I realize even mentioning the idea of reducing exposure to electricity might get me exiled to the woo woo ghetto. I'm not looking to discuss the health side of this, just whether people have tried it, and if they felt that it had any impact on their sleep quality.
I bring this up because I have found that I sleep better during power outages, it could just be the silence (already sleep in a dark dark room), in which case I guess it would just make more sense to wear ear plugs instead of powering everything except the fridge down, but maybe I'm sensitive to electricity itself. Curious to know others experiences with this.
Edit: I feel like I should also add, it seems like it might be more than just sound because there is a lot of snoring in this house, and that, obviously, isn't tied to electricity.
When I went to Cornell the dormitory I was in as a freshman (Dickson Hall, for you Cornellians out there) had a "light switch" right by the door of the room that was not a light switch, but a switch that controlled all of the outlets in the room. So when that was off there was no electricity in the room.
You could probably wire the bedrooms in your house this way if you wanted to go to the trouble to do it. In the addition I put on this house ten years ago I have a lot of switched outlets that makes it easy to cut off the power without digging behind furniture to unplug things.
As an aside, we are currently putting my uncle's farm on the market, and the house there was built in 1900 by my great grandfather. My great aunt had the house wired for electricity in the 1930's and in the upstairs bedooms there is only a ceiling light in each room. A hanging light. If you want to plug anything in in those bedrooms, you have to screw in an adapter in the light socket that has a plug in on it. No one had need for anything in a bedroom in the 1930's except a ceiling light. The downstairs rooms have very few outlets as well.
I was born in 1957 and thinking back, the amount of stuff that we had plugged in in the house was very small. There was an electric kitchen light, if the toaster was used it was plugged in, or a portable mixer, there was ceiling lights in the kitchen and floor lamps in the living room, the kitchen radio (radio was still pretty important) and later on a black and white TV. That's just the way we lived then.
If you pull the breaker to your whole house, you need to realize that the larger breakers that control your entire house are expensive and can fail if you use them as switches a lot. An electrician told me don't turn the big ones on and off more than you need to just because of this.
Be careful. Breakers are not meant to be used as switches. They are protective devices, and too-frequent switching could cause them to fail prematurely.
It's better to wire your room outlets to a wall switch, as another commenter recommended.
It has to be the noise that's the issue and not the electricity. Thought experiment time: Lets say you had a house with nothing plugged into the walls, so nothing was using any electricity. There would be no current flowing in the wires no matter if the circuit breaker was on or off. Granted the POTENTIAL of the wires would be oscillating between +170V and -170V (RMS is 120V which is what is reported. But since nothing is drawing current, there is no flow or radiation or anything.
I sleep better too when there's a power outage, but I attribute that to the silence and darkness. If you want to improve your sleep, just turn everything off. Flipping the circuit breaker is overkill.
Plus, even if there was radiation of some kind, it's going to be at 60Hz which is going to be a wave that's 5,000,000m (5,000km, 3,000mi) long! That is way too big to interact with anything on the human scale, you're clearly in the near field limit with waves that big.
Edit - I originally had the wave as 5km, I wasn't thinking, it's 5,000km: 60Hz*5,000,000m = 300,000,000m/s = C = speed of light.
Both my husband and I have been thinking about this also. We both get the feeling that it is the electrical current from the house buzzing in our heads at night. Interesting idea to shut the power off to the house to see if that is what it is. It could also be from the high power lines outside.
interesting idea because the wires in one house are live with AC current meaning they are pulsating with current just like the overhead wires outside the home. this scenario sets up minute magnetic field flux en-caging the home occupant. turning off the breakers would isolate the wires from these magnetic disturbances.
Could the sleep quality issue be because of emitted waves? I read somewhere not to sleep to close to microwaves, cell phones, and even alarm clocks because of the waves they give off when powered on. Personally I don't like the hums and sceeches either (and hear them all-too-clearly), but I found my sleep improved by staying away from such items.
Far too much trouble and there's too many things that I want to give power to. DVR, server, heating/cooling system, freezer, fridge, etc.
I had more problems from light coming in through the windows from street lights/neighbor's flood lights, etc. Installing blackout curtains over the blinds, and covering anything glowing with black electrical tape, and putting a couple of books in front of the alarm clocks took care of the issue.
Plus having had several multi-hour power outages almost every year, I've installed a UPS (with the alarm disabled) in almost every room and hooked it up to the alarm clock and lamp, so at least I can read a bit before sleeping. The light in the lamp is a yellow one, so it's not going to interfere with sleep - infact within 30 mins of reading, I tend to get sleepy.
Besides, it's an annoying thing to have to go into the basement and flip the breakers off at night and on in the morning.
I suspect you maybe were a bit high on the hyperbole with the subject of this post in order to get attention. :) Again, it's not a historical re-enactment.
My bedroom is set up with a switch that shuts off all the circuits in the room. To be honest, I really don't notice any difference with the power off, but that might be because the wiring in there is the type that's wrapped in grounded metal shielding, so there's probably not much EMF even with the power on.
Improved Sleep and Creatine 2 Answers
Increasing sleep quality? 14 Answers
Zen and the art of caffeine maintenance? 10 Answers