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.
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.
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.)
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.