“Resilience” is the scientific term for our body’s ability to rapidly return to normal, physically and emotionally, after a stressful event.
The Big Q; How do I increase REM sleep, the deepest part of your sleep cycle?
The Big A: This is a Catch-22 for many, as it involves reducing stress during the day and making sure one gets enough total hours of sleep in the 1st place.
That means consistently getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep every night, which in turn means getting in bed at a decent hour and not burning the Midnight Oil.
Some of the most important, but frequently overlooked factors that can have a significant impact on sleep are your nighttime exposure to the following:
Electronic screens. Avoid using electronic media for at least an hour or more before bedtime, as the blue light emitted from these devices (including TVs) inhibit melatonin production. Melatonin not only regulates your sleep-waking cycle; it’s also a powerful antioxidant, and low levels have been repeatedly linked to an increased risk of cancer.
The research is quite clear that people who use smartphones and computers, especially in the evening but also during the daytime, are more likely to report insomnia. A study in Y 2018 revealed that people exposed to cellphone radiation for 3 hours before bedtime had more trouble falling asleep and staying in a deep sleep.
Excessive light. Exposure to light at night interrupts your circadian clock and melatonin level, both of which play a role in how deeply you sleep and how well-rested you feel the next day. LEDs and fluorescent lights are particularly troublesome because the blue light peaks are not balanced by red and near-infrared. Incandescent lights are safer, as they emit red and near-infrared wavelengths and very few blue wavelengths.
Once i in bed, even very dim light such as that from a nightlight or alarm clock can have a detrimental effect on our sleep quality and quantity, and can negatively affect your cognition the next day, so make the bedroom as dark as possible using blackout shades or an eye mask.
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from electric wiring in your bedroom walls also negatively affect sleep by disrupting cellular communication and impairing melatonin secretion. EMFs also harm our mitochondria by producing oxidative damage, and have been linked to neuronal changes that affect memory and the ability to learn.
Fortunately, we can remediate it by turning off the circuit breaker to bedroom before going to sleep.
Microwave radiation from cellphones, cordless phones, Wi-Fi routers, baby monitors, smart meters and more, which have the ability to cause significant cellular and DNA damage, and thereby accelerating the aging process.
By elevating voltage-gated calcium channels in the membranes of your cells, EMFs and microwaves have been shown to produce a variety of neuropsychiatric effects, including sleeplessness, anxiety, depression and dementia.
Always turn off your Wi-Fi and cellphones at night.
Resilience is improved via Focused Breathing
Focused breathing techniques are another way to enhance our emotional resilience, as it teaches us to notice internal stress signals and cues from the body.
Lori Haase, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, who led the experiment on elite adventure athletes and special forces soldiers, suggests quietly paying attention to our breathing without otherwise reacting.
Over time, Professor Hasse says, this exercise should “teach you to have a change in breathing when anxious but be less attached to that reaction, which may help to improve reaction in a stressful situation.”
In a nut shell
Sit up straight and place the tip of your tongue up against the roof of your mouth. Keep it there through the breathing process of 10 deep breaths through the nose. Begin by breathing in through your nose to the count of four. Hold your breath to the count of seven. Exhale through your mouth to the count of 8 blowing out making “woosh” sound that you can hear.
Do this often enough and it becomes automatic.
I learned to do this a long time ago, everyone should learn it, it is life changing, as it eliminates stress, anxiety, worries and concerns.
There are many breathing techniques, all of which can help one get in touch with the body and soothe the mind and with no Rx drugs.
Of course eat Real food!
If you have serious or deep-seated emotional problems, experts recommend seeing an experienced therapist, as there is a Key art to the process that requires a high level of sophistication ot successfully treat this problem.
In February 2013, the expert testimony2 of Richard H. Conrad, PhD3, and many other experts worldwide, was submitted to the Maine Public Utilities Commission when the Commission was considering the future of Smart Meters in that state. Dr. Conrad reported the results of a survey of 210 individuals who had experienced symptoms resulting from exposure to Smart Meters.
What the survey does and does not tell us
The survey does not address the frequency of occurrence of symptoms in the general population when exposed to Smart Meters. So the survey does not tell us how likely it is that a person in the general population will experience symptoms after exposure to Smart Meters. But the survey does tell us what types of symptoms are being experienced by those who do become symptomatic after exposure to Smart Meters.
