I’ve talked about the dangers of EMF radiation, specifically the RF radiation that is emitted by WiFi routers in other articles. However, I want to really focus this article on the particular dangers of sleeping in the same room of your WiFi router, and why that may not be the best idea.
The purpose of this article isn’t to make you worried, but simply to educate you on the kinds of EMF radiation emitted by wireless routers and how that affects your health. In particular, I want to cover how proximity to sources of radiofrequency radiation can affect your sleep and your long-term wellness.
First let’s just answer the basic question.
Is it safe to keep a WiFi router in your bedroom? No, in general, it is not safe to keep a router in your bedroom. You will be exposed to an excessive amount of EMF and RF radiation from the router at close proximity. The dangers of this radiation are increased the closer it is to you. In addition, exposure to EMF radiation while you sleep can have adverse effects on your health.
That is the basic answer to this question, but now I really want to dive much deeper and talk about why it’s important to not have a WiFi router in your bedroom, where you should put it instead, how to reduce your exposure to WiFi radiation, and much more.
What Is WiFi Radiation?
When someone talks about WiFi radiation, what they are actually referring to is that the Wi-Fi signal is a form of radiofrequency radiation, which is a form of electromagnetic radiation, or RF.
You see, most electronics, especially wireless ones, emit EMF radiation. EMF radiation is broken into three categories: electric field, magnetic field, and radiofrequency. Things like an LED lightbulb might give off electric field radiation, your laptop will certainly give off magnetic radiation, and the wireless signal from WiFi routers or cell phones is a form of radiofrequency radiation.
So really, WiFi radiation is actually just a kind of RF radiation, sometimes also referred to as microwave radiation. This RF radiation is at the far end of the electromagnetic spectrum. Although it is a relatively low energy wave and is technically a form of “non-ionizing radiation,” that does not mean it is not potentially harmful to your health.
For a long time, people tried to purport that non-ionizing radiation was not harmful to your health because it didn’t have enough energy to actually remove a charged particle (ionizing). However, we now know that this kind of radiation, especially with long-term exposure can certainly have adverse health risks. In fact, the world health organization in 2011 classified RF radiation like that emitted from your WiFI router as a Group 2B possible human carcinogen.
We’ll go more into the potential harmful effects of RF radiation in the next section, but I thought it was important for you to understand what exactly WiFI radiation is. That way, when I talk more about why keeping a WiFi router in your bedroom or other sleeping areas, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Is It Dangerous To Have A WiFi Router In Your Bedroom?
This is really the same question as to whether WiFi or RF radiation is dangerous, because if so, then keeping a powerful source in your bedroom would certainly be dangerous.
The short answer, in my opinion, is yes, it is certainly dangerous to keep a WiFi router in the bedroom.
The reason why is really two-fold.
- The long-term health effects of exposure to EMF radiation are well documented.
- Exposure to any kind of EMF radiation has been proven to have negative effects on your sleep, which we’ll talk more about in a minute.
Like I talked about in the section above, exposure to radio waves and electromagnetic fields, particularly from radio frequency radiation like what is emitted from your WiFi router has been classified as a possible carcinogen.
In fact, even the American Cancer Society, which for the most part does not like to talk about the potential dangers of EMF radiation, admits on their website, that:
“…there has been concern that some forms of non-ionizing radiation might have biological effects that could result in cancer…”
-American Cancer Society
Independent studies have connected EMF radiation from WiFI to a whole host of health issues such as:
- Interruption of the brain glucose metabolism
- Increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier
- Interruption of cell metabolism
- Breaks in DNA chains
In fact, frequent, and especially long-term EMF exposure and WiFi exposure commonly cause symptoms such as:
- Trouble Sleeping – Obviously, this is a prime one, and we’ll talk more about it in a minute. However, suffice it to say that even low levels of EMF exposure while our bodies are trying to rest can result in poor sleep.
- Tinnitus – More commonly referred to as a ringing in the ears. Tinnitus is actually defined as hearing any consistent sound without an external sound actually being present. You’ll see this more commonly in people with EHS (electro-hypersensitivity).
- Brain Fog – Often noticed in lapses of memory or trouble recalling things you normally wouldn’t struggle with such as names or places. In fact, there is even a growing body of experts that believe the recent increase in Alzheimer’s Disease could be at least partially attributed to increased EMF radiation exposure.
