Photo by Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz on Unsplash

Conventional wisdom has that, “one should not doze-off towards the north.” It is believed that, when we sleep pointing our head towards the North, Earth’s magnetic field attracts the iron content in our blood and makes it flow into the head causing a Brain Haemorrhage. It is true that our blood contains iron. It is also true that Earth has a magnetic field. But does it effect the iron in our blood?

Before heading to conclusion, let us disclose two things, why magnet attracts few metals such as Iron and Iron content in a human body.

Ferromagnetism ! It’s basic science ! Ferromagnetism is a property which causes magnets to attract metals. Iron, Nickel and Cobalt are few metals which exhibit magnetism. Magnetism occurs in an ‘electron’ level. Electrons exhibit electric and magnetic properties. Due to their spin, electrons possess a magnetic moment and if the electrons are paired, the magnetic moment is cancelled to zero, because it’s like a cart with two horses running in opposite directions using equal force. The cart won’t move! Unpaired electrons possess magnetic moment and when introduced in an external magnetic field, the metal behaves as a magnet. So, iron in contact with external magnetic field turns into a magnet and alligns itself into the external magnetic field. So, this is how iron gets attracted to external magnetic fields with certain intensity.

Photo by ZEISS Microscopy on Trend hype / CC BY-NC-ND

An average human body consists of 3-4 grams of Iron in their body. About 70% of iron in body is present in red blood cells. Red blood cells have a protein molecule called as Hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. One gram of hemoglobin contains 3.47 milligrams of iron. The 3-4 grams of iron is all spread in different parts of the human body other than blood.


Earth’s Magnetic Field strength at its surface ranges from 0.000025 to 0.000065 Tesla. But the magnetic field strength of an average MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image) scanner ranges from 0.2 to 7 Tesla, which is stronger than Earth’s magnetic strength on surface. Supposing Earth’s magnetic field of 0.000025 Tesla does attract all the red blood cells towards north, then an MRI scanner of 0.2 Tesla should make a human body explode and spill blood like in those slasher-horror films. Also, the iron content in human body is bounded with other components like hemoglobin or muscles; they can’t act as a solid Iron particle. The claim that “Sleeping while facing the north causes Brain Haemorrhage” is nothing more but a fiction.

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