Individuals who reported previous symptoms that worsened to severe
Appendix 2 of Dr. Conrad’s report shows the number of persons, out of the 210, who reported
…previous symptoms that worsened to severe intensity (from either mild or moderate intensity) following smart meter exposure.4
A copy of Appendix 2 is below.
Individuals who reported new symptoms
Appendix 3 of Dr. Conrad’s report shows the number of individuals, out of the 210, who reported symptoms that were new, that is,
…symptoms suffered for the first time in their lives, symptoms they had never experienced before smart meters5
and that were either severe or moderate in intensity after exposure to Smart Meters. A copy of Appendix 3 is also below.
Because the symptoms in both Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 can have causes other than exposure to Smart Meters, the survey included an extensive list of questions designed to determine whether Smart Meters were the cause. Only individuals whose answers were persuasive of a causal connection were included in the survey results.
Symptoms versus biological effects more broadly
Symptoms, as that term is used here, are biological effects that can be sensed. But an absence of symptoms does not mean an absence of biological effects. Many of the biological effects associated with radiofrequency/microwave radiation either cannot be sensed at all, such as a loss of male fertility, or cannot be sensed until an advanced state of disease has been reached, such as cancer. A broad range of biological effects, both those that can be sensed and those that cannot be sensed, have been researched extensively by the international biomedical research community. The findings are described in detail in two comprehensive reviews of the
resulting published research literature.6,7
Health: Severe and Worsened Symptoms After Smart Meter
Health Sypmtoms After Smart Meter Installation
1 Ronald M. Powell holds a PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard University and has worked for the Executive Office of the President, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
3 Richard H. Conrad holds a PhD. in Biochemistry from Johns Hopkins University and did postdoctoral research at the Institute of Molecular Biophysics of Florida State University and in the Department of Biochemistry of Cornell University.
4 See the reference in footnote 2, Exhibit D, page 3.
5 See the reference in footnote 2, Exhibit D, page 3.
6 BioInitiative Working Group, Cindy Sage and David O. Carpenter, Editors, BioInitiative Report: A Rationale for Biologically based Public Exposure Standards for Electromagnetic Radiation, December 31, 2012 (http://www.bioinitiative.org). This review of the biological effects of electromagnetic fields is 1479 pages long and considered the findings of about 1800 publications.
7 Paul Dart, MD, Kathleen Cordes, MD, Andrew Elliott, ND, James Knackstedt, MD, Joseph Morgan, MD, Pamela Wible, MD, and Stephen Baker (technical advisor), Biological and Health Effects of Microwave Radio Frequency Transmissions, A Review of the Research Literature, A Report to the Staff And Directors of the Eugene Water And Electric Board, June 4, 2013
(http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017465430). This review is 74 pages long and references the findings of 279 publications. Also included on this web site are six files containing viewgraphs of a presentation given to the Eugene Water and Electric Board on this subject.
Are you one of the many people who are hearing a constant, mosquito like, high or low-pitched metallic hum? Some people refer to this condition as “tinnitus” but what millions are now experiencing is not tinnitus at all, but rather a technologically induced hearing issue created by chronic exposure to pulsed RF/microwave radiation frequencies.
Many people complain that they develop ringing in the ears after chronic cell phone use or a smart meter installation on their home or installation of cell towers or masts close to their homes. The more exposure people have to these toxic technologies, the more likely they are to experience troubling symptoms like “tinnitus.”
I have been learning alot about this issue as I am also writing a book about ultrasonic irradiation and and how it is damaging the children. Hearing loss has become a major issue in children since the early 1990s when the FDA raised the output levels on obstetrical ultrasound machines 8-fold. Simultaneously, the use of prenatal ultrasound in obstetrics went up 73% in the short six years between 1993 and 1999. Subsequently, the number of newborn babies diagnosed with hearing loss has more than tripled.
