagnetic fields at the bed. There are others that should be considered. Please review the EMF tab at www.createyourhealthyhome.com.
The last word, from someone who read this paper:
“May, I just finished reading your paper, and it is more exciting to me than you can imagine. I would like to share these few thoughts. 10-12 years ago I suffered from an autoimmune condition and when the pain would get unbearable I would go to certain places and lie on the earth for 30-60 minutes. Each time I would get up pain-free. As an energy therapist I have to be barefoot when I am working or my feet get extremely hot. At times my work seems to make me “sick” and I need to stop for awhile.
Your words certainly point me in a clearer direction. Maybe I need to be grounded while working. Thank you for getting my mind working in a clearer fashion. I am excited about exploring and testing some related areas.” – AL
Surprising research results
Because of the difficulty in measurements, few field studies have been conducted on electric fields. One of these happened to be a large Canadian epidemiological study on the employees of the Ontario Hydro hydroelectric company.
Cancer rates of employees exposed to magnetic fields were compared with those of employees exposed to magnetic and electric fields. For the employees exposed to magnetic fields only, the risk of cancer was 1.6 times the rate expected. This is almost a borderline number and points to only a slight effect of magnetic fields on cancer rates.
However, in the group exposed to both magnetic fields and electric fields, the researchers at the University of Toronto found cancer rates that were up to eleven times the expected rate. Could it be that electric fields are more biologically significant than magnetic fields?
Dr. Anthony Miller, lead author of the Toronto paper, stated: “Up until now, people have tended to pursue the notion that any cancer effects were likely to be from magnetic fields…However, this study suggests that electric fields are potentially critical to cancer risk.” (Microwave News, Vol. XVI No. 4, July/August 1996, p. 1.)
With such dramatic results as this study showed, it seems prudent to measure electric fields and reduce them where we can – certainly at every child’s bed. Would that each home were wired with BX cable, like in NYC, too.
Note: Please note that we don’t know how the human exposure to electric fields measured in the Canadian hydroelectric study compares with the electric fields at our beds and homes.
Return to the Electromagnetics tab.