Grounding Our Bodies in Sleep
Efforts to promote health and longevity are a constant theme in my household. I’ve been a personal trainer and health enthusiast for years, and my goal has always been to find new, natural, and safe ways to promote my well-being.
Experimentation is another common theme in my home. Between herbal remedies, infrared therapy, and hydrogen water, I’ve spent years using nature’s best medicines to promote my body’s natural ability to heal and function at its highest potential. So, naturally, when I came across an article about grounding nearly a decade ago, I had to try it!
There’s a unique type of energy on the planet’s surface. Earth is like a giant battery with a subtle electrical charge. That charge is collected from lightning, which happens continuously across the Earth. The science of earthing was discovered in 2008 by Clint Ober. He learned that our bodies are electrical in nature, and there’s a considerable healing effect that happens when we make constant physical contact with the Earth’s surface. It aligns our internal compass to the planet’s polarity.
After reading the article, I purchased a grounding sheet. My wife and I noticed results immediately. Within a few minutes under the sheet, my wife described feeling much calmer and at peace, ready for sleep. The rest of that night, and every night after that, has been full of beautifully vivid dreams and restful, restorative sleep. Eight years later, and we both wake up more refreshed and on top of our game than ever before.
Another thing I noticed is what grounding does for my muscles. I tend to push my body to the limits with exercise, which usually leads to sore, stiff muscles for a few days. Since buying that first sheet, I haven’t had that muscle soreness. My body is relaxed and ready for the day every single morning.
Of course, having experienced something so big meant I needed to test it out on other people before I really committed. I bought a grounding mat for my uncle, who suffers from a severe case of plantar fasciitis. After the first use, his foot pain was so much worse he no longer needed to continue his morning routine of putting an ice-cold water bottle under his foot for relief. What a way to wake up, right?! He doesn’t have to do that anymore. Uncle, too, reported better sleep and more vivid dreams, just like my wife and I had experienced.
That was it for me. I was ready to endorse this hidden health resource available right beneath our feet! Now, I offer simple, affordable grounding products that could bring this incredible benefit to people who may not have time to earth in the more natural ways—by kicking off your shoes and digging your feet into the soil for a couple of hours.
Much information has come to light in the last decade about earthing, but before we dive into those benefits, I’ll draw your attention to the importance of spending some time grounding yourself. We’re exposed to more EMFs more frequently than ever before, and there are real side effects to that exposure. Grounding minimizes it. Keep reading to learn how!
The Dangers of EMFs
An electromagnetic field (EMF) is energy made up of waves, and the fields they produce are often called electromagnetic radiation (EMR). We’re exposed to EMFs daily in our natural environment through sunlight and just being on Earth. The planet has a magnetic field, which is why you’re able to find due north on a compass. Excessive EMF exposure has been linked to:
- Sleep disturbances
- Lack of focus and concentration
- Memory problems
- Chronic pain with an unknown source
These days, we’re exposed to far more waves of electromagnetic radiation than ever before. Cell phones, modems, x-rays, the radio, microwaves, and a host of other products and appliances are zapping our natural positive electrical charge. Daily grounding acts as an umbrella for your mind and body, reducing the health effects of EMF exposure. Over the last decade, there have been tremendous advances in the study of how earthing balances the positive and negative charges between your body and the planet you’re born to know. Let’s review some of the major physical benefits of grounding.
The Health Benefits of Grounding
Have you ever done any sleep-on-the-ground-and-get-your-feet-wet-in-a- creek kind of camping? How about gardening barefoot or letting the ocean’s waves wash over your feet as you sink into the sand?
There’s something to say for connecting your physical body to the Earth’s natural electrical energy and feeling that transfer of power between you and the planet that births, nurtures, and destroys all the life on its surface. When we connect, we get a sense of peace, centeredness, and well-being that comes from linking our frequencies to something so primal, so raw, and so powerful that you feel it in every aspect of your life—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Those are all observable benefits, but what about the science behind grounding?
The body is a bioelectrical living being. Cells and nerves fire off electrical impulses to communicate with your organ systems on how and when to work. Think about static electricity, which is when you get a little zap after touching something or someone.
We carry a positive charge in our bodies until we discharge it by touching metal or the Earth barefoot—although the Earth doesn’t produce a shock. There are immense healing benefits to being in physical contact with the Earth’s surface, which consists of negatively charged ions. This energy is collected over the Earth’s surface from lightning, which is always striking somewhere on the planet.
