That mini heart-attack moment when the phone isn’t in our pocket is a global feeling. But some people have taken steps to avoid that emotion by sleeping with their phones next to the pillow. This act probably makes it easier to access it whenever needed, but do you know the price attached to it? Of course, harm to health.
Yes! Smartphones have been shown to generate harmful radiation that disrupts specific systems in our body, such as our cardiac rhythm. Today, we’ll be learning more about it and diving into how one can cut that habit henceforth.
Effects of sleeping with the phone near the pillow
It has been proved that the impacts of electromagnetic radiation from phones are carcinogenic and could lead to cancer-like long-term problems. Moreover, the World Health Organization affirms that electronic devices, in general, are bad for the body because they produce toxic effects that can increase the chances of developing cancer.
Apart from these, there are other reasons why sleeping with a pillow could hazard your life. Some are,
1. Blue Spectrum Impact
Blue spectrum radiation from a smartphone will lead people to lose a lot of sleep. This is because the human brain tends to look at the bright light of the smartphone as daylight, thus keeping the brain awake. Sadly, this will never let the brain rest as it won’t realize it is bedtime. This misinterpretation of the brain could lead one to lack sleep, which in turn will cause other problems.
2. Sleep Deprivation
As mentioned previously, sleep deprivation is one of the significant effects of sleeping with a phone nearby. Research has proven that 1 in 3 people do not sleep, which has led them to various diseases. As we should know, sleep deprivation leads to long-term health problems such as sleep disorders, diabetes, depression, and other diseases. This again happens because the brain gets excited and activated, believing that the human is preparing to focus on something while actually someone only might be scrolling through a feed.
3. The Phone Can Burn the Pillow
Sounds unrealistic? Well, no! As some people have the habit of keeping their phones under the pillow, it could cause them to burst due to the heat it gets. Speaking of it, an actual incident happened in July 2014 in Texas where a woman woke up to find her mattress and sheet burnt by her Samsung Galaxy S4! Thus, it is advised to keep mobiles on airplane mode during the night, even better, switched off.
4. Radiations (Infrared and Electromagnetic)
Often people talk about phones and radiation, but they are a topic that needs to be truly understood by all people. Radiation is energy in waves or particles that travel over space. And electromagnetic radiation is the sort of radiation emitted by mobile phones as they employ radio frequency (RF) waves to make and receive calls. While specific research experiments have proved that phone radiation only gives minor changes to the brain waves, constantly keeping them near your ear, face, or head could lead to severity. So, keeping near the pillow or under is a big no-no!
5. Weight Gain
It is not always about food or exercise that makes one lose and increase weight. Phones and sleep also play a big part in a healthy lifestyle. Harvard research has shown how lack of sleep and weight growth are linked. When you don’t get enough sleep due to using your phone at night or keeping it always near you, your appetite-regulating chemicals, such as ghrelin and leptin, will become out of whack. This will lead people to overeat, or binge eat during the night. The result can be obesity, weakening of the immune system, and even the possibility of a stroke at night.
6. Hormone Secretion
When you spend too much time in front of a screen late at night or keep it near you, allowing the heat to get closer to your brain, your sleep hormone, the melatonin, gets depleted. Melatonin deficiency and hormone imbalance cause inadequate body clock orientation and resetting of the circadian rhythm. Your blood sugar, metabolism, and other bodily functions will eventually become unbalanced.
7. Negatively Affects Mental Health
People will start to use mobile phones as an escape to distract depressive thoughts without realizing it is also a reason for it. When one doesn’t get enough sleep, the body produces more cortisol, a stress hormone. This might lead to irritation, moodiness, stress and increase the chances of developing depression and anxiety disorders. Thus, keeping the phone away during sleep time is a better idea.
8. Leads to Addiction
Keeping a phone near the pillow is a habit, then soon, it will/might force one to use it constantly. Not only does this end the sleep, but it will also push one to never make use of their daytime qualitatively. This will day-by-day become an addiction, where one will start watching Netflix or movies as a routine each night without realizing it is turning to addiction. For students, their studies can get spoiled, and their work-life will drastically be affected for office-going people.
What can be done to stop this habit?
Addiction to a phone before bed and trying to break the habit is not simple but never impossible. The primary approach is to keep the phone away and limit electromagnetic exposure. Along with this, there are other strategies to break the habit, and some suggestions are,
1. Airplane Mode
Enabling your phone’s airplane mode or switching the Do Not Disturb option can reduce mobile usage at night. As you’ll not be using them at night anyway if this mode is turned on, you’ll also eventually be able to keep the mobile at a distance. Say you keep your phone near while sleeping despite following this tip; you might wonder whether it has any change. Well, there’s still a good thing about it. The phone’s electromagnetic or radiofrequency consumption drops to a bare minimum as it emits no radiation and receives none. Good news, isn’t it?
2. Yellow Spectrum
Full brightness or the reduced version of it still emits the blue light. So to put an end to it, thanks to the night mode provided on the phone. This night phone shifts the blue light to yellow light, allowing less eye strain. Moreover, this yellow light naturally tires a person and leads to sleep as it doesn’t affect the brain much. You can use this as a trick to slowly quit the habit but if this, in turn, becomes an addiction add-on, then go for the other tips.
3. Try to Stop Screentime Hobbies
If you’re a person who has the habit of reading books at night on the phone or listening to songs, it is better to opt for an alternative. Reading hardcopy books can help you read yet dose off. You can also try distracting or stopping playing mobile games by playing board games to help you not reach your phone. These activities do not engage or activate the brain in the same way as a smartphone, meaning good sleep!
4. Try Following a Bedtime Routine
If you’re a person who usually sleeps late at night, try having a sleep routine. Because people who often sleep late will try to use phones, thinking it might help them tire themselves out. But in reality, it is the opposite. So trying to have a bedtime routine will automatically make your body know that it is time to sleep and give you a sleepy mind.
5. Use Bluetooth Products
If you’re a person who doesn’t want to miss any calls at night, then try wearing a Bluetooth headset or a Bluetooth speaker near you connected to your phone, which is kept a distance. So if any call comes, your Bluetooth will let you know while also saving you from the phone’s radiation.
Pro tip: You can also opt for professional therapy if you believe this addiction does not seem to leave. It could also mean you already have insomnia; thus, therapy can help you control the habit.
1. What to do when the alarm is set on the mobile phone?
We know that not many people can hear their alarm from a phone placed far away. This is why some keep their phones close to their pillow. To help you out of this situation, try buying an alarm clock. Alarm clocks are pretty loud, and they will surely wake you up.
2. How far should I keep the mobile phone?
Preferably at an arm’s length. But if it is kept in another room, it is even much better and reduces many health risks.
3. If I have no interest in board games, what can I reach for if I can’t sleep?
Pretty simple, try talking to someone. Talking to your partner or family can reduce stress and distract the thoughts you usually use a mobile phone for. This way, you’ll sleep soon and won’t bother with texts and calls.
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Sleeping is essential, but in this rapid world, technology speaks more. No matter the rush, a good night is necessary for a good day. Remember, sleeping with a mobile phone near your pillow is a wrong choice because, as discussed, it will cause—sleep deprivation, mental health issues, cancer chances, weight gain.
And so, avoiding such possible risks by keeping the phone at a distance or in airplane mode will surely keep you free from harmful radiation.