Sleeping with Your Phone Under the Pillow: Is It Dangerous?

Here’s why sleeping with your phone in bed can affect your health

Place the phone several feet away from your bed if you’re not going to switch it off.

Smartphones have been proven to emit dangerous radiation which causes an alteration in the system of certain self –regulating the process, such as our biological clock or cardiac rhythm.

Owing to this, having our cell phone near us while we sleep can lead to nightmares, inability to sleep, waking up several times at night, etc.

As a matter of fact, it can even damage your brain.

Furthermore, sleeping with your phone near you can be harmful to your body functions and tend to limit the production of many significant hormones that are essential for your regular routine.

As affirmed by World Health Organization: Electronic devices, in general, are bad for the body because they produce toxic effects that can increase the chances of developing cancer.

And to validate this claim, an Australia study has shown that there is an important relationship between the use of smartphones and sterility in men, as well as reduced sperm quality.

Read on to see some health implications of having your cell phone close to you while you sleep.

1. It could set your pillow on fire

A good number of cell phone users are so attached to their phones that they sleep with them even under their pillow. The result of this habit has led to recorded incidences of pillows being set ablaze.

Most popular of this incidence is the July 2014 teen from Texas who woke up to a burning smell. Her sheet and mattress have been scorched by her Samsung Galaxy S4, which was under her pillow.

It is, therefore, advisable to shut down the transceiver of your cell phone by keeping it on “airplane mode” while you sleep. Or better still; turn it off because cell phones pump out electromagnetic radiation whenever they’re on.

Most device batteries display a message that there is a risk of fire if kept under bedding. Therefore, it is advisable to turn it off for your own safety.

2. It puts our health at risk due to emitted radiation

Generally, mobile phones emit radiation due to transmission signal around 900MHz. Owing to this, keeping cell phones close to the head for prolonged periods can lead to headaches, muscle pains, and other complicated health issues.

Although people tend to keep their phones close to them while they sleep for different reasons, it is, however, better to be safe than sorry.

The radiation that your body absorbs while you sleep is dangerous. The biggest concern with this type of exposure is c.a.n.c.e.r, especially brain tumors. There are now multiple studies showing the link between heavy phone use and an increased risk for gliomas – brain cancer (University of California–Berkeley).

Other countries—including France, Israel, and Finland—have confirmed this research. The World Health Organization has classified cellular radiation as a possible carcinogen.

3. Blue light is harmful to your eyes

The blue light emitted by your phone screen suppresses melatonin production, the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle (aka circadian rhythm). This makes falling asleep and waking up the next day much more difficult. Because blue light has a short wavelength, it appears to be highly sensitive to the circadian rhythm. Exposure to blue light has also been linked to retinal damage in studies.

It is, therefore, advisable to shut down all electronics two hours before bedtime. And if possible, keep phones and laptops in another room while you sleep.

4. Negative impact on mental health

When you get poor sleep, your body increases the levels of cortisol—the stress hormone.

This can lead to moodiness and irritability. It also puts you at risk for depression and anxiety disorders.

Too much phone use has a negative impact on both physical health and mental well-being. These are the reasons you should not sleep with your phone under the pillow.

How to Keep Your Phone Away from You at Night

While it is important that you do not sleep with your phone under the pillow, there are other simple things that you can do to keep this device away from you.

Here’s how:

  • Use airplane mode or turn off notifications. If possible, shut down completely overnight.
  • Keep your phone at least 15 inches away from you when it is turned on. When sleeping with a partner, this distance should increase to about 30-40 inches, with the phone lying flat on a surface that is not your bed.
  • Use an air tube headset which ensures you can still receive calls without exposing yourself to radiation emitted by cell phones, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices.


The best solution is to keep your smartphone in another room while sleeping at night-time. The health risks associated with sleeping with your phone under the pillow are simply too great. There is another advantage to doing this. If you’re a fan of hitting the snooze button on your alarm, forcing yourself to get up and change room to turn the alarm off is life-saving.


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