Millions of people can hear RF/microwave frequencies. Babies and young people under 25 can hear ultrasonic frequencies. In scientific terms, they call this “Microwave Hearing,” or “Microwave Auditory Response,” or the “Frey Effect.” The noise occurs in response to skull bone absorption of ultrasonic or EMF/microwave radiation (look up bone conduction) which heats and rattles the bones. The cerebral spinal fluid and all of our brain matter are heated and rattled as well.
While the bones are absorbing the heat and the radiation force from these toxic, manmade frequencies, the crystals in our bones begin to oscillate rapidly and intensely. The crystals literally morph and deform, expanding and contracting at the rate of millions of times per second in response to the alien frequencies.
Our bones are made of a crystalline structure. There are crystals in the human ear, in our pineal gland, in the cerebral spinal fluid and our blood as well. These crystals VIBRATE in RESONANCE with the very toxic, discordant, alien frequencies being created by these evil, brain damaging technologies which are billions of times more intense than anything any living creature was ever designed to experience.
Once the oscillations begin, they do not stop because we are being exposed to these horrific frequencies 24/7. The oscillations carry into the crystals in our ears, vibrating the cilia (to the point of necrosis) and the cochlea, and this is the phenomenon they call “microwave hearing.”
My personal opinion is that those who can hear these frequencies have an inborn warning system that lets them know they are being bombarded with frequencies that can kill them. The instinct is to run away or make the noise stop, but there is nowhere we can go to get away from the assault.
The same is true for babies in the womb who often struggle and fight to get away from the ultrasonic frequencies. But they are trapped, with no way to get away from the noise and extreme heating caused by ultrasonic irradiation.
We have to do something to stop this assault and I invite my readers to please subscribe here to this website so we can stay in touch and you can receive updates. My forthcoming book, “The Dark Side of Prenatal Ultrasound,” should be released by the end of 2018. If you would like to be kept abreast of the book release, please visit my other website at www.BirthofaNewEarth.com and subscribe there.
Excerpt: “Electronic meters are not meters in the sense that analog meters are meters. They are computers. As such, they are subject to NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC), Article 240 –Overcurrent Protection – 240.4 Protection of Conductors). For an electronic meter to comply with NEC, a properly sized electric circuit 200-amp breaker would have to be placed between the incoming service wire and the electronic meter. None of these electronic devices were deployed with these conditions met. The utilities ignored this and just swapped one device for another in total disregard to the enormous risks to consumers.
“This is really evil,” Professor Stan Glantz said after I sent him an article about the Environmental Protection Agency’s new science policy. Unveiled by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Tuesday, the policy is a purported effort to improve transparency, but has the effect of radically restricting what science the agency can use to create public health regulations. The rule prohibits the EPA from using scientific research that includes confidential data about its human subjects, effectively rejecting much of the research showing how pollutants damage public health.
Independence, Mo., to Review Smart Meter, Opt-Out Policy
City officials are scheduled to consider the adoption of smart meters throughout the city after tabling the topic six month prior.
BY MIKE GENET, THE EXAMINER / APRIL 16, 2018
(TNS) — Six months have passed, and now the smart meter question is back.
The Independence City Council is scheduled to vote on whether to have advanced meter infrastructure for utilities, or AMI – better known as “smart meters” – installed at ratepayers’ homes across the city. The digital smart meters would replace the current analog meters.
The council had been scheduled to vote on the proposed $29.7 million contract with Core & Main last October. Independence Power & Light had shown analysis indicating the project could pay for itself in about eight years.
But after many citizens raised several concerns about fire and health safety, the lack of an opt-out and whether smart meters ultimately would lead to higher electric bills, the council voted 5-2 to table the vote for six months and have the project further vetted. The $2.6 million project management contract with West Monroe Partners also was tabled.
Council Member Tom Van Camp said before that vote he preferred to scrap the project. The other no voter, Curt Dougherty, said he hoped to have a local contractor as project manager and wanted to start with a “clean slate,” perhaps reviewing the bids. Dougherty later said smart meter project was a worthy initiative and the financial analysis was promising but that the council should take more time to make the most informed decision.
The runner-up vendor for the project, Honeywell, had bid just less than $35 million. Core & Main had agreed in October to hold its bid price for six months.
