Back in 2015, a study was conducted by The Bank of America to try and analyze their Smartphone usage while on the bed. During the report, about 1,000 account holders aged 18 years and above were asked whether they used their Smartphones while in bed.
Out of the 1,000 interviewees, about 71% confessed they slept with their Smartphones next to them. Now, considering we are in 2020 where Smartphones have become even more of a liability than in 2015, I will only imagine the number has skyrocketed.
Now, the telephone has been around since its discovery by Alexander Graham Bell back in 1876. Back then, the telephone had one main purpose—to make phone calls.
Today, with the advancement in modern technology, the telephone has become a pocket-sized computer used to perform very many activities such as sending text messages, surfing the internet, replying to mails, trading, transacting, and checking maps among other tasks.
Now, due to its versatility, especially connecting with friends and family via social media, Smartphones have become addictive devices where most people find it almost impossible to get rid of them.
Although Smartphones have many benefits in our social and economic worlds, sleeping with your Smartphone in bed can have negative impacts that can affect your sleep-wake-cycles. In this article, we’ll try to discuss some of these negative impacts that you should be aware of.
- It Keeps Your Brain Psychologically Engaged
As we mentioned in the introductory part, Smartphones have many benefits in our lives such as passing us information, providing entertainment, transacting, and being at the heart of our businesses. But, when it comes to turning off the lights to sleep, the last thing our brains crave for is getting in touch with friends and family in social media.
Since your brain is tired and already occupied by activities of the day, denying it the time to rest and reconstruct itself will make you psychologically engaged which is not good for your health.
- You Won’t Fall Asleep Faster
Sleep deprivation is very dangerous especially if the nature of your job demands a lot of concentration. Sleeping with your Smartphone next to you comes with so many temptations. After all, how can you fall asleep with tweets to reply, Facebook statuses to check, and Instagram photos to scroll through?
Although it may be difficult to tame your curiosity, scrolling through those Instagram photos and replying to emails and tweets at night will cause sleep deprivation in the long last. If your job demands high concentration such as driving in a construction site, a bank teller or operating delicate company machines, lack of enough sleep can result in poor judgment that can cause fatal accidents.
- You can Develop an Addiction
Advancement in modern technology has led to the development of millions of mobile apps most of which are very addictive. One of these is social media scrolling where you can lose track of time by scrolling and interacting with x-school mates.
Another one is gaming where gaming enthusiasts find themselves completing missions to gain points. Some gaming apps even allow gamers to connect with other gamers across the globe to complete tough missions in real-time.
Although it’s not bad to relax your brain by interacting with your Smartphone, sleeping with your phone under the pillow puts you at a high risk of becoming an addict. This in return ends up affecting your real-life especially your social life.
- Blue Light Suppresses your Melatonin
Most people believe that the blue light in their Smartphones is what causes sleeplessness. Well, that’s absolutely true. Not only does it affect your vision, but blue light from your Smartphone also affects your brain.
According to research, blue light from your Smartphone suppresses your level of melatonin. Melatonin on its side is a hormone in the human brain that’s responsible for controlling your sleep-wake-cycle. Now, the blue light in your Smartphone creates an artificial color that mimics the natural light of daytime.
Since the light of day stimulates the melatonin hormone, using your Smartphone during the day improves your mental alertness even more thus improving focus. However, the same can be very dangerous when done at night.
What happens is that blue light sends a message to the brain informing it that its time to wake up. This in return affects the circadian rhythm causing a mix up in your internal body clock. So, using your Smartphone at night will affect our sleep cycles.
- It can be Hazardous
Finally, sleeping with your Smartphone under your bed can not only cause sleeplessness but can also be a potential fire hazard if you’re not aware. In 2017, Newton’s New Hemisphere Fire Department released a photo on their Facebook page showing how charger sparks can cause a fire under your pillow.
There’s another report of a Texas teenager who woke up only to find her Samsung Galaxy S4 on fire under the pillow. After a thorough investigation, it turned out that the Samsung Smartphone had an incompatible battery and charger, which was against the company’s instructions.
Bottom line; use authentic accessories on your Smartphone and avoid cheap knock-offs just to save some bucks. Secondly, avoid sleeping near your Smartphone especially when it’s charging.
Most people who are technology addicts have asked for advise on what they can do to keep off their Smartphones. Well, it’s simple. You only need to set some strict rules on how you’ll be using your Smartphone.
According to Dr. Walia, it’s a good practice to cut your phone usage at least one hour before bedtime. As we mentioned earlier, Smartphones, tablets and TVs all emit blue light that can consequently delay your REM sleep.
To do this, the blue light simply stimulates your brain by sending signals of anxiety, nervousness, and distracting emotions/high-emotional response that can keep you awake for long hours.
If you’re wondering how you can limit screen time before sleeping, simply develop a habit of switching off your Smartphone before bedtime or simply leave it to another room when heading to bed.