Why Sleeping With Your Phone is Bad for You

Hands up if you go to bed with your cell phone every night? If your bedtime routine involves a mobile device it may be time to implement a new wind-down well routine excluding your beloved cell or tablet. Night-time distractions such as your cell phone, tablet, TV, or laptop, emit blue light a type of light that tricks your brain into believing it is daytime, causing an interruption to your circadian rhythm. Adopting a new bedtime routine could help you to unwind and prepare your mind and body for a night of restorative sleep.

Your circadian rhythm depends on light signals to alert your body to wake up in the morning and become drowsy for sleep in the evening

Is Sleeping Next to My Phone Bad for My Sleep?

Blue Light

Using your cell or mobile phone in bed tricks your brain into believing it is daytime because of the wavelengths similar to daylight. Blue light emits wavelengths between 450 and 495 nanometers. This light emits wavelengths similar to daylight as it has a higher frequency than red light. Your circadian rhythm depends on light signals to alert your body to wake up in the morning and become drowsy for sleep in the evening. Exposing yourself to the flickering light of a TV or electronic device at night can disturb your sleep patterns and cause insomnia. 


All cell phones are a health risk as phones emit electromagnetic radiation hazardous to your health. Exposure to high levels of radiofrequency radiation, similar to the microwave radiation that cooks food, is dangerous to health, particularly the eyes and testes. Some cell phones such as the iPhone 7 emit double the FCC-approved level of RF radiation. Some people are more sensitive to radiofrequency radiation and may experience headaches from prolonged use of their cell phone. The World Health Organization admits that there is limited data on whether cell phones cause brain tumors. Therefore, it is best to err on the side of caution and use a hands-free kit when making and receiving calls on your device.  


The first handheld cellular phone call was made in 1973 by Martin Cooper, a Motorola engineer as he was walking along Sixth Avenue in New York. Fast forward to the 1980s when cell phones were becoming popular, yet their basic ability at that time was to simply make and receive calls. Something people rarely do these days, opting for instant messaging, and chatting on social media apps. You could almost run a business from a cell phone now. However, functionality does come at a price, being distracted by your cell while in the company of loved ones, shopping on your cell while at the dinner table, scrolling through Instagram when you should be sleeping. The cell phone has become an unhealthy obsession, causing distraction when it might be better to stop and smell the flowers or go to bed and sleep.   

Fire Hazard

Sleeping with your phone under your pillow is a fire risk. 13-year-old Ariel Tolfree from Texas woke up to a burning smell in July 2014 to find her pillow and mattress burned when her Samsung galaxy s4 caught fire. Thankfully, Ariel was not hurt but it is a warning to never sleep with your cell under your pillow. Batteries can become overheated, especially when charging. To be safe, put your cell on airplane mode before sleeping and leave it on your bedside table. 

Should I Keep My Phone out of My Bedroom? 

Keeping your cell phone, electronics, and TV out of your bedroom will ensure a distraction-free wind-down before bed. Your sleep inducing hormone melatonin relies on environmental cues from sunlight and dusk in alerting your circadian rhythm to wakefulness and sleepiness. Sleeping in a distraction-free bedroom will ensure you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. 

Phone Alternatives 

Most people use a cell phone for their alarm clock. For better sleep quality, keep your cell phone outside of your bedroom, the phone alarm can be set to maximum level so you can hear it outside your room. An alarm clock or clock radio could be a better alternative to relying on a cell phone to wake you up every morning.  

Create a Cozy Sleep Space 

To enjoy restorative sleep every night, a cozy bed and calming sleep space are vital. A pressure-relieving mattress and foam or down alternative pillow is the basis of any sleep space. A blackout blind or curtains will keep early morning light, noise pollution, and light pollution out of your bedroom. For a distraction-free sleep, keep electronics and TV out of your bedroom. Opt for calming nighttime activities such as reading, meditating, having a hot bath, or cuddling your partner or pet.  


Cell phones are undoubtedly a useful tool in our daily lives but are best used in moderation. Limit your screen time to work and study activities and minimal leisure activities. Reach for your cell phone only when you need to use it. Wasting time on your cell is a waste of time better spent with loved ones or being out in nature. 

Can I get Cancer From Sleeping With my Cell Phone? 

While there is limited evidence from the International Agency or Research on Cancer and the World Health Organization on links between cell phone radiation and cancer. It is still advisable to keep your cell phone out of your bedroom when sleeping to avoid distractions and help you get better sleep quality. 

Can Cell Phone Radiation Affect Sleep?

Some people have an ultra-sensitive response to the electromagnetic radiation emitted from cell phones. Therefore, some people may feel sleeping next to their cell does affect sleep quality. Using your cell in bed has a detrimental effect on sleep as blue light can be harmful to the eyes and keep you awake longer.     

Does Sleeping With my Cell Phone Cause Headaches?

Sleeping beside your cell phone all night may not be causing you headaches but using electronics and watching TV in bed certainly can. Blue light emits wavelengths that can be harmful to the eyes, especially when in bed trying to sleep. The light interrupts your circadian rhythm, causing insomnia and in certain cases, headaches.