All this talk about these invisible things called “EMF’s” or electromagnetic fields can seem overwhelming to anyone. I have to admit that when I had first heard about them I didn’t really pay much attention. It was only later after anecdotal reports from a relative that “grounding” had helped their chronic inflammation and arthritic pain when nothing else worked that I became curious.
I was lent a book called “Earthing” which really seemed to clarify the problem at hand and how it could be affecting us in many ways we never considered.
What probably peaked my interest the most were sleep and adrenal issues. We had resolved my son’s sleeping issues years ago by regulating his endocrine system through adrenal support and then resetting his circadian rhythm with the help of melatonin. We eventually graduated from melatonin and didn’t need it anymore. His sleep was fine for several years and then began to take a nose dive. Some nights he could not fall asleep until after 1am. Other nights he would wake up at 2 am wide awake and could not go back to sleep. This went on for months. It was only later that I figured out why.
After reading the book I began a quest to see if grounding would help because we were all exhausted with the night wakings. I did some EMF testing and found the Kindle Fire my son received as a gift was the highest emitting device in our home. It’s purchase also coincided with the appearance of sleep problems. We disabled the WiFi on it and relocated this item but that was not adequate for sleep as long as it remained in his room. He uses it to listen to audio books before bed.
I decided to make a primitive grounding mat to test this theory out before investing in anything more expensive. My test grounding mat was made from metal window screen, duct tape, speaker wire, an in-line 5 amp fuse, and a length of metal clothes hanger as the grounding rod. It was similar to this one:
Skeptic that I am, we set it up under the sheet and ran the wire out the window into the yard, and pushed the grounding round end into the soil. Then we waited to see what would happen.
For the first time ever my son fell asleep in 10 minutes. He slept all night. Even as a baby this never happened.
I made a second temporary grounding mat for my bed. Wow! I fell asleep faster than I ever have. I woke up with less soreness or aching in my body. It also consequently reduced my husbands snoring. My son going to bed and sleeping all night was enough to sell me on the concept.
I decided to figure out how to make something more durable for this purpose. I made grounding half sheets for our beds. You can buy these if your budget allows.
There are two options for grounding depending on your home or apartment.
Grounded electrical outlets versus not grounding. Older homes do not have grounded electrical outlets and this is usually evident by 2 prong outlets but not always. As in our case the outlets were changed to three prong, but were not grounded. You can verify what you have in your home or apartment by using an outlet tester which you can buy here or at the local home center. The newer your home the more likely it is grounded.
If your electrical system is indeed properly grounded you can use ground outlet plugs on your grounding mat that plug into your outlets.
If your electrical system is not grounded, you will have to use a grounding rod instead. This is what we had to do but I did make an extra grounding rod outlet plug for when we travel and it’s been useful in hotels, We just take our tester with us to verify.
Materials I used:
- silver rip-stop fabric
- 14 AWG green copper wire from the home center.
- snap/ring terminal combination connector
- in-line 5amp fuse connector
- Plug to Ring wire for outlets
- electrical tape: (to keep moisture out of connections and bind wiring together)
- wire “bean” connectors and wire strippers
- copper/lighting rod or metal coat hanger (uncoated)
I cut my fabric to the sizes I needed that would cover the top half of each bed. I stitched around the edges with silver thread I bought at the sewing store to be sure the fabric would not unravel or fray. I attached the snap connector through a tiny hole I made in the corner of the fabric with a seam ripper. The hole should be very small and only accommodate the nub on the male end of the snap ring. This way the wire end loop can be placed over it and snapped closed. This connection should be placed near the top corner of the fabric so the wiring will actually hang down at the top or bottom of your mattress to reach the nearest outlet or window. This prevents any wiring from being underneath you when you lay on it and reduce the chances it will pull apart.
I cut the wire and attached the in-line fuse, then re-attached the other end of the wire using wire bean connectors on both ends. You squeeze these down with pliers after you have both ends of the wire inside.
I did hand sew the bottom of snap in place on the fabric, The top half I sewed but made it loose so that it could be opened and closed but would not fall off the fabric. This keeps the snaps from getting lost if it accidentally comes apart. (Trust me it’s worth the extra time.)
I did choose to sew some extra scrap fabric to the sides of our grounding sheets that we wrapped around the mattress and tuck under it to keep the grounding sheet from sliding or bunching up under the sheet. That has worked very well and this is easy to do if you have a sewing machine or can borrow one. This entire project is all straight stitching and there are many tutorials on YouTube if you are unfamiliar with a sewing machine.
You can put these under your regular sheet and they work just fine.
Grounding using an outlet:
- make sure your outlets are grounded. Use a tester if unsure.
- make sure your wire is long enough to reach the outlet you plan to use near the bed
- You absolutely do need an in-line fuse to break the circuit if your home is struck by lightning.
Grounding using a grounding rod:
- Make sure your wire is thin enough not to interfere with the operation of the window you will use because it does have to go outside and stay there.
- Make sure the snap connection on the fabric is near the corner of the fabric that will be near the window you will use.
- Think anti-corrosion and water tight! I wrapped the stripped end of the green grounding wire around the rod several times then wrapped that in electrical tape. I made sure that I could not pull it off easily. Then I wrapped that in duct tape. Tossed it out the window, pushed it into the ground and closed the window.
- You absolutely do need an in-line fuse to break the circuit in case the earth near your home is struck by lightning.
It doesn’t hurt to inspect your grounding mat connections once in a while because sometimes they do come unplugged or your husband takes the stakes out of the ground to weed whack and forgets to put them back! In our case I usually know if they are unplugged because my son will wake up at night or report bad dreams.
I also put some electrical tape on both sides of the snap which helps keep it from coming un-snapped.
It also helps to realize that no current goes through the grounding mat wiring because it is not connected to or plugged into any electrical current. It’s only connected to a ground which allows extra electrical current to flow out of you.
Grounding is something we did automatically since the dawn of time anytime we walked barefoot, put our feet in the lake or ocean or wore leather soled shoes. It’s only since we began wearing synthetic soles that we have become disconnected from it. Factor that into the wireless revolution of cell towers, WiFi connections and we are basked in a lot of EMF’s we can’t see and can’t get rid of without grounding. I hope this article gives food for though about how this may affect your family and what you can do about it.