Scrolling through your phone before bed sounds like a peaceful nightly ritual. But could you actually be disrupting your sleep, and is it hazardous to your health if you sleep close to your phone?
For most people, it's unrealistic to drastically reduce phone usage. It's important to understand, however, that limiting electronic devices at bedtime can improve your sleep. Reducing screen time can also prevent threats to your health. To reverse unhealthy habits, you must first understand their harmful effects.
Knowledge is power, and our goal is to inform you about the effects of sleeping with a phone near your bed. You'll likely be ready to ditch sleeping with your phone and look forward to better, healthier sleep.
The effects of sleeping with a phone near your head include a delay in releasing the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. The blue light that cell phones produce can decrease the size of the pineal gland. This vital gland is tucked away in the center of the human brain and controls the release of melatonin. Blue light can delay your "internal clock" and prevent proper REM sleep, altering your natural circadian rhythm.
Is blue light a type of UV light?
Blue light emits wavelengths similar to UV light. While UV and blue light can both be dangerous, the health risks surrounding blue light don't seem to be as well-known as UV light. The fact of the matter is that blue light can damage your eyes. This type of light is closer to the end of the light spectrum and what we see daily.
Researchers have found that while UV rays can harm our eyes, visible blue light can also cause cellular damage and, in some cases, even cancer.
Put Your Phone to Bed
The effects of using your phone in bed can keep you awake for longer than you'd like, all thanks to blue light. Most people have to wake up at a fixed time each morning and tend to feel less energetic after a restless night of using their phones.To encourage a healthy sleep cycle, it's best to put electronic devices away and end screen time at least an hour before you want to fall asleep.
When you do put your phone away, where do you put it? Keeping electronic devices close to your bed increases the temptation to use them, whether to check email or social media. So it's best to keep phones at least a few feet away while you sleep, ensuring they're not accessible enough to distract you from precious sleeping hours.
The World Health Organization(WHO) hasn't ruled out the possibility of electromagnetic radiation causing cancer, stating that it's "possible" that mobile phones could impact human health. Electronics and magnetic fields (EMFs) are produced by electrical equipment, including phones. But WiFi routers, alarm clocks, tablets, and televisions also emit EMF radiation.
Cell phones emit radiofrequency (RF) EMFs, which create harmful higher-frequency EMF radiation. This radiation is more damaging to humans, causing health symptoms that can threaten your quality of life if allowed to persist. Such symptoms include:
To find out exactly how much RF exposure your electronic devices emit, look for SAR ratings, or Specific Absorption Rates. The SARs for Apple products, for example, can be found on their website.
According to the Federal Communications Commission Federal(FCC), “SAR is a measure of the rate of RF (radiofrequency) energy absorption by the body from the source being measured. SAR provides a straightforward means for measuring the RF exposure characteristics of cell phones to ensure that they are within the safety guidelines set by the FCC.”
The bottom line is to keep your phone far away while sleeping. On top of all the other points we've mentioned, this concern should encourage you to keep your phones at bay and limit overall usage—or at least unnecessary contact with your phone.
Tips for Pre-Bedtime Cell Phone Usage Prevention
What can you do to curb the amount of time you spend on your phone before bed? With these tips, you can mitigate your cell phone habits and achieve more peaceful sleep.
Do Not Disturb
There is little reason to have your phone's ringer on throughout the night. When it's on, your phone could ping due to incoming emails, promotional texts, intrusive Facebook messages, and more.
Unless your family or your career inherently requires 24/7 availability, it's best to put your phone on Do Not Disturb or Focus mode. This way, disquieting notifications won't wake you up throughout the night.
Keep Phone Away
If having your phone nearby tempts you to use it, keep it as far away from you as possible. Removing any other distracting electronics—such as laptops and tablets—is also conducive to minimizing digital distractions.
You may even want to remove your phone from the bedroom entirely. Doing so could also help you wake up more effectively. Instead of snoozing your phone's alarm when you're barely awake, you'll have to be sharp enough to walk over to your phone and turn the alarm off.
Keeping your phone a reasonable distance away is an excellent way to start your day right. Even if you're not concerned about your health, this method is perfect for anyone who has trouble getting out of bed.
Limit EMF Exposure
What if you need to keep your devices nearby? Some people need to keep their phones close in case of emergency. If your concerns are with EMF exposure more than getting distracted at night, we recommend our SLNT Faraday Sleeve. This protective sleeve protects against electromagnetic fields (EMF), electromagnetic interference (EMI), and radiofrequency (RF) signals.
A great way to limit EMF exposure is to hold the phone away from your head during phone calls. Using speaker phone or non-Bluetooth earbuds are two ways to accomplish this goal.
De-Stress Before Bed
Feeling restless before bed? Make sure you de-stress before tucking in. A relaxing bedtime routine makes you feel too sleepy for that late-night Netflix binge.
There are many ways to prepare your body for a restful night of sleep. Read before bed and gaze at the stars. Have some chamomile tea before brushing your teeth. Even doing some light stretching could relax your body further, prepping it for a great night of device-free sleep.
Sleeping With Your Phone—How Bad Could It Be?
So, is it bad to sleep next to your phone? Although sleeping with your phone is a common habit, it's one that you must kick. Putting distance between you and your phone can improve sleep quality, prevent harmful phone radiation, and improve pre-bedtime practices.
SLNT® aims to provide safe and effective security options to every customer. We offer a wide selection of protective products ranging from cell phone and laptop faraday sleeves to a variety of wallets and faraday bags. If you need accessible and effective protective solutions, browse our products today!Our mission is to guard your privacy, security, and health.