Power & Light Acting Director Andy Boatright said Friday that city staff plans to withdraw the proposed management contract and offer to work instead with a local individual contractor to be determined. Such a contractor would have experience with this type of project, Boatright said, and the city would save about $1.8 million in costs.
City staff also is drafting an opt-out policy for consideration, Boatright said.
Monday’s vote on the smart meter project would take place before the City Council changeover, when newly elected Mike Huff, a retired IPL manager, replaces outgoing at-large Council Member Chris Whiting.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The city started exploring AMI more than two years ago, at the council’s suggestion, and eventually selected HD Supply (later renamed Core & Main) over Honeywell from seven initial proposals.
The digital smart meters would be installed over three years, replacing IPL’s 50,000-plus analog meters. The smart meters would be read by city utilities — electricity and water — through a secure, cloud-based system.
The cost would be shared by the city’s three utilities – IPL, water and water pollution control – and would be paid over 10 years. City officials say the utilities have cash on hand to pay for it.
The city utilities would see savings or benefits from staff reallocations, less vehicle expenses and replacement costs, reduced theft and possibly increased revenue from more accurate readings. After the break-even point, they likely would realize savings of millions of dollars.
Customers would benefit, the city says, from better outage response times, their ability to track their energy usage more closely – including through a smartphone – and the utilities possibly staving off rate increases because of the savings they realize.
Contractors would make the meter exchanges, and customers would not have to pay if any defects in the current meter structures – particularly older ones that might not have been disturbed for years – prevent an immediate exchange.
Boatright said a total of 19 positions would be affected, but not for a few years, and some employees would be offered training or education for new assignments.
Several citizens voiced their objections about smart meters to the council and in letters to The Examiner before the initial scheduled vote last October and in the months since.
Among their objections, besides the fear of higher bills: concerns about exposure to radio frequency waves, fire hazards and various privacy concerns. Those include outside hackers collecting personal data, information finding its way to third parties, and the utilities being able to track specific activities inside homes.
Boatright said the technology behind smart meters has improved greatly from even a few years ago, when he oversaw the start of a smart meter implementation with a utility in Ohio.
Kansas City Power & Light and the Board of Public Utilities in Kansas City, Kansas, have installed smart meters and report minimal or no fires from the devices, as noted in a city report discussing customer concerns. Boatright said issues that do arise often happen from an older utility structure that can’t support a smart meter, or other outside factors. The project has budgeted costs to fix such utility structure issues from the onset.
The city’s Advisory Board of Health said the World Health Organization has found “no convincing evidence supporting short- or long-term adverse health effects caused by exposure to the low-level radio frequency energy” from the transmitters, and it learned that radio frequency waves are essentially similar to that of a typical cell or cordless phone, but smart meters emit a fraction of the radio waves per day as the typical cell phone.
While energy usage typically is higher when a customer is at home, the city says in its report that a smart meter can’t identify what activities are taking place or the specific appliance in use. The data transmitted by smart meters would not include personally identifiable information – merely a meter identification number and electric or water usage – and the city does not permit sharing of customer’s personal information to any third party without a customer’s written authorization or law enforcement or public agency request.
Whereas cyber intruders work remotely through the internet, the radio-based smart meters don’t offer that option, the city says. All told, it makes smart meter “an unlikely and unprofitable target for hackers.”
The Public Utilities Advisory Board approved the AMI project after reviewing the city’s report.
The city began installing the smart meters in 2014, and there are now more than 4,500 of them on the streets.
“We’re proud to have put all the accessible options for people to actually make payments by credit card to make payments by mobile phone,” said Eierman.
Last year, the meters were used more than 5 million times but an audit found the meters had multiple problems that led to tickets being wrongly written. Problems included: battery issues, problems recording payment through the Parkmobile app, and faulty vehicle sensors.
In 2017, the city received nearly 7,000 complaints about meters not working.
“The smart meters were not actually as we had intended them…they were missing recognizing the vehicle, registering the vehicle had left when the vehicle hadn’t,” said Sacramento City Auditor Jorge Oseguera.
Radio problems between the meters and the Parkmobile app also led to many tickets.
“There really was a communication breakdown between the app and the parking meter,” said Eierman.
