Up until about six months ago, I used to sleep with my cell phone underneath my pillow. And no, it’s not because I’m so attached to my phone that I can’t bear to be away from it. I use my phone as my alarm clock and when it would vibrate under my pillow, I would instantly wake up. However, I stopped using this method because I didn’t like the idea of sleeping with my cell phone. I know plenty of people who sleep with their phones under a pillow or next to their head, but is this really safe?
First things first, let’s get the obvious risk out of the way. By sleeping with your cell phone, you are risking a good night’s sleep by keeping yourself awake. Cell phones give off blue light, which signals neurons in the brain that it’s time to be awake. To make sure you don’t give off any unwanted light from your electronics, cell phones especially, power down about two hours before going to sleep. This way, you won’t deprive yourself of sleep and you won’t be tempted to Insta-stalk or play a few rounds of CandyCrush.
While there has been no scientific evidence that cell phones cause cancer, they do emit radiofrequency radiation (RF) that has been classified as a “possible human carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). If you’re worried about the possible effects of RF, many health experts recommend keeping your cell phone away from your head. For instance, text instead of talk or use a headset so your ear isn’t directly on the phone. Also, do not sleep with your phone next to your head or underneath your pillow. Without proper research, it’s hard to tell what kinds of effects this can have but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
If you don’t have another place to keep your phone while you sleep, like a nightstand, consider keeping it on the floor next to your bed on a loud volume so you’ll still be able to hear it.