Angie Nicolucci is a Certified Sleep Science Coach, Spiritual Psychologist, and a Building Biology Environmental Consultant and Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist-in-training with the Building Biology Institute. She is the owner of Uplifting Spaces and a guest blog contributor to SAMINA Sleep.
Let me ask you a question. Do you smoke in bed at night?
I’m assuming you answered no. However, what if I told you that sleeping with your cell phone next to you at night could be just as harmful as smoking?
If you’ve not thought about this before, it may seem odd to consider. You can’t smell, see, or hear what the cell phone is emitting, so nothing is going on, right? Actually, something is going on, and in the words of Lionel Richie, it’s happening all night long, all night…
Imagine you are working in a 1960’s Mad Men-type office that is filled with smoke every day. After a long, stressful day, you walk through the front door into a home and bedroom filled with smoke. Your body doesn’t have a break to heal and regenerate during sleep because of the constant exposure to the smoke. This is basically our reality, however instead of smoke, it’s the radiation from cell phones and towers, WIFI, Bluetooth, smart meters, and other smart devices. The Marlborough Man has been swapped for the guy on the Verizon commercial. Can you hear me now?
Bottom line, it’s time to rethink the health consequences from wireless technology, especially in the bedroom.
According to the 2012 Bioinitiative Report, a compendium of global scientific studies, public health, public policy and global responses to the health concerns of chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation, between 2007 and 2012 alone “1,800 new studies have been published…reporting effects at exposure levels ten to hundreds or thousands of times lower than allowed under safety limits in most countries of the world”.
The studies cited in this report outline the following diseases and health conditions that result from exposure to cell towers, WIFI, laptops, and the smart meters on almost every home.
- Stress Proteins
- Disrupted Immune Function
- Infertility/Reproductive Issues (Male and Female)
- Oxidative Damage
- DNA Damage/DNA Repair Failure
- Disrupted Calcium Metabolism
- Brain Tumors
- Disruption of the Blood Brain Barrier
- Sleep Issues
- Impact on Neuron Firing rate
- Impact on EEG
- Memory Function
- Impact on Learning
- Behavioral Issues
- Cell proliferation
- Cardiac health
- Impact on the heart muscle
- Blood pressure issues
- Vascular effects.
This report was last updated in 2014, and we can assume that over the last 6 years, the data has continued to grow.
I, too, slept with my cell phone on my bedside table for years. It was my flashlight, alarm clock, and my “insomnia entertainment device”. I simply did not know or understand that it was sending non-stop radiation into the room – and into me! More importantly, I did not realize how this radiation was impacting my body’s ability to heal and sleep deeper at night.
The Building Biology Institute recommends bedroom exposure levels to high-frequency radiation (cell phones, WIFI, Bluetooth, smart meters, etc.) to be in the slight-to-no concern ranges of less than 10 uW/m2.
When I measured my iPhone X with a Safe and Sound Pro II meter, I captured a max level of 448,000 W/m2. That’s 44,800 times higher than Building Biology slight-to-no concern levels for bedrooms!
Also, I don’t use WIFI in my home anymore. Had WIFI been on during this measurement, my exposure levels would likely be higher. To bring this into even greater perspective, one study from the Bioinitiative Report showed changes in genes and problems with DNA resulting from exposure of 10 uW/m2. Simply stated, this is a dramatically low level of exposure, especially in comparison to the measurement from my phone, and definitely in comparison to what the tech industry has declared as safe.
So, why aren’t we getting sick? Well, many people are and may not have made the connection that the constant exposure to radiation in the environment could be a contributing factor.
We heal when we sleep. It is important to create an organic, reduced-radiation sleeping environment so that we can give our bodies a break so that they can do what they need to do.
Even cigarettes used to be promoted as harmless and “en vogue”. A fantastic example is this television ad from 1949. Wow! We may look back on some of our tech advertisements the same way 50 years from now.
GO OLD SCHOOL
As it turns out, I don’t need my cell phone in my bedroom at all, even for emergencies.
Don’t worry, as much as I’d love everyone to slow down on tech adoption, I’m not asking you to give up your cell phone entirely.
A few simple tweaks can dramatically reduce your nighttime exposure to radiation emitted by technology in your home. My advice? Go “old-school”.
Install a landline telephone and forward your calls at night. You may already have a landline in your home. *72 will forward your calls to your home number and your callers won’t even know the difference. If you don’t already pay for a landline, adding one will increase your monthly budget. However, the reduced exposure to radiation and the ability to be reached overnight in the case of an emergency is worth the expense.
Most homes already have telephone wiring installed. Internet providers also offer phone service through a modem via the internet, so adding an unlisted number is a simple, low-cost add-on. Another tip – choose a wired phone because (believe it or not) cordless DECT phones also emit high levels of radiation.
If you still choose to keep a cell phone in the bedroom, make sure to put it in complete airplane mode at night, and double-check to make sure that cellular, WIFI, and Bluetooth functions are all completely off. When all 3 functions are on, exposure levels increase. As a side note, it’s an excellent practice to keep WIFI and Bluetooth turned off on your phone, tablet, and laptop unless you are actually using them to reduce some of the radiation.
If you are still uncomfortable with airplane mode because of not having a landline, at a minimum, turn off WIFI and Bluetooth, turn up the ringer volume, and place the phone as far away from your body as possible to where you can still hear it.
GO THE EXTRA MILE
If you want to go the extra mile, turn off your WIFI router at night. If your router doesn’t have a dedicated WIFI on/off switch, plugging it into a timer to shut off at bedtime and restart in the morning is an easy, low-cost solution. If you keep your router in your bedroom, relocate it if possible. If it cannot be moved, definitely shut it off at night.
For the ultimate fix, remove all technology from the bedroom.
I often joke that WIFI is like sugar, they put that $#!+ in everything! And even though we may think WIFI is off, many smart devices still emit a signal. This includes things like televisions, Apple TVs, Sonos, and wearables.
The technology we use daily is increasing at an unprecedented rate, therefore, increasing radiation levels in the home and bedroom. Creating a sleep sanctuary with natural and organic materials and proper EMF reduction and shielding will reduce your exposure levels during sleeping hours so that you achieve the deep, healing, restorative sleep your body needs and craves. If you are interested in learning more about creating a sleep sanctuary in your home, feel free to contact me HERE.
Angie Nicolucci is the owner of Uplifting Spaces. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach, Spiritual Psychologist, and a Building Biology Environmental Consultant and Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist-in-training with the Building Biology Institute. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through her website www.upliftingspaces.com.