As Wi-Fi is a relatively new thing, the jury is still out regarding whether or not it poses any risk to our health. There are passionate arguments for and against and as such, I want you to understand that I’m not here to argue either side of the equation. At this stage, it’s a matter of opinion and requires a whole lot of science to help me explain both sides in detail – I’m not going there. This post is discussing why I personally like to turn my Wi-Fi off at night, not why you should or shouldn’t do the same, just why I’ve decided it’s best for our household. I completely respect your decision either way.
WHY I TURN OFF MY WI-FI AT NIGHT
An investigation into the cost of running home appliances by the Daily Telegraph in the UK revealed that the cost of a wireless router on standby alone fetched a cool £21pa. The next most expensive item being a laser jet printer reached £18pa. That’s not cheap. To put it in perspective a Plasma TV costs around £5pa on standby. By switching off the Wi-Fi (and the printer and TV for that matter) when you’re not using it, you’re saving some pennies.
IT’S BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
By reducing your energy consumption, you’re reducing your impact on the environment. In my opinion, flicking a switch before bed is a small price to pay for life on this incredible planet.
WE SLEEP BETTER
Now before I delve into EMF’s (see below), both my husband and find that we fall into a much deeper sleep, without the crazy dreams when the Wi-Fi is off. Maybe it’s all in our heads, maybe it’s not, but it’s worth noting.
IT REDUCES THE EXPOSURE TO EMF’S
EMFs or Electromagnetic fields are a type of radiation that takes the form of waves. Generally speaking, there are 2 types of EMFs:
- Natural EMFs –The earth produces an electromagnetic field (EMF), and so does the human body. Natural EMFs or ELF’s are low in intensity; for example, a healthy human body resonates with the earth’s magnetic field at around 10 hertz.
- Artificial EMFs– Human technologies – from hairdryers and cell phones to high voltage wires – create EMFs above the “natural range”. Exposures to EMFs of this nature have been linked to sleep disturbances1, neutralising of sperm2, infertility in mice3, increase in cardiac stress4 and interference with plant cell growth5. In addition, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as a “possible human carcinogen”. You can find the report here.
By taking a precautionary approach and switching our Wi-Fi (and mobiles off at night before putting them in another room), we reduce (not eliminate) our exposure to these artificial EMFs and save a few pennies whilst we’re at it. I guess you could say we’re more comfortable being safe than sorry? Anyway, some food for thought.
- Cunnington et al. 2013, ‘Insomnia: prevalence, consequences and effective treatment’, Medical Journal of Australia, Available Here.
- Avendano et. al 2012, ‘Use of laptop computers connected to internet through Wi-Fi decreases human sperm motility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation’, Fertility and Sterility, Available here.
- Shahin, et. al 2013, Microwave Irradiation-Induced Oxidative Stress Affects Implantation or Pregnancy in Mice, Applied Biochemistry Biotechnology. Available here.
- Havas & Marrongelle 2013, ‘Replication of heart rate variability provocation study with 2.4-GHz cordless phone confirms original findings’, Electromagnetic Biology of Medicine. Available here.
- Daily Mail UK 2013, ‘What’s wifi doing to us? Experiment finds that shrubs die when placed next to wireless routers’, Available Here.
- Redmayne et. al 2013, ‘The relationship between adolescents’ well-being and their wireless phone use: a cross-sectional study’, Enviornmental Health. Available here.