Do grounding mats help you sleep?
Sleep is critical to our health and well-being. It allows our bodies to rest and rejuvenate, and it aids in memory consolidation and learning. While there are several common methods for assisting you to sleep, they do not work for everyone. Sleep deprivation may be crippling for those who suffer from it. As a result, individuals often resort to unconventional methods to help them sleep better at night.
One of these unconventional sleep remedies involves a procedure known as grounding or earthing. You may not think of the ground when you think of sleep. However, there is a growing body of evidence that shows that spending time in nature might have a significant impact on your sleep habits. Grounding entails consciously coming into touch with the earth's surface. Walking barefoot on grass, sand, or mud/soil, resting on the ground, or even wading in a lake or the ocean may do this (1). Some individuals even sleep on grounding mats, which are meant to transfer the energy of the soil into their bodies. More to come on this later.
Chronic pain is one of the most prevalent causes of insomnia in many individuals (2). Inflammation causes pain, which may be produced by the accumulation of free radicals (3). Atoms, molecules, or ions having unpaired electrons in the outermost orbital are examples of free radicals. Because of the unstable unpaired electron, free radicals are very chemically reactive. This reactivity causes chemical reactions that may harm cells and cause inflammation.
Grounding supporters feel it helps to decrease inflammation, and the evidence seems to back this up (4). The earth contains an abundance of electrons that can neutralize unpaired electrons in free radicals, which is why it works (5).
Anxiety and stress are other factors that cause many individuals to have difficulty sleeping. Again, grounding has been demonstrated to aid in the reduction of these mental health difficulties (6).
Grounding has been demonstrated to increase overall sleep quality in addition to relieving pain, anxiety, and tension (7). One method is that it may aid in the reset of the circadian rhythm, which governs the sleep-wake cycle (8).
Another reason individuals have trouble sleeping is the influence of screen exposure, such as computers, mobile phones, and television. These electrical gadgets all create electromagnetic fields (EMFs), which might interfere with melatonin generation. This might result in sleep difficulties (9). Grounding has been demonstrated to reduce EMFs, which is another compelling reason to give it a go (10).
Positive ions may be emitted by screens, fluorescent lights, paint, and even certain carpets and upholstery. The negative ions linked with grounding may help minimize the detrimental effects of these (11). You might, however, simply remove mobile phones and TVs from your bedroom and limit their usage to an hour before bedtime.
How can you utilize grounding to help you sleep better now that you know a bit more about it? You may practice grounding by going barefoot outdoors, as previously indicated. However, owing to practicalities and harsh weather, this is not always practicable. Having said that, one of the most common ways to improve your sleep is to receive lots of natural light, particularly first thing in the morning (12). Why not go out in your yard every morning and stroll barefoot for 10 minutes? You will benefit from a double whammy of advantages to help you sleep. Grounding and natural light
Our ancient forefathers used to sleep on the ground in caves and roam about barefoot (13). Fortunately, we don't have to do that since there is such a thing as a grounding mat, which is designed expressly to help you sleep better in the comfort of your own bed by using the advantages of grounding.
Grounding mats are constructed of carbon-containing conductive materials. These grounding mats also have a specific kind of safety plug adapter to save you from receiving an electric shock (14). Carbon is hypoallergenic, which is an added bonus (15). Furthermore, carbon is found in all living organisms, making it ideal for grounding (16). The theory is that lying on the mat will ground you in the same way as sleeping on the ground does. It does this by replicating the Earth's electrical charge by carrying negative electrons, which subsequently balance out the electrons in the body.
There are also grounding mats, grounding sheets, pillows, and sleeping bags available (17). These are stitched with silver thread. The advantage of utilizing an earthing mat over a sheet is that it does not need to be cleaned as often. In reality, it will simply need a wipe down rather than washing. Another advantage is that the grounding mat's whole surface area is conductive.
Despite the fact that silver is the most electrically conductive metal (18), the sheet's threads are intermingled with ordinary threads. This implies they have a significantly smaller surface area than a grounding mat and hence provide a less total earthing advantage. Anecdotal data in the form of reviews and testimonials (19) suggests that grounding mats and sheets may enhance sleep quality. However, there is no scientific data to back up this assertion. Indeed, all of the online retailers connect to some of the research mentioned above about grounding in general, but not particularly grounding mats, sheets, pillows, or sleeping bags.
While grounding may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you're suffering from insomnia, if you're having trouble sleeping, it could be worth a go.
- Grounding: Exploring Earthing Science and the Benefits Behind It https://www.healthline.com/health/grounding
- Disrupted sleep patterns and daily functioning in patients with chronic pain https://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/prm/2002/579425.pdf
- Role of free radicals in human inflammatory diseases https://www.aimspress.com/article/10.3934/biophy.2017.4.596
- The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378297/
- Charge transfer in the living matrix http://www.wildqi.com.au/resources/8B/13707/Other/Charge%20transfer%20in%20the%20living%20matrix.pdf
- The effect of grounding the human body on mood https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25748085/
- Grounding the Body Improves Sleep Quality in Patients with Mild Alzheimer’s Disease: A Pilot Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8954071/
- Perspective: assume a spherical cow: the role of free or mobile electrons in bodywork, energetic and movement therapies http://www.aipro.info/drive/File/oschman_mobile_electrons.pdf
- Pineal melatonin level disruption in humans due to electromagnetic fields and ICNIRP limits https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23051584/
- Effects of Grounding on Body Voltage and Current in the Presence of Electromagnetic Fields https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2015.0340
- The harmful effects of positive ions on your health https://www.ionloop.com/blog/the-harmful-effects-of-positive-ions-on-your-health/
- Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/ehp.116-a160
- Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth's Surface Electrons https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/
- Earthing: The Art of Walking Barefoot https://goop.com/wellness/health/earthing-how-walking-barefoot-could-cure-your-insomnia-more/
- The Pros and Cons of Carbon Fiber Rings https://smicomposites.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-carbon-fiber-rings
- Carbon https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-biology/chapter/carbon/
- All Earthing Range https://www.sleepearthed.co.uk/product-category/earthing-sheet-online-store/all-earthing-range/
- Conductivity https://www.lehigh.edu/~amb4/wbi/kwardlow/conductivity.htm
- 10 Best Earthing Mats https://uk.bestreviews.guide/earthing-mat