You’ve probably heard of Egyptian cotton sheets, satin sheets, bamboo sheets, and maybe even Tencel sheets, but have you ever heard of grounding sheets? They could be what you need for a good night’s sleep!
Previously on our blog, we talked about electromagnetic fields known as EMF and how these waves can disrupt sleep (if you haven’t checked it out, you can read it here). To give you a quick recap, many household devices like mobile phones, microwaves, the internet, and even the electrical wires outside your house give off EMF, which can have adverse physical and mental side effects. One of the ways you can combat this is through grounding bedsheets.
Also known as earthing sheets, these bedsheets look and feel like any other set of sheets with one distinct difference - they have a unique conductive material woven through them that connects to a wire. The wire is attached to a cord that you plug into a grounding port (the third circular prong in a standard outlet). These sheets work the same way as a grounding mat. They counteract EMF as well as your body’s increase in positive charge.
If this is the first time you are hearing about grounding sheets, you may think this all sounds very strange, but with a better understanding, you may soon find yourself sleeping on a set of grounding sheets along with your buckwheat pillow.
We’ve answered all your questions about grounding sheets so you can decide whether to ground or not to ground.
What is grounding?
The term grounding and earthing are often used interchangeably. Generally speaking, it involves connecting with the earth to better one’s well-being. This isn’t because of the earth’s metaphorical “good vibes.” It is because the earth is electrically conductive and has a negative change.
As humans going about our busy, modern-day lives full of technology and electricity, we build up a positive charge in our bodies. By connecting with the earth and its negative charge, we can neutralize our internal bioelectricity. As a result, our electric potential equalizes and becomes stable, able to withstand perturbations from our environmental, electrical fields. Further, these electrons are believed to offset free radicals.
Back in our caveman days, we were connecting with the earth and grounding all the time. As our environment changed, we’ve become electrically imbalanced. Today, many people rarely connect with the ground. Walking on concrete sidewalks, in our shoes with rubber soles, we don’t receive the earths grounding benefits, and when the positive electrical charge builds up, it can have adverse effects on our health. In sum, EMFs are disrupting our body's rhythmic electrical impulses.
What are the side effects of not being grounded?
An increasing amount of research has found that this disconnect from the earth can contribute to disease, stress, inflammation, and other health issues. When you are not “grounded” and the positive electrical energy is too much, you may experience the following:
- Difficulty sleeping and sleep-related issues
- Feeling distracted or unable to focus
- Anxious or having an overactive mind
- Perpetual worrying
- An increased amount of personal conflict
- Obsession with material items
Fortunately, you can diminish these side effects by grounding.
How do I ground myself?
There are a few ways you can take advantage of the earth’s grounding abilities. One way is to plant your bare feet on the ground. Taking off your shoes and socks and putting your bare feet on the grass or dirt is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to ground. Some people even incorporate this as a part of their meditation practice.
Try sitting on your zafu meditation cushion with your feet crossed but resting on the ground. Alternatively, you can place your zafu meditation cushion under your head and lay flat on the ground. The less you have between you and the earth, the better.
Another option for grounding is swimming in natural bodies of water. A river, lake, or ocean is a refreshing option, and if you have access to saltwater - that’s even better!
For many of us city-dwellers, it’s not as easy to lay in the grass, which is why grounding products are becoming increasingly popular. Grounding mats and bedsheets will provide you with the same benefits but can be achieved while sleeping.
Do grounding sheets work?
Although there isn’t an abundance of scientific studies on the topic, some scientists strongly believe in the benefits of grounding. When we ground, our body can equalize with the earth, meaning our body voltage becomes near zero and is unchanged by the electric fields surrounding us.
A 2015 study published in The Journal of Inflammation discovered that grounding impacted the central connector of cells, which is known as the living matrix. In addition, the study found that when the body has electrically conductive contact with the earth, issues such as chronic inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and wound repair are improved.
Grounding experts believe that additional benefits like improved mood, better sleep quality, reduced stress, and weight loss can also be received by grounding.
Do you find that you feel more relaxed in the forest or next to the beach? This may be because of the grounding effect these areas have. Dr. Anup Kanodia told Shape Magazine that technology and our use of electricity have evolved faster than our bodies could adapt. However, we are still used to walking barefoot and connecting with the earth, so by spending more time grounding, we can feel and be healthier.
How to buy grounding sheets?
If you are looking for grounding sheets, there are a few considerations you must make. Technically, only a small part of your body needs to touch the sheet in order to benefit. However, if you toss and turn on your pillow all night, you may want to ensure you have a sheet that will cover your entire bed. Alternatively, there are also sheets that just go across the bottom of your bed for foot contact.
You will also need to choose the material. Like any other bedsheet, grounding sheets can come in different fabrics. For bedding, it is best to choose a material that is breathable and comfortable to sleep in, like cotton.
Lastly, as you will need to plug this sheet in, you must consider the length of the connection cord and where your outlet is. Remember, it has to plug into the third circular prong, so an extension cord won’t necessarily work. The socket must also be grounded to work. Some sheet sets will come with a socket tester so you can test to be sure. The further the outlet is from your bed, the longer the cord will need to be.
Does grounding help with sleep?
Yes, grounding sheets can help you sleep. According to Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, a holistic healthcare practitioner and an associate professor, “there have been measured positive effects of using grounding to enhance the depth and length of sleep, reducing pain, and reducing stress.”
Another expert, Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, RN, CNE, COI, who specializes in alternative medicine, says that “grounding has been shown to help with every aspect of the sleeping process: improved morning fatigue, less nighttime pain, higher daytime energy, decreased cortisol levels and falling asleep faster.”
In 2004, a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that grounding improved sleep and reduced cortisol levels. Although experts and some studies show that it can help, if you are having trouble sleeping at night, there could be other factors at play. For example, ensure you have a comfortable, supportive pillow like a buckwheat pillow or shredded latex pillow and that you consistently practice proper sleep hygiene.
Is it safe to use grounding sheets?
Grounding sheets are safe to use when used correctly. However, if it is plugged in incorrectly or the cord and wires are damaged, you could put yourself at risk.
Nature offers us countless health benefits. There are many theories and therapies that take advantage of these health benefits, from forest bathing to earthing, to help us live and sleep better. Grounding sheets could be what you need for better sleep if you have an excess of positive energy or are exposed to high levels of EMF. But If you are serious about improving your quality of sleep, you should take a holistic approach.
Ensure you have a comfortable, supportive mattress suited to your sleep posture and body weight, as well as a supportive pillow. Using an adaptable buckwheat pillow or shredded latex pillow will provide your head and neck with the support it needs.
This will take care of the physical piece, but you will also need to address your mental state for great sleep. Get yourself into a sleepy state with a bedtime meditation on your zafu meditation pillow, listening to relaxing music or reading a book.
To ground or not to ground – that is the question. After reading our answers here, will you try it?