It may seem like a good idea to slide your phone under your pillow just before falling asleep so you can access it easier if your alarm goes off or someone calls you.
However, sleeping with your phone under your pillow can lead to health problems in the future, and you’re putting yourself at risk of a host of other hazards.
You’ve probably heard talk about how cell phones disturb your sleep and cause cancer, and you’ve brushed these concerns off because none of it could be true. Well, you may want to reconsider.
From now on, it might be a better idea to sleep with your phone at a greater distance away from you.
Is it Bad to Sleep with Your Phone Under Your Pillow?
Cell phones and other wireless devices emit radiation, which harms people.
Have you ever been told not to stand in front of a microwave while heating food? This is because microwaves emit radiation, and radiation causes cancer.
While radiation is harmful to you, and all wireless devices and many electronic devices emit radiation levels, how soon you’ll experience the harmful effects of radiation vary.
Sleeping with a phone under your pillow puts that radiation close to your head while you sleep. So, it may not be coincidental if you’ve ever woken up with a headache after sleeping next to your phone.
Does Sleeping Next to a Phone Cause Headaches?
According to Saudi Medical Journal, mobile phone radiation causes headaches, tension, fatigue, dizziness, and sleep disturbance.
Occupational Medicine states that headaches and migraines are often a result of mobile phone usage. Varying sensations such as a burning feeling or a dull ache would begin in different areas of the head.
Many of the people studied had a headache start within minutes of beginning a call, while others reported an onset of headache later in the day. Some of the headaches were reported to have gone away within an hour after ending the call; others lasted hours.
None of the people studied experienced headaches while using or after using an ordinary wired phone.
All the headaches occurred when people were using mobile phones with low-level radiofrequency radiation (RFR) below the allowable limits.
Based on this information, and considering how close your phone is to your head while you’re sleeping, it’s safe to say that it’s likely that you could experience a headache from sleeping with your phone under your pillow.
Effects of Sleeping with Phone Near Head
Mobile phones produce radiation even when they’re not actively being used. Cell phones give off radiation when you’re using or charging them, even while they’re tucked under your pillow while sleeping.
However, they produce the highest radiation level when being used. You can experience several symptoms after sleeping with your phone near your head, including:
- Muscle pains
- Sleep disturbances
- Increased brain activity
- Cognitive and behavioral issues
- Fertility problems
- Cancer risk
If you’ve woken up with any of those symptoms or experienced them during or after using your cell phone, moving the phone farther away from your head while you’re sleeping is recommended.
Does Sleeping Next To A Phone Cause Cancer?
While there’s no scientific evidence directly linking mobile phone usage to cancer, there’s evidence that mobile phone radiation could be carcinogenic.
Simply sleeping next to your phone isn’t likely to cause cancer. However, long-term use of cell phones can lead to the development of cancer later.
The Indian Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine stated that the International Agency for Research on Cancer had classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields associated with cell phone use as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
They stated that it’s difficult to directly link cancer with cell phone usage because most cancers don’t become detectable until many years after exposure. Positively stating that a person’s cancer diagnosis is related to their use of wireless devices is impossible.
It’s suggested that people concerned about the possible risk of cancer due to radiofrequency exposure should limit their exposure, such as using an earpiece instead of holding the phone to their ear.
Limiting children’s exposure to radiation from cell phones is especially important because of their thinner skulls, which means a higher level of exposure.
Is it Bad to Sleep with Your Phone Charging Next to You?
Overall, sleeping with your phone charging next to you is bad, and having your phone close to you all night can lead to sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, and hypertension.
According to the International Journal of Innovative Research in Computer and Communication Engineering, sleeping near a phone or even in a home with Wi-Fi can cause chronic sleep problems because they interfere with falling asleep and sleep patterns.
Aside from sleep problems, many health professionals agree that sleeping next to your phone is a sign that you’re too dependent on it.
The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health stated that addictive cell phone use and dependency could result in problems such as:
- Shortened sleep durations
- Difficulties falling asleep
- Difficulties staying asleep
- Interference between work and home
- Social anxiousness and loneliness
- Decreased self-esteem
- Reduced coping abilities
These problems can result from addictive cell phone usage and dependency on having your phone near you while sleeping.
Every notification alert, text, or phone call puts your brain on alert when your phone is close to you.
The curiosity about who’s texting or calling or what the notification is about keeps your mind going when it should be at rest because it’s time for sleep.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Sleep Next to Your Phone
Sleeping next to your phone, especially while it’s charging, can lead to several problems that can easily be remedied by moving your phone farther away from you while you’re sleeping.
Fall Asleep Faster
Your phone is nothing but a distraction when it’s close to you while you’re trying to sleep.
Staying on it too long, picking it up every time it makes a sound, and the glow from the phone can keep you from falling asleep.
Moving the phone out of arm’s reach or turning it off at night will likely help you fall asleep faster.
Set a Bedtime Routine
When your phone is right there next to you in bed, you’ll likely be on it until you can’t hold your eyes open anymore.
Putting your phone farther away from your bed, maybe even in another room, will allow you to find ways to relax and unwind that might help you sleep better, such as reading a book or taking a warm shower.
Sleeping with your phone charging next to you can be a fire hazard. Phone batteries have been known to overheat and explode, and a fire could start if the charger itself overheats.
Having the phone on your bed while charging can also lead to a fire, especially if any of the charger wires are exposed. If something else goes wrong, you could be electrocuted by your phone charger.
What Can Happen if You Sleep with A Phone Under Your Pillow?
Phones can get hot, even when they’re not charging. Having the phone sandwiched between your pillow and your bed could cause it to get even hotter, which can lead to your battery exploding, or your charger catching on fire.
Many people like sleeping with their phones under their pillows because it helps them hear their alarm better or feel their alarm if they have turned it on vibrate. However, it’s unsafe.
How Far Away Should Your Phone Be When You Sleep?
The farther away your phone is while you’re sleeping, the better. You should keep it at least three feet away from you when you sleep.
This distance helps to cut down on distractions and ensures you can get a better night’s sleep. This is also a safe distance from cell phone radiation, even when they’re not being used.
This might be the perfect distance to keep your phone if you’re bad at getting up when your alarms go off. If it’s at least three feet away, you’ll likely have to physically get out of bed to shut off your alarms.
If you’re prone to headaches, dizziness, or nausea first thing in the morning, you might also notice a reduction in those after you’ve moved your phone so far away.
Not having your phone next to you may make you feel uncomfortable or like you’ve lost a loved one, but you’ll get used to it eventually. You may not even miss it once you start sleeping soundly again.