Our era has seen evolving technologies; from kitchen appliances to industrial machines. One of the emerging features that come with the new technology is electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation.
EMF radiation has been around since the beginning of time but it has increased with the start of technology. Scientists have discovered that EMF is emitted from power lines that send electricity to every household.
All electric appliances also emit a certain wavelength of EMF radiation. We use those devices to live our comfortable modern life.
However, those benefits come at a cost. Some scientists are skeptical about the effects of EMF radiation on our health. For this paper, we narrowed down the effects of EMF on our sleep cycle. Let’s take a closer look.
What is EMF radiation?
An electromagnetic field (EMF) can be broken down into two parts. The name itself suggests; electric fields and magnetic fields. They are invisible regions of energy that electricity produces.
Voltage produces electric fields while the flow of current produces magnetic fields. The strength of magnetic fields decreases as the distance from the source increases.
EMFs can be divided into 2 categories; Low to mid-frequency EMF (0 – 3000 Hz) and higher-frequency EMF (100 kHz – 300 GHz). Higher frequency EMF is more detrimental to our health compared to Low- to mid-frequency EMF (ELF-EMF).
Higher frequencies are part of ionizing radiation and can cause direct harm to our cells and DNA.
Most electrical appliances are in the non-ionizing category, meaning that they emit low- to mid- mid-frequency EMF. Even if they do not have a direct relation to affecting our health, scientists are speculating if ELF-EMF could cause cancer.
WHO has an International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) who stated that EMFs could be carcinogenic. People are constantly exposed to EMF radiation and it has especially increased with the use of mobile phones.
To make matters worse, the new 5G technology emits higher frequency EMF radiation. This new technology has not been studied enough for scientists to say that it is safe to be used in the long term. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has set international regulations for the allowed range of EMF radiation.
5G technology falls into that category but it does not negate the hesitation of people since the guidelines have a very large range of 100kHz to 300GHz.
What are their overall impacts on our health?
Some research has found that EMFs have negative impacts on your nervous system and body cells. The symptoms of EMFs exposure are cancer, sleep disturbances, insomnia, headache, depression, fatigue and so much more.
The list is very long and frightening. The Hindawi published a biological literature review on the effects of ELF-EMF on the body. They stated that long exposure to ELF-EMF was linked with subjective and objective skin symptoms.
It increased the level of histamine which is responsible for itchiness, pain, edema, and a variety of skin conditions.
This study expressed that EMF had caused skin conditions in people who were exposed for long hours to ELF-EMF. There is not enough research done on this area to find the true extent of the negative impacts of EMF on the skin.
What are their impacts on our brain?
There are some hypotheses that EMF affects the proper functioning of the brain. Scientists have discovered that EMF radiation is a source of stress in living animals.
They have also found that radiofrequency (RF) EMF changes the central nervous system nerve cells. They affect the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells and ion channels that help in the faster transmission of information in the brain.
A study published by Biomol Ther, a biological scientific journal, stated that our brains absorb RF-EMFs that are emitted from our phones. These radiations can affect the proper functioning of our brain.
Also, the hot temperature that our mobile phones generate could possibly affect our brain’s capacity to work properly.
The RF radiations are emitted from devices like phones, radios, TVs, WiFi, satellite communication systems, and so on. These are devices that we use in our daily life.
The same study concludes that mobile phones emit EMF radiation that is higher in frequency. These can enter the body and vibrate polar molecules inside which is critical for human health and safety.
How do they affect our sleep cycle?
With the concerns of the damage caused by EMFs on the brain, scientists have furthered their research on the impact of EMF on our sleep cycle. Everyone knows that adults need 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
This helps the brain and the body to recuperate all the energy spent during our daily activities. The brain especially needs good quality sleep to repair and restore itself for the next day ahead.
This study done by Barsam in 2012, looked at the quality of sleep of 177 people. They found that those who were exposed to EMF for long durations had a higher percentage of poor quality sleep compared to those who had limited exposure to EMF.
It concluded that sleep disturbances can be caused by EMF. Other research discovered that ELF-EMF can have biological effects that reduce sleep hours. There are concerns that with more technological advancement, the effects of EMF will be even more damaging for our health and safety.
What products can we use to prevent this?
Fortunately, technology has also provided some solutions to this problem. There are various EMF blockers on the market that aim to protect us from EMF radiation.
Companies like Defendershield have designed products that can be used even when we sleep. There are phone cases that you can use all the time that block EMF radiations whether you are using them or not. They can be very useful when you sleep.
Special clothing has also been made for our protection against EMF radiation. These include
They protect the most vulnerable parts of our body from EMF which are the brain, neck, and hands. These would be a great addition to your arsenal of EMF blockers if you are concerned about the effect of EMF on your sleep.
Despite some claims that EMF is not harmful, studies’ findings are contradictory. There are well-founded doubts and concerns about the effect of EMF on our health due to the research gaps.
The decision of believing one side of the story and using EMF blockers or not is a personal one. However, we hope that in the future years to come, more definite research will be done to appease our doubts. In the meantime, you choose what is best for you.