Radiation: Is sleeping next to your phone dangerous?

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Radiation: Is sleeping next to your phone dangerous?


We now know that sound notifications and blue light aren't good for your sleep, but what about radiation? Is it dangerous to leave your phone next to you on the bedside table at night? Or under your pillow?

Read also: Blue light and its effect on sleep

Is smartphone radiation dangerous?

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Smartphones use radio frequency (RF) waves, a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, to communicate with cell towers. This type of radiation is different from ionizing radiation (such as X-rays), which are known to damage our DNA and may be carcinogenic.

The radiation from your mobile phone is similar to microwave radiation, but much weaker. Therefore the radiation itself is not harmful in the short term. But what about the long term?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), long-term exposure to radio frequency waves from mobile phones is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” This does not mean that cell phones have been proven to cause cancer, but more research is needed to determine if there is a link between cell phone radiation and cancer risk.

However, most studies, including large-scale studies, have not found a direct link between cell phone use and cancer. For example, a large study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found no increased risk of brain tumors associated with cell phone use over 10 years.

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So you don't have to worry about radiation if you sleep next to your smartphone. If you want to reduce your exposure to RF waves, you can apply these tips:

  • Use Airplane Mode: Putting your phone in Airplane mode effectively stops wireless signals and eliminates RF radiation.
  • Keep some distance: Instead of putting your phone under your pillow or on your nightstand, consider moving it away from your bed. Even a short distance can significantly reduce RF exposure.
  • Choose a bedside alarm clock: If you use your phone as an alarm clock, consider switching to a traditional alarm clock. This simple change can keep your bedroom free of unnecessary electronic devices.

Read also: Is sleep beneficial or harmful?

Is sleeping next to a charging smartphone dangerous?

Sleeping next to a charging smartphone can actually be dangerous. This is separate from radiation. Devices, cables, and chargers may become warm during charging and cause discomfort or even injury if pressed against the skin for too long. Apple added a warning in the latest version of the user guide: “Try to avoid skin contact with a device or power adapter if the device is plugged into an electrical outlet for an extended period. Also, do not place a charging device under a blanket or pillow, but choose a well-ventilated location.” The company said that those who do not feel the heat for health reasons are advised to take extreme precautions. Additionally, it's good to know that the original chargers are of better quality than the cheaper types you find on store shelves. May be less heat resistant.

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Read also: Seat warmers, laptops and cherry pit cushions are a cause of toasted skin syndrome


Last updated: April 2024

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Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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