Should you Plug in your Bed? Experts Weigh in on Grounding
Grounding your bed is the practice of – supposedly – connecting your sleep surface to the Earth's electrical energy. Also known as earthing, which usually involves planting your bare feet firmly on the ground to experience direct contact with the earth, grounding your bed is a trend we've seen all over TikTok, and it's said to improve your sleep and bring significant benefits to your wellbeing. According to proponents, grounding allows electrons from the Earth to travel into your body, which they claim can help reduce inflammation, decrease stress, boost energy levels, and even promote healing.
There is almost no scientific evidence to support this fad. It almost certainly does nothing, and has no benefits. There's no reason why 'electrons from the Earth' would reduce inflammation. You pick up and lose electrons all the time; it's why you might get a static shock after shuffling across a carpet.
While there are many methods of grounding, including using earthing sheets, a grounding mat, or buying a grounding band, we advise against all of them. Though ultimately harmless, we've spoken to the experts to debunk whether you should ground your mattress or not.
To ground oneself is to simply have direct skin-to-earth contact. Grounding your bed, however, involves connecting a wire from your bed to the earth through a power supply.
There's probably no risk with trying grounding, but it won't do anything. These grounding mats tend to have resistors built-in which reduce the risk of electric shocks from plugging a sheet into a mattress. This also utterly undermines the claim that you're receiving beneficial electrons, since the flow of electrons is being impeded by a resistor anyway. However, improper use of your electrical outlets could be dangerous. Our advice is that you don't bother.
Seeley explains that 'Proponents of grounding argue that direct contact with the Earth's surface allows for the transfer of electrons, which can have positive effects on the body. They suggest that grounding your bed can help reduce inflammation and pain, improve sleep, and provide other health benefits.'
Reduced inflammation: In a pilot study published in the Journal of Inflammation Research (2015), 'researchers claimed that grounding the body led to a significant reduction in chronic inflammation markers,' says Seeley. However, this study uses just 20 subjects, and is therefore an unreliable piece of research.
Stress reduction: While scientific evidence supporting claims against stress reduction is limited, 'grounding is believed to help regulate the body and stress response and promote relaxation', explains Seeley.
Improved mood and well-being: 'Lots of individuals report feeling more balanced, energized, and mentally refreshed when using grounding bed sheets.' reports Seeley. However, it is important to remember that these are anecdotes - scientific studies investigating the effects of grounding on mood and well-being are scarce.
Grounding and earthing are two interchangeable terms and are used to describe the movement of connecting yourself to the earth. While employing the same process, one difference can be that earthing is sometimes referred to as simply touching the ground physically, whereas grounding can include using a live wire that runs through from the earth to an appliance, allowing for a direct flow of the Earth's electrons.
There's more than one method to ground your bed. You can manually connect a wire from your bed to a ground port of an electrical outlet, though you may have to install one, which can be a lengthy process. Another way to ground your bed is by using grounding sheets or purchasing a grounding mat.
Grounding bed sheets and grounding mats are supposed to work in the same way. They'll both have a conductive layer woven into the fabric, like copper, stainless steel, or carbon and will be connected to either a grounding socket or rod. The difference is, an earthing mat will sit underneath your fitted sheet (like a protector), whereas earthing sheets are designed to have direct contact with your skin in order to work.