Is your child's bedroom an electrical warzone?

Your child’s bedroom should be a safe place for them to play, sleep and study but by giving them the latest must-have gadgets and electrical devices, you could be unintentionally creating a danger zone.

"...remove as many electrical appliances from the bedroom as possible and make sure that those you do have, are at least a meter away from your pillow."

Not only your child's bedroom is at risk here, in fact, your whole house could be a hazardous electrical minefield. If you’re having problems sleeping, have you ever wondered if there is something in your own home that may be keeping you awake? If you’re finding it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re now in the majority. A recent survey in the US found that 52% of the respondents were classified as “not good sleepers”. Their previous survey found that two-thirds of children experience frequent sleep problems. Babies and children are particularly vulnerable to external influences impacting on their sleep and, as many of us know, having sleepless children usually means sleepless parents.

So that’s millions of people around the globe tossing and turning their way through the night, and stumbling their way through the following day.

Interesting fact: Melatonin is a hormone that is produced at night. It is believed that adequate melatonin production is linked to our ability to sleep and a strong immune system. Its production is stimulated by the dark – but inhibited by the light, and electromagnetic fields also have an effect. To get a good night’s sleep, it’s important to sleep in an environment that promotes melatonin production, instead of suppressing it.

Electricity can suppress melatonin production. Several research studies have shown that magnetic fields inhibit or suppress production of melatonin. For some people, sleeping in close proximity to electric fields will also disrupt their sleep. The stronger and larger a field, the more likely it is to disrupt the quality of sleep, and the more people it is likely to affect.

Strong magnetic fields are usually found around the fuse box. If you’re not sleeping well, the very first thing to do is to check where this is and make sure it’s far from you and your child’s bed. This is not only associated with insomnia, but also with weakened immune systems, which can lead to a variety of health issues. Often something as simple as moving the bed to the other side of the room could dramatically alleviate sleeping problems.

A while back, we moved Gia’s room around and thought it was great. She then started having very restless sleeps, and often woke up every 2 hours or so, which was odd for her.

We found the problem!. The way we had moved Gia’s room around, had her bed against the back of the passage wall, which was home to the wifi router, telephone and fish tank. We moved her bed immediately, took out all electrical items from her room, and believe it or not, her sleeping slowly improved. Most nights, we also switch off the wifi before we go to bed.

After some extensive research on the topic, the best advice here is to remove as many electrical appliances from the bedroom as possible and make sure that those you do have, are at least a meter away from your pillow. Magnetic fields from electric appliances reduce as soon as the appliance is switched off. The electric field remains even when you have turned off the electronic switch. It’s best to turn it off at the plug. Be aware that most mattresses contain metal springs, and the metal in these springs can conduct electricity – another important reason to keep electric fields away from your bed. Electric blankets can emit enormous fields, and continue to emit electric fields that keep your whole system buzzing all night unless they’re switched off at the plug. If you want to keep warm in bed, either use a hot water bottle or snuggle up to someone instead. Cordless phones and phone rechargers can also emit large fields. Both are better placed well on the other side of the room, or in the next room.

It’s a bit of a mind shift and takes time to become aware of the kind of things we normally just overlook, but it is worth looking into if you or your babies seem to be having off nights where you just can't seem to rest.