A study from Stanford University found that 75% of the 200 students surveyed slept with their cell phones next to them on a nightstand or under their pillow. Almost three-quarters of 18 to 44 year olds sleep with their phones within reach, according to a 2012 Time/Qualcomm poll. The odds are that you and most people you know are sleeping with smartphones.
Smartphones can be useful at night to send a text, check the time, set an alarm, look at the calendar, use as a flashlight, read a book, and so much more. However, does the small radiation that the phone emits warrant concern? Here’s some compelling evidence as to why sleeping with a smartphone may keep you from being your best the next day.
Why You Should Not Sleep Near Your Smartphone
Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range. Sleeping with a phone nearby boosts your radiation exposure just a bit, which can prevent an optimal sleep cycle. Smartphones affect deep non-REM sleep, which leaves less time for bloodflow to be directed to your muscles. Therefore in the morning, you may experience lack of concentration, soreness, and focused performance.
“Anything that disrupts the integrity of your sleep will potentially have adverse consequences in functioning during the day, such as grouchiness, difficulty concentrating, and in children hyperactivity and behaviour problems,” says Dr. William Kohler of the Florida Sleep Institute.
Five ninth-grade girls from Denmark observed these very consequences and noticed they couldn’t concentrate the morning after sleeping with their phones. So they performed a science experiment: Take 400 cress seeds (edible herb related to watercress) and split them into 12 trays, placing the trays in two rooms at the same temperature, six in each room. Give the trays the same amount of water and sunlight for 12 days, but expose six of the trays to mobile phone radiation. The girls had WiFi routers emit the same level of electromagnetic energy as a cell phone.
As you can see, the results are dramatic. The plants in the non-electromagnified room grew, while those situated next to the routers didn’t grow at all or died.
“None of us sleep with our mobile phones at our bedside any more. Either we keep them at a distance or in another room,” said one of the students.
Taking Precautions with Cell Phone Radiation
Two years ago, the International Agency for Research on Cancer rated smartphones as “group 2B”, which means they may cause cancer in humans (study here – subscription required). Mobile phones are still a relatively new technology, so it will still take years to fully understand what, if any, adverse side effects cell phone radiation will have. Let’s take the “better safe than sorry” approach and take a few precautions:
Try an experiment if you sleep with your smartphone. Put it in another room for a week, and don’t look at it immediately before bed. See if you notice any significant change in your mornings and please report back your findings.
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This article was written by HostDime’s Content Marketer Jared Smith.