Healthy Living Tip #78: Don’t Sleep With Your Phone

Don't Sleep with Your Phone

A staggering number of Americans— including children— sleep with their phones, and so one super simple tip for healthy living is to reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation by not sleeping with your phone.

Healthy Living Tip #78: Don't Sleep With Your Phone

Sleeping with your phone next to your bed exposes your head and body to EMF radiation all night long. For most people that’s 6 to 9 hours, or 25% to 38% of your life where you are needlessly being exposed to cell phone radiation.

How Many?

And this habit is really common; according to a 2015 survey from Bank of America, “71 percent of survey respondents say they sleep with or next to their smartphones”.

And the younger you are, the more likely you are to engage in this risky behavior. In 2010, Pew Research concluded:

Nearly all young adults (ages 18-29) make sure their phones are never too far away at night; fully 90% sleep with their cell phone on or right next to their bed.

So, approximately seven in 10 Americans, and nine in 10 young Americans, sleep with their phone. (We have some more statistics and articles about this in a separate blog post.)

But wait, the stats get even more disturbing. This habit is significantly more pronounced the younger you are (and the younger you are, the more vulnerable you are to damage from EMF radiation). In 2010, Pew Research concluded:

Nearly all young adults (ages 18-29) make sure their phones are never too far away at night; fully 90% sleep with their cell phone on or right next to their bed.

You read that right; 90%! Nine out of every 10 Americans aged 18-29 sleep with their phone in or next to their bed.

So what’s the concern?

As ABC warns:

the World Health Organization warned in 2011 that usage may be possibly carcinogenic to humans, especially in children, whose scalps and skulls are thinner than adults’, and more vulnerable to radiation. So if you’re at all worried about the possible cancer risk, try to text instead of call, hold the phone away from your ear, or use an earpiece or the speakerphone setting as much as possible—and definitely don’t sleep with the phone next to your head.

And as CBS reports:

Some people are so attached to their cell phones that they sleep with them on their nightstand or even under their pillow. Bad idea. Cell phones pump out electromagnetic radiation whenever they’re on – which means sleeping with one nearby boosts your exposure all night long. What to do? Put the phone on “airplane mode” (which shuts down the transceiver) or turn it off. If you need to be available for calls, place the phone several feet away from your bed.

As CNET explains:

there’s the concern of cell phone radiation. There is no definitive answer to the question of whether or not the radiation all cell phones and smartphones emit can or will give you cancer or any other ailment. However, some research suggests that cell phone radiation can interfere with your sleep, which makes the argument for keeping your phone farther away from you while you sleep more compelling.

As a quick Google search will reveal, there are plenty more articles on the health risks of this dangerous (and easily avoided) habit.

7 Reasons To Banish Your Phone From The Bedroom‘:

And a review of studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer found that such transmissions were “possibly carcinogenic,” and that risk becomes far more relevant during the times you’re holding the phone to your body. The risk is minimal and insignificant when the phone is disconnected from WiFi — or better yet, turned off completely — but let’s face it, most people who sleep with their phones don’t do so with it in airplane mode.

Is it bad to sleep near a cell phone?‘:

If you are like the billions of people who sleep with their cell phone next to their bed, this could be causing many problems (imperceptible for the moment) to your health. The radiation that smartphones emit are really dangerous and not advisable for any reason. This is true at any time of the day, but in the hours when we are sleeping, having our cell phone near us can lead to nightmares, inability to sleep, and waking up several times each night, etc. The reason? It causes an alteration in the system of certain self-regulating processes, such as your biological clock or cardiac rhythms.

This is Why Sleeping with a Cell Phone Under Your Pillow is Dangerous‘:

There are people who are very attached to their cell phones that they sleep with them on their nightstand or even under their pillow. This is a very bad idea because cell phones draw off electromagnetic radiation whenever they’re on. This means sleeping with your phone nearby increases your exposure all night long.

Why Do We Do This?

There are a lot of reasons why people sleep with their phones. Some only have cell phones, so they keep their phones on and nearby so that people can reach them, especially in an emergency. Some use their phones are their alarm clocks. Others are just addicted, scrolling through their Facebook feeds until they fall asleep.

In almost all cases, however, people do not actually benefit from having their phones on and nearby while they are sleeping.

Changes for Healthy Living

So what can you do? If you use your cellphone as your only phone number, then, keep your phone further away from your bed while you sleep. Or better yet, keep it in a different room.

If you use your cellphone as an alarm clock, then just flip it into airplane mode before you fall asleep. In airplane mode, your phone is not emitting wireless radiation, but all the other offline functions (like your alarm clock) will still function.

The same is true if you really enjoy using your phone as you lay in bed before you go to sleep (though there is a growing body of evidence that this habit disrupts your sleep). If you’re scrolling through Facebook as you lay in bed, or you use Netflix on your phone to help you fall asleep, then just flip your phone into airplane mode when you’re done, before you shut your eyes.

Because of how long you spend in bed each day, these super simple changes will significantly reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation, without negatively impacting your enjoyment of wireless technology.

Read More

Protecting yourself and your family from harmful EMF radiation doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, the best EMF protection is free. Read more about how to make technology safer here.

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