Adjustments have been made but, “it’s still going to be a possibility that it occurs but we’ve stopped that by having a secondary check in place,” said Eierman. That means parking officers now have to call dispatch and to see if an online payment has been made before writing a ticket.
“With all of these technologies, there’s going to be these unanticipated issues that are going to creep up. The key is how well does the city react once they’re made aware of those issues,” said Oseguera.
The audit also found it’s taking too long — about six months — for a contested ticket to get fixed. The city is hoping to purchase new handheld devices in the next six months so parking officers no longer have to call dispatch before writing tickets.
Washington’s investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities will need to offer residential customers the ability to opt out of advanced meter or “smart meter” installation to address customer concerns about the new meters, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission said recently.
The commission also said that companies should allow opt-out customers to keep their existing meters, rather than requiring an immediate switch from analog to digital, non-communicative meters.
Critics say the smart meters don’t protect privacy and can cause health problems.
As moving to smart meters is underway in Washington in 2018, the commission will develop requirements for protecting consumer information as well as rule changes for company operations in upcoming workshops and rulemakings.
Recent federal legislation has supported the development of a modernized smart grid and has encouraged states and utilities to prepare for future energy demands. Smart meters gather customer usage data through two-way communication between the meter and a utility.
While stress is inevitable, how you deal with stress will determine whether it will translate into health problems later on. The stress reaction should dissipate as quickly as possible after the perceived danger has passed
“Resilience” is the scientific term for your body’s ability to rapidly return to normal, physically and emotionally, after a stressful event. Exposure to trauma can weaken your emotional resilience
People who get more deep sleep have greater resilience. REM sleep buffers against emotional distress, while sleeping poorly raises your risk of experiencing a difficult event as emotionally traumatizing
To increase your REM sleep, reduce your stress during the day and make sure you get enough total hours of sleep in the first place. That means consistently getting the recommended eight hours of sleep every night
Focused breathing techniques are another way to enhance your emotional resilience, as it teaches you to notice internal stress signals and cues from your body
from your body
By Dr. Mercola
Among all the factors contributing to poor health and early death, stress is perhaps the most pernicious yet commonly overlooked. While the stress response is a lifesaving biological function, enabling you to fight or flee an attacker, this “lifesaving” reaction ends up doing far more harm than good when triggered by financial worries, fear of public speaking, difficult bosses and traffic jams.
The sheer number of stress-inducing situations that face us on a daily basis can make it difficult to turn the stress response off. As a result, you may be marinating in corrosive stress hormones around the clock, and this can have serious consequences, from compounding a weight problem to elevating your blood pressure and raising your risk of a heart attack.1,2
Emotional Resilience Helps Lessen the Impact of Stress
Clearly, stress is an inescapable part of life; it’s how you address it that will determine whether it will translate into health problems later on. The stress reaction should dissipate as quickly as possible after the perceived danger has passed. The scientific term for this is “resilience” — your ability to rapidly return to normal, physically and emotionally, after a stressful event.
As explained by wellness coach Elizabeth Scott, diplomate at the American Institute of Stress and author of “8 Keys to Stress Management”:3
“More resilient people are able to ‘roll with the punches’ and adapt to adversity without lasting difficulties; less resilient people have a harder time with stress and life changes, both major and minor. It’s been found that those who deal with minor stresses more easily can also manage major crises with greater ease, so resilience has its benefits for daily life as well as for the rare major catastrophe.”
Resilient People Are More Tuned In to Bodily Cues of Stress
Some people are naturally more resilient than others, and researchers have long pondered the reasons why. One hypothesis is that people who are more resilient have learned to listen to their body. In one experiment,4 elite adventure athletes and special forces soldiers were placed in a brain scanning machine while wearing a face mask that made it difficult to breathe once the researcher pressed a button.
What they discovered was that these people were able to closely monitor the signals from their body indicating rising panic, and suppress their physical response. In other words, they were acutely aware of their biological stress response, but didn’t overreact. The same test was later administered on “normal” people, who had first completed a questionnaire to gauge their self-perceived resilience.
Those whose scores suggested high resilience had brain activity very similar to the former group — the soldiers and elite athletes. Those with low resilience scores on the other hand, reacted in the converse way. As reported by The New York Times:5
“As their face masks threatened to close, they displayed surprisingly little activity in those portions of the brain that monitor signals from the body. And then, when breathing did grow difficult, they showed high activation in parts of the brain that increase physiological arousal.
