EMFs are a controversial topic these days! Many types of technology are new and we don’t yet fully understand how they impact the body. In a technological world, avoiding all EMFs is nearly impossible, but there are simple steps we can take to reduce WiFi and EMF exposure, including a simple and inexpensive tip that reduces exposure by half!
Why Should You Reduce EMF & WiFi Exposure?
The short answer is because we don’t know what we don’t know. The research is divided and we truly don’t know if or how much different types of EMFs affect the body.
EMF stands for Electromagnetic Field and we’re surrounded by them almost everywhere we go. From cell phone signal to WiFi to radio frequencies they are everywhere. Many experts claim that there are negative consequences to certain types of EMF exposure but they are relatively new and more research is needed.
The Body Electric
We do know that our bodies also have electric and magnetic fields. Some of these are easily measurable and used in medical care. An EKG (electrocardiogram), for instance, measures the heart’s electrical activity to detect problems.
Our nervous system and even individual cells are specialized to conduct electricity in certain ways. At even our basic level, we’re made up of atoms consisting of protons, neutrons and electrons:
Protons have a positive charge, neutrons have a neutral charge, and electrons have a negative charge. When these charges are out of balance, an atom becomes either positively or negatively charged. The switch between one type of charge and the other allows electrons to flow from one atom to another. This flow of electrons, or a negative charge, is what we call electricity. Since our bodies are huge masses of atoms, we can generate electricity.
If you want to understand this more fully, I highly recommend the book The Body Electric.
EMF Exposure Matters
Since the body is electric, even on its most basic level, it makes sense that exposure to electrical fields would have some type of effect on the body. Like I said, we’re still learning just how much, but it is something to be aware of.
At the same time, we are exposed to many millions of times as many EMFs as our grandparents were. That’s a tremendous change in a very short period of time and worth paying attention to.
My personal opinion is that until we know more, we should proceed with caution and try to educate ourselves as new research emerges. A few small changes will also reduce exposure at little or no cost and have no downside.
How to Reduce WiFi Exposure by Half
Multiple experts have explained on the Wellness Mama Podcast that the most dangerous time for EMF exposure is while we are sleeping. The body is naturally in a state of repair during this time and certain defenses are down so cells can be more sensitive.
Plus, unless you’ve figured out a way to multi-task that I haven’t, none of us are using the internet while we are sleeping anyway. Turning off WiFi during sleeping hours car reduce daily exposure by as much as half. There’s also no downside!
The best part?
With a $15 device and five minutes of set-up time, you can “set and forget” this process. You won’t even have to remember to turn the router on and off at night!
Step 1: Get an Electrical Timer & Surge Protector
Ever used an electrical timer for Christmas lights or to turn lights on and off when you’re out of town? The same type of concept can make it simple to reduce wifi exposure at night. You need two things:
- A high-quality three prong electrical timer like this one. This specific timer also has a bypass switch so if you’re staying up later one night to stream a movie or to work, you can temporarily bypass the automatic turn-off time. More on that below, but any three-prong timer will work.
- If you have more than one thing to plug in to the timer, you’ll also need a high quality surge protector. We like this one because it rotates and lets you plug in all shapes of plugs and adaptors from modems and routers.
Step 2: Connect Everything
To make the timer most effective, everything related to your internet needs to run through it. In our house, this means multiple routers (since we have to run two networks for podcasting), a printer, and a couple of other things.
We plugged all of these devices into the surge protector. Then, we plugged the surge protector into the timer and the the timer into the wall.
Step 3: Set Your Sleep Hours
The final step is to figure out the hours you won’t need your WiFi. Once you do, set the timer to automatically turn off during these hours by pushing down those hours in 30-minute increments.
Since we try to stop working and go to bed by ten, we set our timer to turn off power at this time. Then, since we try not to be on the computer first thing, we don’t have it go on until 8 am. This simple step reduced 10 hours of WiFi exposure for all of us. On nights we need to be on the internet later for a project or a movie, we just flip the bypass switch and and switch it back as soon as we’re ready to go to bed.
Combined with the 6+ hours our kids spend outdoors and away from homes and wifi, this means that they are not exposed to strong wifi signals for two thirds of their day. For under $15 we can make a big difference in our exposure without even having to remember to do anything each day!
Other Ways to Reduce WiFi and EMF Exposure
Like I said, we need more research to know definitively how EMFs affect the body. In the meantime, we can take simple steps to reduce wifi and other exposure. If you want to be more proactive, there are some additional steps like:
- Switch to Wired Internet: If you want to avoid WiFi in your home completely, it is also possible to hardwire internet using ethernet cables. This is admittedly a bigger time and money commitment but many people who are sensitive to EMFs take this extra step.
- Try and EMF Kill Switch: Even wiring in our walls can put off some low level electromagnetic radiation. While these are hopefully not a big deal for most of us, they can bother those who are EMF sensitive or who are trying to recover from a more serious health issue. In these cases, there is an easy-to-install box called EMF Kill Switch that takes down non-necessary EMFs at the breaker level at night. I’ve talked to several people who noticed a big change from this alone. This podcast episode delves into the science more.
- Phones out of Bedrooms: Another simple step is to simply not take phones and devices into bedrooms and keep them away from us while we sleep. Alternatively, we can put them in airplane mode (because again, we’re probably not talking on the phone while sleeping unless you’ve figured out how to multitask in an extreme way! We have a family charging station where phones and tablets charge at night (in airplane mode). This is in a room far away from bedrooms.
- Use headphones or speaker phone: Instead of holding your phone up to your head, use speaker phone or headphones.
Learn More About EMFs
Want to learn more? Check out these podcasts, articles and books for more:
Podcast Episodes- Listen to Learn More:
Books and Articles to Learn More:
What do you think about EMFs? What steps do you take to reduce WiFi and EMF exposure?