Did you know that the earth's surface is brimming with free electrons, which have the potential to neutralize harmful free radicals in our bodies?
By practicing earthing and grounding, you can tap into this natural source of antioxidants, unlocking a myriad of health benefits that can improve your sleep, reduce stress, and enhance overall wellbeing.
What is Earthing and Grounding?
In a nutshell, it's the practice of making direct physical contact with the earth's surface. Almost like the earth is a battery that we can just connect to and recharge. And it's as simple as walking barefoot in the grass or lying down on the ground. Not something that's particularly attractive in the winter, but bear with me, there are easier ways to get the benefits!
The science behind earthing and grounding is based on the fact that the earth has a natural, negative electrical charge. By coming into direct contact with the earth, we allow our bodies to absorb these electrons, which can help neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation. This can lead to a range of health benefits.
Health Benefits of Earthing
Now, I know it sounds a bit “out there,” and research is fairly limited, but there's actually some solid evidence backing up these claims. Let's delve into some of the specific health benefits that earthing and grounding may offer:
- Better sleep: one of the most significant potential benefits of earthing is improved sleep. This study found that grounding during sleep helped participants fall asleep faster, experience fewer awakenings, and wake up feeling more refreshed.
- Reduced stress and anxiety: Earthing has been shown to help balance cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and promote a sense of relaxation.
- Enhanced mood and focus: Some earthing enthusiasts report that the practice helps improve their mood and mental clarity. While more research is needed in this area, it's possible that earthing's effect on cortisol levels and inflammation could contribute to these benefits.
- Pain relief: Chronic pain can be debilitating, but earthing might offer some relief. This study found that participants who practiced grounding reported a significant reduction in pain. Although more research is needed, it's worth giving it a try if you're dealing with persistent discomfort.
- Faster healing: Earthing may even help your body heal more quickly. This study found that grounding can speed up the healing process by reducing inflammation and promoting a healthy immune response.
- Improved cardiovascular health: Earthing might have heart-healthy benefits, too! This study found that grounding could improve blood flow and circulation, which are essential for cardiovascular health.
Ways to Practice Earthing and Grounding
So, how can you incorporate earthing into your daily routine? There are plenty of earthing and grounding techniques to get you connected – and some of them might surprise you! Here are a few ideas:
- Walking barefoot: One of the easiest ways to practice earthing is to walk barefoot on grass, sand, or soil. This can be as simple as strolling around your garden or taking a walk on the beach if you live near one.
- Gardening: Getting your hands dirty in the garden is another fantastic way to connect with the earth. Plus, you'll be getting the benefits of reduced stress – it's a win-win!
- Yoga or meditation outdoors: If you're a fan of yoga or meditation, consider taking your practice outside. Find a quiet spot on the grass, lay down a mat, and let the earth's energy work its magic.
- Wild swimming – The ocean, lakes and rivers have conductive minerals and saltwater that can enhance the grounding effect. When you stand in a lake or river, your feet make direct contact with the earth's surface beneath the water, allowing you to absorb the earth's energy. Avoid any water that may contain pollutants, chemicals or sewage (this is clearly not advised!), and be mindful of tides and currents.
Earthing while you sleep?
If you're not a fan of getting your feet dirty or simply don't have access to green spaces or water, don't worry – there's a solution for you. Earthing bed sheets and mats are designed to help you experience the benefits of grounding while you sleep. These products are made with conductive materials that connect to the Earth via a grounded outlet, allowing you to absorb the Earth's electrons as you snooze or work!
Sleep Earthed are a UK company that specialise in making earthing products like bed sheets, mats and pillow cases. I've been using the sheet for about a month, and I honestly think my sleep is deeper and my back pain in the morning is definitely less. I can't prove it's the sheet of course, but I love the fact that it may be fighting my free radicals (aka ageing!) while I sleep!
I will just stress that scientific studies on the use of mats and sheets over outdoor contact are limited so far (there was a small one here that showed benefits of reduced cortisol levels), but there are plenty of anecdotal reviews from people that have benefitted.
If you want to try one out, Sleep Earthed have offered us a 10% discount on any of their product range. Just use code happyhormones at checkout.
Now, it's important to note that while earthing and grounding have been associated with these benefits, it's not a cure-all. It's best to think of it as a complementary practice that can help support your overall health and wellbeing, alongside the other healthy habits that I talk about. Think of it as another tool in your midlife tool kit!
Do contact us if you need any help with your hormones, or general health.