In effect, they paid little attention to what was happening inside their bodies as they waited for breathing to become difficult — and then overreacted when the threat occurred. Such brain responses would undermine resilience, the scientists concluded, by making it more difficult for the body to return to a calm state…”
Sound, Deep Sleep Builds Emotional Resilience
Exposure to trauma can weaken your emotional resilience. The good news is you can rebuild or improve it as well. One solid strategy that can help build emotional resilience is good sleep. Recent research shows people who get more deep sleep are less fearful.
The study,6 published in the Journal of Neuroscience, claims to be the first to demonstrate that sound, deep sleep helps buffer against emotional distress, while sleeping poorly raises your risk of experiencing a difficult event as emotionally traumatizing. According to the authors:
“Sleep, and particularly rapid-eye movement sleep (REM), has been implicated in the modulation of neural activity following fear conditioning and extinction in both human and animal studies. It has long been presumed that such effects play a role in the formation and persistence of post-traumatic stress disorder, of which sleep impairments are a core feature …
In the current study, we employed long-term mobile sleep monitoring and functional neuroimaging (fMRI) to explore whether trait-like variations in sleep patterns … predict subsequent patterns of neural activity during fear learning.
Our results indicate that higher baseline levels of REM sleep predict reduced fear-related activity in, and connectivity between, the hippocampus, amygdala and ventromedial PFC during conditioning. Additionally, skin-conductance-responses (SCR) were weakly correlated to the activity in the amygdala.
Conversely, there was no direct correlation between REM sleep and SCR, indicating that REM may only modulate fear acquisition indirectly. In a follow-up experiment, we show that these results are replicable, though to a lesser extent, when measuring sleep over a single night just prior to conditioning. As such, baseline sleep parameters may be able to serve as biomarkers for resilience, or lack thereof, to trauma.”
The Link Between REM Sleep and Fear Responses
As a general rule, if you sleep soundly for about eight hours, approximately two of those hours are REM sleep, the deepest sleep stage during which your body is fully relaxed. This is also known as the sleep stage when dreams occur. In this study, the fear conditioning involved showing the participants pictures of rooms lit with varying colors, some of which were paired with a mild electric shock to their finger.
Those who had gotten more REM sleep showed less connectivity between the amygdala, which processes fear, and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, two regions involved in memory. They also had lower activity in those two areas overall. What this suggests is that their brains were not “hard-wiring” the fear impulse as strongly as in those who got less deep sleep.
As noted in The Atlantic,7 “PTSD is already known to be associated with sleep disturbances, and past studies have shown that sleep-deprived people have more activity in their amygdalae upon being shown upsetting pictures. So why might REM sleep make us less prone to encoding traumatic emotions?” A couple of different hypotheses have been proposed that might explain this phenomenon:
•REM sleep has been shown to clear norepinephrine from the locus coeruleus, where it is secreted. Norepinephrine, also known as noradrenaline, is involved in mental focus and attention, and readies both your brain and body for action. It also improves mood and alleviates pain.
•According to study author Shira Lupkin, researcher with the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers University, “One theory is that this allows you to wipe the slate clean before you start again the next day. If you have less REM, then you have less of an opportunity to reduce your overall levels of norepinephrine, which will make you more reactive the next day to a given stimulus.”
•Stress hormones are also low during REM sleep, which allows your brain to activate memories — sometimes in the form of dreams — while stripping the memories of their “emotional tone.” Hence getting more REM sleep may make you less reactive to events that trigger an emotional memory.
How to Increase REM Sleep
The next question then becomes, how do you increase REM sleep, the deepest part of your sleep cycle? The answer presents a catch-22 for many, as it involves reducing your stress during the day and making sure you actually get enough total hours of sleep in the first place.
