After changing into your pajamas and switching off the light, one last thing most people check before they sleep is their cell phone. It is also the first thing that people check upon waking up. But multiple studies have shown that having your cell phone in your bedroom can impact your ability to sleep and even cause sleeping conditions such as insomnia.
Many studies conducted around the world have concluded that the usage of cell phones in the bedroom is damaging to your health. In this article, we will look at the reasons why you should avoid cell phones in the bedroom.
The blue light is harmful to your health
The blue light emitted by your cell phone screen is harmful to your overall health. This light can penetrate through the lens to the retina, causing retinal photochemical damage. It also increases the risk of macular degeneration.
Blue light also obstructs the production of melatonin, a crucial hormone that controls your circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle), thus making it difficult to fall asleep and wake up the following morning. Circadian rhythm is super sensitive to blue light because it has a short wavelength.
It reduces your REM sleep
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is a unique phase of sleep that is characterized by the random rapid movement of the eyes followed by low muscle tone through the body. REM sleep is important and should last for at least two hours.
When you have your cell phone in your bedroom, your REM sleep will drastically reduce. This is because phone notifications and other things will prevent you from getting into a deep sleep, which is crucial to achieving quality sleep.
Your cell phone will keep you awake for a long time
You may have noticed that if you have your phone beside you while in bed, it takes longer to fall asleep. This is because cell phones emit blue light that inhibits the production of melatonin that plays a crucial role in helping you fall and stay asleep until your complete your sleeping cycle.
Additionally, having your phone next to you may prompt a compulsive desire to continue checking incoming email notifications or respond to your friend's texts. This may lead to a delay in bedtime and reduce total sleep time.
Cell phone light may affect your sleep quality
Besides the blue light that inhibits the production of melatonin that plays a crucial role in helping you fall asleep, the general light on your phone will also impact your ability to fall asleep. Any light, such as the small amount of light that comes from your cell phone, will affect your circadian rhythm, thus affecting your overall quality of sleep. This may lead to morning sleepiness or insomnia.
It may cause back pain
When you use your cell phone while lying on your bed, you will be forced to tilt your neck, thus piling more pressure on your spine and nerves. Prolonged usage of a cell phone in bed can result in back pain. The more you continue using your phone while lying in bed, the longer it will take to heal.
In some cases, it can result in permanent damage to your back. It has also been proven that using a cell phone in bed can decrease your lung capacity by up to 30%. This means less supply of oxygen to crucial organs of your body, leading to decreased productivity.
It increases the risk of cancer
Yes, you heard me right, having your cell phone beside you while sleeping increases the risk of cancer. Melatonin is a crucial hormone that not only controls your sleeping cycle but is also a potent antioxidant that protects your body against abnormal cell growth. Blue light emitted by your cell phone drastically reduces the production of this crucial hormone.
This lowers antioxidants in your body, thus putting you at risk of getting cancer. Keep in mind that if your melatonin level is distorted for a single night, then that will not cause major damage to your body. However, if you continuously use your cell phone at night for a prolonged time, the risk of getting cancer increases. So, always keep your cell phone out of the room while sleeping.
Poor quality of sleep
Having your smartphone beside you while sleeping may lead to low-quality sleep. You are more likely to wake up multiple times in the night when notifications or texts come in. Additionally, if you have your cell phone next to you, you are more likely to check something in the middle of the night, and exposure to light may prolong your alertness, making it difficult to fall asleep.
Reduced quality of sleep means waking up the following morning feeling tired and groggy. It also increases the risk of suffering from deadly diseases such as dementia, diabetes, depression, and even obesity.
Tips to prevent your cell phone affecting your quality of sleep
Switch it off 30 minutes before you go to bed
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you switch off your cell phone at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. Instead, you can use that time to meditate or read your favorite book. This will help you get your mind off your cell phone thus fall asleep faster when you go to bed.
Place your phone in another room
Switching off your phone and placing it beside you is not going to help. You may get tempted to switch it on to check something. The best solution is to put your cell phone in another room like your kitchen, bathroom, or basement. You can adjust your phone's setting so that you only get emergency calls from certain people but still place the phone out of your bedroom.
Having your cell phone next to you while sleeping can affect your quality of sleep at night, thus making you feel tired and groggy the following day. It also increases your chances of getting deadly diseases such as cancer, diabetes, depression, and obesity. Therefore, it is advised that you keep your cell phone out of your bedroom to enjoy quality, uninterrupted sleep.