Is Sleeping With Your Phone Near You Bad? 6 Positive Changes You'll Notice If You Don't
People have a lot of hang-ups when it comes to their sleep space. Among the many reservations are ongoing debates questioning whether or not wearing socks to bed is a hygiene issue, and if sharing the covers with your cat is such a genius idea. But the real question millennials are afraid to know the answer to is this: Is sleeping with your phone near you bad for your health? Sorry my friends, but snoozing with your cell is likely messing with both your physical and mental health in at least a few different ways.
As much as we don’t want to admit it, smartphones have become the millennial's primary lifeline. Personally, I’m surprised computers haven’t become obsolete yet considering how we, as a generation, communicate, are entertained by, get our news from, and find love via cellular devices. Our phones are rarely out of reach, and even though it may appear that you sleep more soundly with Siri by your side, the truth is, sleeping with technology is a health hazard, and we need to break up with this behavior ASAP.
Back in June 2015, Bank of America released its annual Trends in Consumer Mobility Report, in which 1,000 checking or savings account holders ages 18 and above were asked about using their smartphones in bed. Of the responders, a whopping 71 percent claimed they sleep with or next to their phone. Well, considering it's now 2017 and smartphones have become even more of a liability than they were in 2015, I wouldn't be surprised if that percentage has already skyrocketed.
There are so many reasons why you shouldn't sleep with your phone, but if you need a reason to ditch yours, here are some of the benefits you'll reap if you start keeping your device separate from your bedtime routine.
1. You'll Most Likely Fall Asleep Faster
Having your phone at your disposal is a dangerous game to play when you're actually trying to fall asleep. Who can snooze when there are Instagram photos to scroll through, Facebook statuses to roll your eyes at, and tweets to reply to?
This isn't to say sleeping with your phone in the next room omits all distractions and guarantees you won't wake up in the middle of the night naturally. That can happen regardless of whether or not your cell phone is within arm's reach.
However, Kelsey Down, writer for Sleep Train, tells Elite Daily that separating your phone from your sleep space — starting a least a half hour before bed — can help you "fall asleep faster and experience a more restful, restorative quality of sleep."
2. Your Mind Will Be Less Cluttered
When your phone is right beside you, vibrating every five seconds with notifications and texts, it's easy to feel compelled to check your social accounts, let your work wife know you're stopping for coffee tomorrow on the way in, and email your professor about an assignment.
Experts from mattress company Spoon Sleep tell Elite Daily that our smartphones "put us in an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity" which, if not properly managed, "can lead to stress." This leads to a spiraling cycle in which stress hormones trigger an increase in blood pressure, speed up your heart rate, and magnify feelings of anxiety — all of which contribute to a serious lack of sleep.
Try leaving your phone on top of your dresser on the opposite side of the room to help relieve this indirect pressure to be in constant contact with the world, so you can finally close your eyes and actually focus on sleeping instead of on what's happening on social media.
3. You'll Establish A Routine Sans Social Media Scrolling
Social media sucks the life out of life. It's so easy to lose track of time at night while stalking your ex-best friend from high school. Before you know it, it's 1 a.m. and you're royally screwed for waking up tomorrow morning.
Banning your smartphone from the bedroom (or your nighttime routine in general) frees up space and time for you to establish a routine full of things you get genuine pleasure from doing, like reading a book or soaking in a warm tub surrounded by colorful suds. Who needs to pin things to a digital dream board when you're living that Kodak moment IRL?
4. Plus, It's For Your Own Safety
Sleeping with your phone near you can not only disrupt your quality of sleep, it can also potentially be a major fire hazard.
In June 2017, the Newton, New Hampshire, Fire Department posted a photo to its Facebook page showing the very real risk of the heat generated from cell phones and chargers sparking a fire under your pillow.
Bustle reports that, according to the 2017 Hartford Home Fire Index, charging your phone in bed is a "high risk" for starting a fire. As someone who's definitely guilty of doing this, I can honestly say from now on, I'm never charging my phone on or near my bed.
5. You'll Definitely Be More Alert When You're Awake
Down tells Elite Daily that the blue light from your cell phone "disrupts melatonin production." Melatonin is the sleep hormone that maintains your body's natural circadian rhythm. See the problem?
When melatonin production is disrupted, so is your sleep cycle, which means you're not getting the quality of sleep necessary to function properly during waking hours.
David Dinges, Ph.D. told Men's Health that sleep "stabilizes your waking brain, making you more alert." When your mind is sharp, your ability to process, withhold, and remember information is strengthened.
Caffeine may help you bounce back from that lagging feel, but you can't beat a good night's sleep.
6. You'll Probably Be Less Attached To Your Cell During The Day
If nothing else, not sleeping with your phone anywhere near you could be the first step to cutting the cord on what may be a really unhealthy relationship.
Power off your cell an hour or so before bed to allow yourself a solid window to go through your nighttime routine, wind down, and sleep soundly throughout the night. If you can do this for a week or two, start limiting phone usage in other aspects of your life, too.
For example, try establishing "no-phone time zones" when you know you tend to get distracted by your cell. So, instead of leaving your phone on your desk at work, maybe toss it into your tote most of the day and check it only at lunch instead. If your phone plays third-wheel at the dinner table, stash it on your sofa and focus on enjoying your food.
Believe it or not, there was a time before cell phones, and people survived. Let's dial back to basics, shall we?