That means consistently getting the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, which in turn means getting in bed at a decent hour and not burning the midnight oil. For 33 different tips to improve your sleep quality, see this previous sleep article. Some of the most important yet frequently overlooked factors that can have a significant impact on your sleep are your nighttime exposure to:
•Electronic screens. Avoid using electronic media for at least an hour or more before bedtime, as the blue light emitted from these devices (including TVs) inhibit melatonin production. Melatonin not only regulates your sleep-waking cycle; it’s also a powerful antioxidant, and low levels have been repeatedly linked to an increased risk of cancer.8
If you do use electronic screen devices after sunset, be sure to use a blue light filter or use blue-blocking glasses. I found two versions (an amber Uvex model, and a red version by HDE that is better but more of a challenge to use as it turns the world to red and white) on Amazon for less than $10, both of which eliminate virtually all blue light.
The research is quite clear that people who use smartphones and computers, especially in the evening but also during the daytime, are more likely to report insomnia.9 One 2008 study10 revealed that people exposed to cellphone radiation for three hours before bedtime had more trouble falling asleep and staying in a deep sleep.
•Excessive light. Exposure to light at night interrupts your circadian clock and melatonin level, both of which play a role in how deeply you sleep and how well-rested you feel the next day. LEDs and fluorescent lights are particularly troublesome because the blue light peaks are not balanced by red and near-infrared.11 Incandescent lights are safer, as they emit red and near-infrared wavelengths and very few blue wavelengths. Candle light or salt lamps are ideal for evening use.
Once you’re in bed, even very dim light (such as that from a nightlight or alarm clock) can have a detrimental effect on your sleep quality and quantity, and can negatively affect your cognition the next day,12 so make your bedroom as dark as possible using blackout shades or an eye mask.
•Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from electric wiring in your bedroom walls also negatively affect sleep by disrupting cellular communication and impairing melatonin secretion. EMFs also harm your mitochondria by producing oxidative damage, and have been linked to neuronal changes that affect memory and the ability to learn.13
Fortunately you can typically remediate it by turning off the circuit breaker to your bedroom before you go to sleep. You may need to turn off other rooms also if they are adjacent to your bedroom.
•Microwave radiation from cellphones, cordless phones, Wi-Fi routers, baby monitors, smart meters and more, which have the ability to cause significant cellular and DNA damage,14,15,16,17 thereby accelerating the aging process.
By elevating voltage-gated calcium channels in the membranes of your cells, EMFs and microwaves have been shown to produce a variety of neuropsychiatric effects, including sleeplessness, anxiety, depression and dementia. Be sure to turn off your Wi-Fi and cellphones at night.
Tips to Reduce Sleep-Robbing EMFs in Your Bedroom
Eliminating EMF exposure can be tricky business, as most homes are quite literally swimming in electric currents. Still, there are ways to reduce EMF to a smaller or greater degree, depending on how far you’re willing to go. Here are some suggestions, ranging from modest to more extreme:
•Avoid running electrical cords underneath your bed. Especially avoid plugging in any transformers (power supplies) within 6 feet of your bed.
•One of the most important is to turn off your Wi-Fi at night. Since you don’t need internet access while sleeping, this is a simple remedy that most people can implement. Even better would be to permanently turn off your Wi-Fi and convert to a wired household.
•Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your head, or ideally out of the room. To solve the problem of needing some way to tell the time in my pitch-black bedroom, I bought a battery powered talking clock18 designed for the visually impaired.
If electrical devices must be kept in your bedroom, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least 3 feet. Cellphone chargers should be kept at least 4 feet away from your bed, while portable phone bases and wireless routers should be kept as far away from your bedroom as possible. If you keep your cellphone in your bedroom it must be in airplane mode. Even at a distance of 30 feet it will blast you with microwave radiation all night long if it’s on.
•Avoid sleeping with your head against a wall that contains unshielded electric wiring and/or electric meters, circuit breaker panels, televisions or stereos on the other side. Unfortunately, few communities in the U.S. require wall wiring to be placed in metal-clad conduit. This is primarily done for fire prevention, but it also eliminates most electric fields.
Therefore, more than likely, you are exposed to electric fields that radiate from the wires in the wall at the head of your bed, even if you don’t have any electronics on the other side of the wall. The solutions in both instances is to turn off the power breaker to your bedroom and possibly other rooms that are directly adjacent to your bedroom.
