By Narelle McDonald

    So far we have touched on chemicals, allergens, indoor air quality and healthy kitchen options. Another area of concern is our exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs). This is particularly important in our bedrooms. Given that on average we spend 22 years of our life sleeping and most of our cell regeneration takes place during the night, this room is critical for our health and vitality.

    As a Building Biologist and Feng Shui consultant, we pay special attention to this room. Our aim is to create a sanctuary, a place where the body can rest and regenerate. When it comes to electric and magnetic fields it’s all about distance; as you double the distance between you and the source, you reduce your exposure by approximately 75 per cent.

    Electromagnetic fields can interfere with our bodies and may reduce melatonin levels and stop us getting a good night’s sleep.  According to Magda Havas, some of the symptoms of prolonged exposure to EMFs that expose our bodies to stress are: disrupted sleep patterns, memory and concentration loss, mood swings, depressive disorders, high levels of anxiety and illnesses such as chronic fatigue.

    This is why we advise to keep all electronic devices to an absolute minimum and to keep a distance from the bed of at least one metre.

    Considering the measures below can reduce the impact in this important room of the home.


    Evaluate all electronic devices in the bedroom and keep to a minimum, unplug and remove any not in use. If you love your electric blanket turn it off and unplug it before getting into bed.

    1. Wherever possible avoid wireless devices. If you use wi-fi in your home turn the router off when not in use, particularly at night, and keep it well away from bedrooms.
    2. Locate your meter box. If it’s on the other side of your bedhead move the bed to the opposite wall to create as much distance as possible.
    3. Check what appliances are located on the same wall as all beds in the home. All appliances connected to mains and drawing current will emit the highest fields. Ensure these do not back onto fridges, stoves, ovens, all office and entertainment equipment, phone charges or any such appliance.
    4. Avoid any wires and extension cords running under the bed.
    5. If you use your mobile for an alarm put it in flight mode and keep a distance from the bed; you’ll be less likely to hit snooze multiple times. Better still, opt for a battery-operated clock.
    6. Avoid metal bed frames and spring mattresses. Opt for mattresses and pillows made out of natural fibres such as natural latex, organic cotton wool, bamboo, hemp, silk and linen. As we spend so much time sleeping it is important to choose the best mattress possible.

    Further information on how our modern way of life may contribute to ill health and the important part our homes can play in this can be found at

    Narelle McDonald is a qualified Building Biologist and Feng Shui Consultant and founder of Healthy Living Spaces.


    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

    Your feedback

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here



    Latest Articles

    Latest edition

    #96 May 2024

    Recent editions



    Become a supporter

    The Westsider is run on the power of volunteers. Your contribution directly contributes to ensuring we can continue serving and celebrating our community.

    Related articles