I’ve talked extensively about the dangers of EMF and RF radiation in other articles, so I won’t go on in this one, if you want to learn more about this topic in particular, be sure to check out other articles on my site. This is especially true if you’re looking for information about the dangers of specific things like”
What Is A Safe Distance From A WiFi Router (In Your Bedroom)?
I’ve talked about this specifically in my full guide to WiFi radiation, but it’s such an important topic when it comes to this issue specifically that I really think we need to cover it.
A general guideline is that a safe distance from a WiFi router is around 25-35 feet depending on the power levels of the router. As you get further away from a source of EMF or RF radiation, you also dramatically reduce your exposure to its effects.
This is due to something called the inverse square law of physics. Essentially this law states that as you double the distance between you and a source of radiation, you quarter your exposure to that source. You can see how this can quickly provide exponential levels of protection.
It’s because distance provides protection from EMF radiation that the FCC has specific guidelines for manufacturers of electronic devices. These limits are called Specific Absorption Rate, or SAR (here is a guide on how to check the SAR value of your phone). Click that link or search “SAR” on this website if you want to learn way more about this.
However, basically SAR is a mandated upper limit as to how much radiation devices can emit, measured in absorption by the human body at a distance of 2cm (at least for cell-phones.) You see, even the regulatory agencies around the world recognize that too much exposure to EMF radiation, especially at close distances, is dangerous to the human body.
The great thing is, even if you do have WiFi, that by moving away from the device you are dramatically safer, however if the signal strength is still strong on your laptop or cell-phone, you aren’t sacrificing anything when it comes to speed or reliability.
This is also the exact reason that keeping a WiFi router in your bedroom is not a good idea.
Unless you happen to have a bedroom the size of a small gymnasium and have your WiFi router on one wall, and your bed on another, you are unlikely to be far enough away to avoid the potential negative effects of WiFi.
We talked earlier about why WiFi (especially if you’re sleeping near it) can be dangerous to your health, now let’s talk about how and why it can affect your sleep.
How Sleeping Near A WiFi Router Can Affect Your Sleep
If you want to dive really deep into the topic of how EMF radiation affects your sleep, and what you can do about it, I’d encourage you to read this full guide that I wrote.
However, for the purposes of this article, I’ll give you the highlight real.
Here is the science behind how EMF radiation affects our sleep.
In 2012, the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Melbourne conducted a study called “Pineal melatonin level disruption in humans due to electromagnetic fields and ICNIRP limits.”
A mouth-full, I know, but here is why this is important:
The study found that EMF’s from things like WiFi radiation impede our bodies ability to produce melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates our sleep and wakefulness.
In fact, the study ended with:
“…the results show the significance of disruption of melatonin due to exposure to weak EMFs, which may possibly lead to long-term health effects in humans.”
Basically, they discovered that our bodies tend to interpret the electrical nature of EMF radiation similar to how we interpret light. So, our bodies think it’s still daytime, and therefore do not produce as much melatonin to help us get good sleep.
The dramatic rise in sales of supplemental melatonin could partially be due to the fact that so many people scroll through social media or do a little bit of last minute Amazon shopping right before bed, not realizing that the blue light from their screen combined with the exposure to EMF radiation is likely sending the wrong signals to their body.
This is exactly why I created my guide to eliminating EMF’s in the bedroom, because getting good sleep is so important for our health.
Now that we fully understand the potential impact of sleeping in a bedroom with a WiFi router, let’s talk about how we can protect ourselves.
Protecting Yourself From WiFi Radiation
Like I mentioned a few sentences above, I have a full guide on how to eliminate EMF’s in the bedroom if you want a more in-depth guide. However, if you’re looking for the best things you can do right away, then keep reading on.
1. Switch Over To a Hard Wired Internet Connection
This is one of the best things you can do to lower your overall exposure to EMF radiation and is especially impactful if you sleep in the same room as (or near) a WiFi router.
Essentially what you’re doing is disabling the router’s WiFi, and instead using ethernet cables to connect your devices. The WiFi on most routers can be toggled on and off with relative ease if you absolutely need it, but using hard-wired internet instead of WiFi will offer much lower exposure to radiation.
I have a full, step-by-step guide to setting this up that you should take a look at if you’re considering it.
2. Turn WiFi Off At Night
This is a great solution if you’re wanting to use WiFi most of the time, but want to lower your exposure at night while you’re sleeping.
Doing so will not only completely stop the exposure from the WiFi router but will also reduce the potential harm of other wireless devices in your home such as your cell-phone (which you really should have in airplane mode anyway at night) or laptop.
