Risks of Sleeping with your Smartphone

Studies have long told us how absurdly tied to our mobile devices we are as a generation. But maybe, no statistic illustrates this obsession with our smartphone better than the fact that 71% of smartphone owners claim that they sleep with or next to their mobile phone, according to the 2015 Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report.1 To elaborate on these numbers further, the report also shows that 3 percent of those people said they sleep with their device in their hand, 13 percent said they keep it on the bed while 55 percent leave it on the nightstand.

Obviously this goes to support those who might think that as a society we are addicted to our phones. However, have you ever thought of the potential health risks of sleeping with your smartphone? Take a moment to consider these widely studied potential health risks of sleeping in close proximity to your smartphone.

• One of the primary issues is with electromagnetic radiation. Before you roll your eyes at this and think "it's just a couple of big words meant to scare us", hear us out. Cell phones give off electromagnetic radiation, which is similar to the radiation given off by X-rays and microwaves in obvious much lower amounts. Due to the lower amounts of radiation the effects are not thought to be immediate, but over a longer period of time such radiation can lead to tumor development.

• Did you know smartphones have led to pillow fires? I'm being serious. Earlier this year, in New York there was a reported pillow fire reported that started by the overheating of the phones battery while underneath a pillow.2 There have been varying rumors of this was caused by a lower quality battery purchased by the user, however not confirmed. Either way, why risk it?

• Lastly, the negative effects on your sleep cycle can become the biggest problem long-term. Ultimately, it has been widely reported that sleeping near your smartphone can prevent your body from producing melatonin, which is the hormone that naturally give you that tired feeling. How does it do this? Your cell phone emits blue light which ultimately confuses your brain into thinking its daytime at any point of the day. It has widely been suggested to stop operating your phone about 2 hours prior to going to sleep.

On a lighter note, if you weren't 100% convinced of our society's obsession with smartphones think about these stats: 35% of the people surveyed, in the 2015 Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report, said their smartphone is the first thing they reach for when they wake up. Only 17% said they grab coffee as soon as they wake up, 13% said they go for their toothbrush and just 10% said they reach for their significant other. Crazy, right?

Long story short, separate your sleep-life from your mobile-life. It'll help you remain happier physically and mentally!

1 - Newsroom.com | 2015 BAC Trends in Consumer Mobility Report (PDF)
2 - ABCChicago.com | Photos Cell Phone Overheats Fire Under Pillow