It’s a common misconception that it’s okay to sleep with your phone under the pillow. In reality, this is dangerous for your health, both physical and mental.
Smartphones emit harmful radiation while they are charging, and there is no safe distance from these radiation waves for sleeping.
Even if on mute, you still get notifications that turn the screen on. If your pillow doesn’t completely block out the light, your eyes will pick up the light. Yes, even if they are shut. This makes our body think it’s daytime, which wakes us up. Or—at the very least—disrupt our sleep.
This leads to a poor night’s rest, which can lead to fatigue and other health issues, including headaches, insomnia, and back pain. The potential health risks of long-term poor sleep are well documented.
In this article, we are going to see why you should keep your phone away from you at night, and how this simple solution can improve your life.
Why You Shouldn’t Sleep with Your Phone under the Pillow: 6 Reasons
There are no real advantages to keeping your phone close to you while you sleep. Conversely, there are many potential issues.
1. Increased risk of cancer
The radiation that your body absorbs while you sleep is dangerous. The biggest concern with this type of exposure is cancer, especially brain tumors. There are now multiple studies showing the link between heavy phone use and an increased risk for gliomas – brain cancer (University of California–Berkeley).
Other countries—including France, Israel, and Finland—have confirmed this research. The World Health Organization has classified cellular radiation as a possible carcinogen.
2. Disrupted sleep pattern
Your phone emits radiation when it is on, even when not in use. And the light from your screen can affect your body’s production of melatonin—the hormone that regulates sleep patterns (University of Michigan).
The result? You get a poor night’s rest and feel tired during the day. You are more likely to fall asleep during the day, making it harder for you to stay alert and focused.
These reduces your productivity levels throughout the day—meaning that you are less likely to meet deadlines or achieve other goals at work/school/home. Poor sleep can also lead to depression.
3. The Phone could Catch Fire
This happens because of a phenomenon called heat buildup. When your phone is charging, the battery inside produces heat. And when you are using it while it charges, this heats even more. This can cause damage to the internal components of your phone, which makes it vulnerable to catching fire.
Since your phone will be stuck under the pillow, it will have no way of dispersing all the heat it produced. This traps the heat under the pillow, and the temperature eventually raises enough to turn your phone into a fire hazard.
There have been zero documented cases where a person’s house has burned down because their phone caught fire, it’s still a risk that you should know.
But there have been several incidents reported of phones catching on fire while charging. Obviously, this is a worst-case scenario. But it is possible and should not be ignored.
Keeping your phone under the pillow when you sleep increases the risk that it will catch fire or explode—especially if you are using an older model of phone. Here, the fire could spread and cause a great deal of damage to your home or even injure you while you sleep.
4. Risk of weight gain
The connection between poor sleep and weight gain is well documented. The hormones that regulate appetite, including ghrelin and leptin, are thrown out of balance when you do not get a good night’s rest.
This can lead to obesity as people eat more to compensate for lack of energy during the day. Increased weight, makes our life much worse. It also weakens our immune system, making it more likely for us to fall prey to pathogens.
5. Negative impact on mental health
Too much phone use has a negative impact on both physical health and mental well-being. These are the reasons you should not sleep with your phone under the pillow.
6. More on the Health Risks
It is advised to keep your phones at least 15 inches away from you while you sleep. This is because phones emit radiations that are harmful to our health by causing many maladies, including tumors.
The dangers of smartphones while sleeping are especially high considering the number of people who sleep next to them every night. Couples in bed with their phones create a potentially dangerous situation for both parties.
Smartphones emit electromagnetic fields because they use electricity and wireless communication technologies such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. These radiations are extremely dangerous to humans, the only mammals who sleep with an artificial light source in their bed (our phones).
These radiation waves are especially harmful during the night because they disrupt our natural circadian rhythm and melatonin levels, which can lead to hormonal imbalances that affect not just how well we rest but overall health as well
If you must use your phone as an alarm clock, do not put it under your pillow or even close to you while sleeping because this will emit harmful radiation that can cause infertility and brain tumors.
Since we already spend most of the day close to our smartphones, it is only sensible to keep them away from us at night.
You should now have a better understanding of the risks involved with sleeping with your phone under the pillow. Therefore it is important to keep these devices away from you while resting at night-time. There are many other ways.
How to Protect Yourself from Radiations
The best way to safeguard yourself against harmful radiation is to keep your phone away from you while sleeping. This reduces exposure, so there are no side effects or long-term risks associated with this practice. Putting a cell phone in the drawer or on a stand across the room is a peaceful solution that offers protection.
But what about notifications? Should you put your device face down when it’s charging, exposing only its back to incoming waves of radiation? Or should you keep it off charge? The answer depends on how much risk exposure—or acceptable level of damage—you’re willing to take.
We don’t really know if a cell phone on the bedside table will cause damage over time, because there’s been insufficient research performed. It certainly doesn’t feel right though! But it also feels wrong to give up your beloved iPhone at night—what should you do?
Keep your electronic devices in another room, so you won’t be tempted to keep checking them at night. Keep the device away from your body as much as possible when it is turned on—if that means putting it face down on a table or counter top, then do that.
If you can’t, consider investing in an air tube headset for your phone—this ensures that you can still receive calls and messages, without exposing yourself to radiation.
How to Keep Your Phone Away from You at Night
While it is important that you do not sleep with your phone under the pillow, there are other simple things that you can do to keep this device away from you. Here’s how:
- Use airplane mode or turn off notifications. If possible, shut down completely overnight.
- Keep your phone at least 15 inches away from you when it is turned on. When sleeping with a partner, this distance should increase to about 30-40 inches, with the phone lying flat on a surface that is not your bed.
- Use an air tube headset which ensures you can still receive calls without exposing yourself to radiation emitted by cell phones, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices.
- The best solution is to keep your smartphone in another room while sleeping at night-time. The health risks associated with sleeping with your phone under the pillow are simply too great. There is another advantage to doing this. If you’re a fan of hitting the snooze button on your alarm, forcing yourself to get up and change room to turn the alarm off is life-saving.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding this topic because it has become so common in our society for people to use their cell phones while they sleep.
Why Do People Sleep with their Phones so Close?
Many people are tempted to sleep with their phone under the pillow because they want easy access in case of an emergency. Plus, many people use their phone before sleep, and dropping it under the pillow is the simplest solution.
Other people are addicted to their phones. There are studies showing that some people feel anxious when they aren’t close to their phones. This happens because they have conditioned themselves to associate the phone with comfort and security.
Some people use their phones as alarm clocks and feel that it is unsafe to leave them overnight in another room. But it’s the other way around. It’s safer to keep it away from you at night. There is the added benefit of getting you out of your bed when the alarm clock goes off.
Sleeping with your phone under your pillow is dangerous. Many people report frequent headaches when they sleep with phones close to their heads.
Another issue is that the notification system never sleeps. Unless you put your phone in airplane mode—but then you might as well turn it off for the night—you’ll still get notifications.
Plus, there is a real risk of the phone becoming a fire hazard.
You can avoid most of these issues by turning off your phone when you sleep. If that’s out of the question, put it in an unfamiliar room.
What I want you to understand is that there are no real advantages to keeping your phone so close to you while you sleep. You do it out of habit, because you feel like your phone is like an extension of yourself.
Many people report feeling anxious when they aren’t close to their phone. That’s a real problem. Look into it, and if it sounds like you, take the step to sever your link with your phone. You won’t be any worse off.
There are many reasons people choose to sleep with their phones under the pillow—but it is never a good idea. The risks associated simply aren’t worth it.