Manataka American Indian Council

Proudly Presents







Earthing and Insomnia

By  Martin Zucker


Don’t sleep well?  Have a hard time falling asleep?


You’re definitely not alone. 


Sleep is increasingly recognized as a public health issue, with sleep insufficiency linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, occupational errors, and a greater likelihood to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity


About 30-40 percent of adults have some symptoms of insomnia within a given year, according to the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health. Of those, some 10-15 percent describe their problem as chronic. They have it all the time.


Most often, people experience chronic-intermittent insomnia, which means difficulty sleeping for a few nights, followed by a few nights of adequate sleep before the problem returns.  Insomnia can be a disorder in its own right, but often it is a symptom of some other disease or condition, and many times related to stress and worry. In the case of stress-induced insomnia, the degree to which sleep is disturbed depends on the severity and duration of the stressful situation.


For the past several months, the Smoke Signal News has featured articles on Earthing, the discovery of significant health benefits resulting from grounding the body by routinely walking barefoot outside, or by sitting, working, or sleeping indoors in contact with a grounding system that transfers Earth’s natural and nurturing energy to the body.


Feb. - Earthing: Real Healing Power Right Under Your Feet

Mar. - Mother Earth and Stress Relief:  Earthing

Apr. -  Reconnect to The Healing Earth

May -  How the Earth Protects Your Cardiovascular System – Part One

Jun. -  How the Earth Protects Your Cardiovascular System – Part Two

Jul. -   Earthing and Insomnia


Can Mother Earth provide a natural solution for insomnia and sleep disorders? 


In many cases, the answer is yes.  When Clint Ober started experimenting in 1998 with what he would later call “Earthing,” the very first benefits he personally experienced was better sleep and less pain.  For somebody who had chronic sleep and pain issues for years, this was a big deal.


In the years since, better sleep and less pain have been among the most common benefits reported by the many thousands of people worldwide who have reconnected with the Earth.  The grateful feedback frequently has come from individuals describing themselves as chronic insomniacs.


Here are two examples:

● “My severe insomnia started about a year and a half ago,” wrote a sixty-one year old Ohio woman. “I lost a full three months’ of sleep during that time period.  I was bed ridden for eight months due to lack of sleep and I was truly miserable.  When I heard about Earthing, I started going barefoot and then used Earthing mats and sheets. My first Earthing experience was one of feeling total relaxation, and total euphoria after feeling so stressed out for so long. The effect was immediate both with a feeling of stress relief and with sleep. Now, I sleep a deep sleep and if I wake up I am able to go right back to sleep.”


● A woman from England reported the following: “I gradually noticed over the first week an improvement in my sleep, which used to be horrendous as every night I went to bed dreading the anxiety and lying there for literally hours before dropping off. I also noticed very subtle things shifting too. The anxiety reduced and I no longer wake with a jolt just after dropping off. I found that I felt more peaceful, which was surprising as I didn't think I was tense all the time. This little sheet connecting me with the Earth, plus the barefooting have done so much for me.”


Throughout the world, electrical systems in homes and offices, and even entire electrical grids, are commonly “grounded” − connected to the Earth’s subtle, surface energy − for stabilization and protection against electrocution and electromagnetic interference. Grounding also provides a reference point for the proper functioning of electronic equipment.


Surprisingly, this very same “ground” also appears to stabilize the body’s countless electrical systems that govern the function of our physiology.  This is what the discovery of Earthing is all about.  And for almost 15 years, the use of Earthing systems − conductive bed sheets and mats − connected via a wire to the ground port of a wall outlet or a ground rod outside, has demonstrated exceptional effectiveness as a sleep aid. 


In an initial experiment, Clint Ober identified 60 volunteers with self-reported sleep problems and divided them randomly into grounded and non-grounded groups. After 30 days, between 74 and 100 percent of the grounded group reported improvement in: 1) time to fall asleep, 2) quality of sleep, 3) waking feeling rested, 4) muscle stiffness and pain, 4) chronic back and/or joint pain, and 5) general well-being.  In the non-grounded group, reported improvements for these same variables ranged from none to 13 percent.


In a 2004 Earthing study, the stress hormone cortisol was normalized when 12 subjects slept grounded for 8 weeks.    This is significant because abnormal cortisol is associated with many problems, as the chart below indicates.



The mechanisms for better sleep, as revealed in a number of Earthing studies, appear related to stress reduction and restoration of autonomic nervous system balance. One study demonstrated reduction in pain and inflammation.  Others have shown changes in physiological parameters (pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygenation, skin conductance and perfusion index), improvement in heart rate variability (HRV), and blood flow.  


An additional benefit frequently heard from both men and women is that they don’t get up as much at night to urinate when they sleep grounded.


Overall, Earthing shows great promise as a simple way to help overcome sleep problems.   What could be more natural, in fact, than Mother Earth putting us to sleep?


For additional information, refer to the Earthing book and the Earthing Institute website.  Earthing influences the physiology in many significant ways.  If you take prescription medication, please refer to this article on Earthing and medication. If you are under the care of a physician, consult with your doctor before starting Earthing.




Martin Zucker has written extensively on natural healing, fitness, and alternative medicine for more than thirty-five years. He has co-authored or ghostwritten more than a dozen books, including Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever!, and written hundreds of magazine articles on a wide variety of health topics. He is a former Associated Press foreign correspondent who worked in Europe and the Middle East.