In the world we live in, cell phone use is increasingly essential to daily life. So much so that we do not put it down 24/7. We take it with us wherever we go and if we forget it at home, we feel like something is missing. We do not turn it off at any time of the day and we sleep with it on the nightstand. This habit can be detrimental to our health.
If you are like the billions of people who sleep with their cell phone next to their bed, this could be causing many problems (imperceptible for the moment) to your health. The radiation that smartphones emit are really dangerous and not advisable for any reason. This is true at any time of the day, but in the hours when we are sleeping, having our cell phone near us can lead to nightmares, inability to sleep, and waking up several times each night, etc. The reason? It causes an alteration in the system of certain self-regulating processes, such as your biological clock or cardiac rhythms.
The World Health Organization has stated that electronic devices in general (not just cell phones) are bad for the body and can increase the chances of developing cancer. They produce toxic effects that many scientists do not acknowledge, which is why you need to know that cell phones are based on ionizing radiation and wavelengths. One study in Australia showed that there is an important relationship between the use of smartphones and sterility in men, as well as reduced sperm quality. In both sexes, there was an increase in stress levels.
Although your cell phone may have an alarm clock you really should turn it off overnight. Because even when we’re not using it, it still communicates with base stations by radio transmissions. This means that the phones are constantly radiating electromagnetic waves into the environment, not just when they are being used. And placing it near your head while sleeping is like “spreading contagions” of these waves that do us no good.
How and where should you leave your cell phone when you sleep?
There are two ways: first, turn it off and leave it in the usual place (on the nightstand), keeping in mind that you must use a different alarm clock. The second is to leave it on but place it in a distant room, such as the kitchen or living room. This alternative is less desirable. And if you do not feel comfortable turning off the phone in case someone needs to communicate with you during the night in an emergency, you can at least turn off the Internet or WiFi connection, which is more dangerous than the radio waves. Experts recommend that the cell phone should be at least three feet away from the body during sleep. We can leave it, for example, on the couch or on a chair.
Another issue to keep in mind, and one that many do, is that you should not leave your cell phone charging overnight while you have it under your pillow. There are many cases of people who have burned their face or hands due to an overload and subsequent fire inside their devices. Most pillows are made of a material which combusts very quickly and this puts us in great danger while we sleep because we are not aware of what is happening around us.
Another risk that is also related to leaving the cell phone on the bedside table is that it increases our anxiety levels, we are constantly alert and expectant of what may happen all the time, we wake up in the middle of the night to check our e-mail or social networks each time we get a notification, etc. This is a change in behavior and habits that eventually results in stress, insomnia, poor concentration, cognitive problems, lack of productivity, irritability, nightmares, headaches, etc.
Other “healthier” habits when using your cell phone
- Keep the calls short and if they are extended, change ears every few minutes.
- If possible, place calls with the “hands-free” system to avoid having it next to your head.
- Do not let children use the cell phone, even as a toy.
- Do not talk on your smartphone in an area where the signal is weak because the devise will have to issue more powerful radio waves.
- Do not carry your cell phone on your body (men especially should not put it in the pocket of their pants) and avoid contact with your skin.
- Keep it away even just a couple of feet while on your desk or table.
It is therefore necessary to allow our cell phone to rest a little and we can take a break from it. During the night, we should dedicate ourselves to sleep and rest, to recharge our batteries that we have spent all day. It is better for the cell phone to stay off until we get up (if we can stand the temptation) or until we leave home for work.
In this way, we avoid imbalances in the neuronal level, in our quality of sleep and stress levels. The results of the studies on this issue are still not entirely clear, although what has been made available to us is enough to sound the alarm. And do not forget that the other appliances you have at home can also be harmful to your health. Try not to have televisions or computers in your bedroom. If you already have them, you can unplug them before bedtime, for example. Turn off the router when you go to bed and try not to use the cell phone up until the last moment before closing your eyes.