Over the years, science has shown the most significant benefits from earthing are found in:
- Inflammation and chronic pain
- Heart and circulation health
- Mental health
- Spiritual health
Grounding for Immunity and Inflammation
Whether it’s muscle soreness after an intense workout or inflammation from an unknown culprit, grounding with earthing mats, sheets, and regular physical contact with the planet’s surface can make a difference.
What happens when there’s a disconnect between the Earth’s electricity and yours? When you’re out of alignment with the planet’s polarity? Several things can go wrong when you’re not grounded, including:
- Higher levels of stress or feeling drained
- Lower pain thresholds
- More depression and anxiety
- You feel less strong
- There’s a lack of focus and concentration
- Irritability and scattered thinking become problematic
- You’re clumsier than usual
All those, plus more, affect your immunity. Whenever we overdo anything—junk food, exercise, working late, etc.—we get further and further away from connection with the Earth’s electrical pulse, throwing us out of balance in all kinds of ways. When you aren’t grounded, your body’s fighting mechanism—the immune system—is being pushed to the limits without ever getting fully recharged. Once this happens, there’s a ripple/snowball effect that occurs in the body. Studies show that grounding can heal the parts of your body that are causing an immune response. Grounding gives your immune system time and literal cellular energy to recharge.
One of the biggest causes of sleep disturbance is EMF exposure. Sleep was one of the biggest reasons I started using a grounding sheet. My wife and I wanted better sleep, and we were tired of being sore and cranky in the morning. Being a fitness enthusiast, I’d known about grounding to help come down from intense workouts, but I never put much stock into it until my wife and I tried it. We bought earthing mats for family and friends who also experienced significant benefits in their sleep quality.
But there’s more to it than just my story. Several medical studies back up our observations of experiencing better sleep and more vivid dreams. In a 2019 study published in Frontiers in Physiology, researchers subjected participants to grueling workouts that would produce severe muscle soreness. Some of them were treated with grounded sleeping, and others a sham or placebo. Without question, those with grounded sleeping had faster recovery and less pronounced muscle damage and inflammation.
However, the most interesting part of the research was in a review of multiple earthing studies in 2012. Researchers reported a pattern of improved sleep and reduced pain across all areas of study. Even as a secondary finding, scientists and doctors are beginning to recognize the incredible power of the Earth’s healing resources.
Earthing for Inflammation and Chronic Pain
In an analysis of multiple earthing studies in which there were significant benefits to sleep and pain, one scientist said: “Since the late 20th century, chronic degenerative diseases have overcome infectious disease as the major causes of death in the 21st century, so an increase in human longevity will depend on finding an intervention that inhibits the development of these diseases and slows their progress.” In that review and analysis, scientists point to grounding as being one of those interventions.
Whether you stub your toe or suffer from long-term chronic pain, inflammation is going to play the biggest role in your discomfort. Inflammation triggers an immune response, which puts your body and mind in a high-stress environment, putting you at risk of getting worse rather quickly. By now, we all know the importance of a good immune system, but now we can give the immune system a boost by addressing inflammation and chronic pain in a more natural and surprisingly effective way.
Studies report that one hour of contact with the Earth’s surface can strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, and improve blood flow. I know not everyone has that kind of time, but you can still benefit by using a grounding or earthing mat in place of direct contact with the Earth’s surface.
Grounding for Your Heart and Circulation
Grounding can reduce blood viscosity, or the blood’s thickness, which should resemble water to flow up, down, and around the body effectively. Viscous or thicker blood is linked directly to severe cardiovascular disease. Two hours of grounding can increase the electrical charge on red blood cells, which reduces clumping—a dangerous problem in viscous blood.
In addition, you’ll find a case study in the resources section of this page that tells the story of 10 patients at a cardiovascular practice who grounded themselves for 10 hours per day over several months. The doctor found all 10 patients had significantly improved blood pressure at the end of the trial, decreasing systolic BP by approximately 14%.
Earthing or grounding is a widely understudied field, but observations and the early seeds of research suggest the immense benefits received through earthing. In all the medical studies, I noticed that the scientists, scholars, and doctors who were seriously testing and trialing patients on grounding recognized it as an affordable, safe, and effective treatment that can be added to any regimen.
Whether you connect directly to the planet or use a grounding mat, sheet, or another device, you’ll experience the improvement—real improvement—of a lifetime.
Recenter Yourself with a Grounding Mat
It’s okay if you don’t have two hours a day to spend standing in the garden without any shoes. A grounding mat is simple to use, and you can keep it under your desk or by your favorite evening chair. The goal is to have your feet on it for at least two hours a day and longer if you’re able.