Why you shouldn’t sleep with your phone at night

If you’re like most people, the last thing you look at before bed (and the first thing you see when you wake up) is probably your phone. How could this affect your ability to sleep and cause insomnia? Should you sleep with your phone in your bedroom? What are the potentially harmful effects of putting your phone in bed?

Consider how sleeping near your phone might affect your ability to sleep, and what changes you can make tonight to help you sleep better.

How Modern Cell Phones Affect Sleep

The telephone has been around since Alexander Graham Bell invented the first telephone in 1876. It’s only in the past few decades that the function and role of the phone in our lives has changed dramatically. Modern cell phones are no longer just a way to talk to people far away, they serve multiple purposes.

Mobile, cell phone or smartphone is now fully integrated into our daily life. These technological marvels are like pocket computers. With them, we can perform many of the activities that modern life requires.

You can make phone calls, send text messages, map your route, surf the web, answer emails, and interact through social media like Facebook and Twitter. You can also play games and use apps to perform a range of amazing tasks. Not surprisingly, these functions may also affect our sleep.

reduce sleep

Many of these activities may inspire a compulsive desire to keep refreshing, checking, responding, reading, scrolling, posting, clicking, or playing. It feels good and there are endless opportunities for extra excitement.

It can be difficult to stop and put the device away. This alone can lead to delayed bedtimes and reduced total sleep time. This can lead to sleep deprivation if you don’t get the sleep time you need to rest.Stimulation can make it difficult to turn off and fall asleep. The mind may be overexcited or activated.


Additionally, light from your phone, tablet, or computer screen may interfere with your ability to fall asleep. A small amount of artificial light on a screen may cause a delay in circadian rhythms.

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This may be especially relevant for night owls whose sleep stages are naturally delayed. Not getting morning sunlight to counteract these effects can lead to insomnia and morning sleepiness.

How screen light affects your sleep

The dangers of leaving your phone in the bedroom

There’s a reason why you keep your phone away from your bedroom. This makes it easier to avoid prolonged use when you’re supposed to go to sleep. It also prevents forced examinations if you wake up during the night. If you wake up and read disturbing content, it may be difficult to get back to sleep. There are other risks to consider.

The phone is designed to prompt you to respond. There may be bells, alarms, sirens, or lights to your attention. This is useful when awake, but cumbersome at night.

These may cause awakenings. If you’ve fallen asleep but forgot to put your phone in night or airplane mode, random text messages or phone calls may wake you up.

This can disrupt sleep quality. It may also wake you up to elicit a response without fully waking you up, leading to incoherence or even sleep texting.

Some have expressed concern about the effects of electromagnetic fields on the risk of health problems. These concerns include increased risk of brain tumors (especially on the side of the head that holds the phone) or effects on fertility (especially in men, who have external and exposed reproductive organs). Caution may require reducing exposure by eliminating phones in bedrooms.

Electromagnetic fields generated by cell phones are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as possibly carcinogenic to humans, although no studies have demonstrated this association.

The World Health Organization is conducting a formal risk assessment. The FDA said the weight of scientific evidence did not show an association between cellphones and adverse health outcomes.

Changes to improve sleep tonight

Clearly, cell phones can interfere with sleep. If you have insomnia, or just sleep deprivation, this is a simple change that may help. Think about how much your phone might affect your sleep environment and consider the following changes.

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Take the phone out of the bedroom

Charge your phone in the kitchen. Allow yourself to go to bed without your phone. In the event of an emergency, you will know about it in the morning. Taking your phone out of the bedroom and charging it in other rooms like the kitchen can reduce its impact on sleep.

get alarm

Use an alarm clock instead of your phone’s alarm clock. While a phone can do a lot, sometimes sacrificing intrusion for convenience isn’t worth it. If you need to wake up on time in the morning, buy an inexpensive alarm clock. Put it on the other side of the room and set it for the time you need to get up.

Try not to look at the clock or check the time at night. If you absolutely must use your phone as an alarm clock (perhaps while traveling), set it to Airplane or Night mode to reduce distractions and keep it out of reach.

Turn off sleep tracking apps

Some people use their phones as a way to track sleep and wake patterns through various apps and even wearable technology. The accuracy of associating movement with wakefulness and stillness with sleep is highly questionable.

Furthermore, there is no reason to carefully record every movement (or associated arousal) during the night. Over-analyzing sleep can be disruptive.

build buffer

Retain buffers and minimize nighttime light. Try to protect the last hour (or two) before bed as a time to relax and prepare for sleep. Enjoy reading, watching TV or movies, or listening to music.

Reduce eye exposure to direct light. Switch any turned off screens to night mode (reduce blue light) whenever possible. If you are particularly sensitive to light at night, consider eliminating it as much as possible.

Optimize sleep environment

Consider other ways you can improve your bedroom to make it the ultimate sleep mecca. Go to bed when you feel sleepy. If you’re awake for more than 20 minutes at night, get up and do something relaxing, and go back to bed when you feel sleepy.

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If you wake up in the morning, you may wake up early and start your day. Reserve the bed as a space to sleep alone and have sex. By making these changes, you’ll improve your bed’s relevance as a place to sleep.

10 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight

VigorTip words

Do your best to put technology in its place. These devices are designed to improve our lives, but if left unchecked, they can become invasive. Commit to taking the phone out of the bedroom. This small change may help you optimize your sleep ability and ensure you get enough sleep to feel rested.

If you’re struggling with poor sleep, contact a board-certified sleep specialist for the help you need. Persistent chronic insomnia can be effectively addressed with cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTI), which typically produces benefits in as little as 6 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How far should your phone be when you sleep?

    When you decide to sleep, your phone should be outside the bedroom. However, if you’re using your phone as an alarm, keep it as far away from your bed as possible, and turn off all notifications that aren’t alarm-related. This way, in order to turn off your phone’s alarm, you need to get up.

  • Is it bad to fall asleep to music?

    No, falling asleep to music isn’t inherently bad, but the effect may depend on the type of music or sound chosen. A study of a group of students found that listening to relaxing classical music helped them sleep better. A second group of students were told to listen to audiobooks while they slept; unlike the group that listened to classical music, there was no significant improvement in sleep quality in the second group.