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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 bed, 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.
What is grounding?
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. You can see some of the claims in the TikTok below.
As Jeff Harris, sleep expert and bespoke bed manufacturer at Delcor Ltd, explains, 'Grounding, also known as earthing, is the practice of connecting oneself to the Earth's electrical charge by using conductive materials,' such as copper wires, or grounding products that contain conductive layers. The claim is that these products let you plug yourself into the Earth's charge, promoting health and wellbeing.
As a high-end bespoke bed manufacturer at Delcor Ltd, Jeff Harris specializes in creating comfortable and luxurious sleep solutions.
Is grounding real?
The 'scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness is generally limited and mixed' says Martin Seeley, founder and CEO of MattressNextDay. Anecdotally, some say that grounding their bed makes them feel better, but much more scientific research is needed to even begin to validate these claims.
We're yet to see a study which used more than 60 test subjects, which is far too small of a sample size to be meaningful. Dr Chad Orzel, associate professor of physics and astronomy at Union College, NY, points out in a blog post that the basic physics behind grounding makes very little sense. Your body is constantly gaining and losing electrons. This is imperceptible and has no effect on your health. What's more, much of this research comes from biased sources who sell earthing mats and sheets.
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.
The supposed benefits of grounding your bed
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.
The founder and CEO of MattressNextDay, Martin Seeley has been in the sleep industry since the 80s. Having started out working with his Dad, mattresses are in Martin’s blood, and he loves providing customers with any help possible to get the best night’s sleep. A prominent figure in the bed world, Martin knows how to overcome any sleep-related problem, offering you the most expert advice and information on a range of health and lifestyle matters. He has been featured in renowned publications such as Men’s Health, Forbes and GQ, as well as ITV’s This Morning.
Should I ground my bed?
If you want to try it, you can buy a grounding mat at Amazon, but it'll cost you $70. That model has some good reviews, but if you scroll through them there are lots of four and five star reviews from users saying that they're still waiting for their mat to have any effect.
Grounding your bed may be becoming a popular way to try and improve sleep, but I would suggest trying a few proven methods first. If you're struggling with back pain, for example, you should consider buying a mattress topper to help - but only after consulting a doctor and eliminating other causes of this symptom.
What is the difference between grounding and earthing?
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.
How do you ground a bed?
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.
As we've explored above, the benefits of this are unproven.
You should always be skeptical of health claims tied to products. When we covered if air fryers are toxic, another viral TikTok claim, we found limited evidence. If in doubt, it always pays to listen to medical experts.
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Louise is your eCommerce Editor and sleep specialist to help you wind down well. A connoisseur of the mattress world, Louise previously covered sleep and wellness (as well as the occasional organizational buy) at Real Homes, and has tried, tested, and reviewed some of the buys for your bedroom. With an MA in International Journalism and PR experience, Louise brings bags of bedding expertise and enjoys nothing more than helping readers find solutions and products that best suit their sleep needs.
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