To learn more about why this is important, and some simple strategies to do some, read my guide here.
3. Get A WiFi Router Guard
If you’re willing to spend just a little bit of money, getting a WiFi router guard (especially if you’re router is actually in your bedroom) will be money very well spent.
A WiFi router guard is essentially a small Faraday cage that you place your router inside of. You’ll be exposed to around 90% less radiation while only having a slight reduction in WiFi range (and no reduction in speed).
I wrote up an entire guide on router guards that walk you through exactly how they work and why they are such a great EMF protection product that I would encourage you to check out.
However, if you just want to know which router guard I’m currently recommending it would have to be this one that you can pick up on Amazon.
The great thing about WiFi router guards is that they really don’t affect your ability to use WiFi in your home. So, if you’re in a living situation where you really don’t have a say about where the router is located, or if you live in a studio apartment and can’t get enough distance between you and the router, this product is a perfect solution for you.
4. Consider an EMF Protection Canopy
Ok, I know, the idea of an EMF protection bed canopy might seem a little bit silly, but I think you’d be surprised at how much they have gained popularity over the last few years and are becoming quite common.
The idea is fairly simple, essentially it’s a full canopy for your bed made typically out of a silver mesh that is capable of entirely blocking EMF radiation. So, when you’re sleeping, you don’t have to worry about any sources of radiation, even ambient EMF’s from cell towers that you normally can’t do anything about.
Your room could be full of cell-phones, laptops, bluetooth devices, or just about anything else, but you won’t have to worry when you’re inside of your bed canopy. This also means that even if you sleep in a bedroom with a WiFi router, you won’t have to worry.
However, the one thing that you want to be really careful about is that you don’t take devices with you inside the canopy. The material blocks both directions, so if you take your cell-phone or laptop inside, the EMF’s emitted are going to bounce around and likely be enhanced.
They are a little bit expensive generally, but my recommendation would be this Blocsilver Canopy that you can pick up on Amazon.
5. Reduce Your Overall Exposure
The last thing I’ll mention in this list is just to try and reduce your overall exposure to EMF and RF radiation, especially if these other things aren’t options and you sleep in the same room as a router.
One of the things we do know about the dangers of radiation exposure is that the damage is cumulative, so anything you can do to lower your overall exposure is going to go a long way in protecting your body.
I just quickly wanted to cover some related questions that I wasn’t able to get to in the first part of this article.
What Is The Best/Safest Location For a WiFi Router In a House?
If you’ve read this far in the article then you probably already know that these are really two different questions.
The “Best” place in the house for a router if you’re only worried about signal strength would be a central location with limited obstructing walls.
However, the “Safest” place for a router in the home would be to keep it as far away from the places you spend the most time, especially the bedroom. Often times this is in an upstairs or downstairs corner office or in a mechanical room, often times even in the garage.
As long as you can still connect to the device, you’re good to go.
How Do I Block WiFi In A Room?
There are actually quite a few ways that you can block WiFi in a room, but I’m not going to cover them in this article because I already wrote a complete guide on exactly how to do this.
However, i’ve already talked about a few of the options in this article such as the WiFi router guard or the EMF protection canopy.
Is It Safe To Have A Modem In Your Bedroom?
Now this is a really good question, especially in the context of EMF radiation exposures.
For most homes, you will have both a modem, and a router. The modem’s job, typically, is just to take the cable from your provider, and translate it into internet that you router can then distribute. So, most of the time, your modem is not pushing a WiFi signal and the radiation risk will be minimal.
However, some modem’s, especially when they are provided by your internet company also act as routers. So, if you only have one device that is connected to the cable coming from your provider out of the wall, and it’s not also connected to a router, but you’re still getting WiFi, then you have a 2 in 1 unit.
For the purposes of EMF safety, this is exactly the same thing as also having a router. If you do have a seperate modem and router, and the modem is not pushing WiFi, then the issue becomes the fact that they almost always need to be near each other so that you can connect them via an ethernet cable.
Technically you could have the modem in your bedroom, and then connect a very long ethernet cable to the router in another part of the home, but this is not common.
So, suffice it to say, I would not recommend having your modem in your bedroom unless it is the only location that your cable internet provider could access. In that case, I would either run a long ethernet cable, or put both the modem and router into a WiFi router guard like the ones I talked about above.
I’ll leave you with this helpful video showing just how the router guard works and why it’s a great option.
If you have any questions about what I’ve talked about in this article, please don’t hesitate to reach out.