Your Resilience Can be Improved Through Focused Breathing
Focused breathing techniques are another way to enhance your emotional resilience, as it teaches you to notice internal stress signals and cues from your body. Lori Haase, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, who led the experiment on elite adventure athletes and special forces soldiers, suggests quietly paying attention to your breathing without otherwise reacting.
Over time, she says, this exercise should “teach you to have a change in breathing when anxious but be less attached to that reaction, which may help to improve your reaction in a stressful situation.”19 There are many breathing techniques out there, virtually all of which can help you get in touch with your body and soothe your mind.
One simple technique is the 4-7-8 breathing exercise taught by Dr. Andrew Weil,20 who recommends using it “whenever anything upsetting happens — before you react,” and “whenever you are aware of internal tension.” The key to this exercise is to remember the numbers 4, 7 and 8.
Sit up straight and place the tip of your tongue up against the back of your front teeth. Keep it there through the entire breathing process. Begin by breathing in through your nose to the count of four. Hold your breath to the count of seven. Exhale through your mouth to the count of eight, making an audible “woosh” sound.
That completes one full breath. It’s not important to focus on how much time you spend in each phase of the breathing activity, but rather that you get the ratio correct. You can do this exercise as frequently as you want throughout the day, but it’s recommended you don’t do more than four full breaths during the first month of practice. Later you may work your way up to eight full breath cycles at a time. If you commit to it, you may be pleasantly surprised by how quickly and easily it can center and relax you.
Conquer Stress With Energy Psychology
Besides breathing exercises, there are many other helpful stress management tools. Another favorite is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), an energy psychology tool that can help reprogram your body’s reactions to everyday stress, thereby reducing your chances of developing adverse health effects.
It’s similar to acupuncture, which is based on the concept that a vital energy flows through your body along invisible pathways known as meridians. EFT stimulates different energy meridian points in your body by tapping them with your fingertips, while simultaneously using custom-made verbal affirmations.
By doing so, you reprogram the way your body responds to emotional stressors. Since these stressors are usually connected to physical problems, many people’s diseases and other symptoms can improve or disappear as well. For a demonstration, please see the video above, featuring EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman.
For serious or deep-seated emotional problems, I recommend seeing an experienced EFT therapist, as there is a significant art to the process that requires a high level of sophistication if serious problems are to be successfully treated.
Other Stress Management Techniques
Stress is so widespread as to be “pandemic” in today’s modern world, but suffering ill effects from stress is not an inevitable fact. A lot depends on how you respond to these day-to-day stresses. As you learn how to decrease your stress level and increase your resilience, your health and well-being will improve as well. There are many different stress reduction techniques. The key is to find out what works best for you, and stick to a daily stress-reduction program.
Just remember, a key strategy is to make sure you get adequate sleep, as sleep deprivation dramatically impairs your body’s ability to handle stress, and blunts your resilience. Aside from what I’ve already discussed above, other stress management approaches include the following:
Regular physical activity
Meditation: Taking even 10 minutes to sit quietly, such as during work breaks, can help decrease your feelings of stress and anxiety
UBIQUITY (Bregtje van der Haak, Netherlands, Belgium). 82 minutes. Rating: NNN
The latest documentary about people with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (after last year’s The Quiet Zone) looks at the phenomenon from the perspective of three people struggling to minimize their exposure to electromagnetic fields, largely represented here as cell coverage and WiFi. In an era of global coverage, how does one live away from the literal grid?
Ubiquity explores that question through the lives of three people – a young woman out to stop the proliferation of digital electricity meters in Japan, a wife and mother in the Netherlands obsessed with cell towers and a middle-aged Swedish man who’s retreated to a cabin in the countryside and insists on being filmed with a mechanical camera rather than digital equipment.
Director Bregtje van der Haak (Satellite Queens, DNA Dreams) isn’t out to challenge her subjects or explore the science behind their conditions; she wants us to understand what it’s like to live their lives, occasionally deploying high-pitched sound effects or fragmented editing to that end.
The use of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg as an avatar of connectivity doesn’t land as well as it might have a few months ago, and a last-minute shift into advocacy doesn’t work at all. But in its quieter moments, when it glimpses a world slowly being overtaken by cables and circuitry, Ubiquity gets at something unsettling about the way we live now.