In 2018, The Guardian published a fascinating article (which you can read here). It stated that for years, the mobile industry had been investing in a worldwide campaign to delude policymakers, general consumers, and journalists about the grave dangers of mobile phone radiation. The evidence is clear that radiation from phones can cause cancer.
Almost 95% of adults have a mobile phone leading to increased transmission of Radio Frequency signals in the environment. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Radio Frequency radiation emitted by the phone antenna is linked to multiple health problems.
Research has shown that sleeping with your phone next to you is very dangerous for your health. Most of the time, we tend to place the phone close to us so that we will not miss an alarm, a call, email, or text without knowing the dangers that the phone poses to us.
To avoid phone radiation while sleeping, you should place your cell phone away from you. But how far should you put it?
There are different recommendations by different phone brands about safe distances to keep your phone. So, depending on your phone model, let’s see what happens when you sleep next to your phone, how far you should place your phone, and tips on avoiding cell phone radiation while sleeping.
Is sleeping with your phone under your pillow safe?
It is not safe to sleep with your phone under the pillow or on your nightstand. The closer the phone is to you, the higher the effects of Radio Frequency (RF) signals on your health. So you should find another place to place the phone during the night.
You should place your phone at least 3 feet away from your bed while sleeping. This will help reduce your exposure to RF signals. If you must set the phone near you, then put it in airplane mode to avoid transmitting signals when sending and receiving emails and texts.
Furthermore, a phone placed under the pillow might not have enough airflow, resulting in overheating and possibly battery damage. It can also lead to a fire.
Avoid carrying your phone in your pockets during the day. You should consider using an anti-radiation phone case or carrying the phone in your bag or purse. This reduces your exposure to higher levels of Radio Frequency radiation.
Watch this video to see what happens if you sleep next to a phone.
What happens when you sleep next to your phone?
Phones emit high RF energy when communicating with cell towers. Although the radiation emitted may be harmless, placing the phone close to your head for extended periods will result in headaches and insomnia.
The blue light emitted by the phone can make your brain think it’s daytime. As a result, your brain releases the melatonin hormone responsible for regulating your sleep. Blue light affects hormone production, thus interfering with your sleep pattern, affecting your vision, leading to sleepless nights, or causing headaches.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies RF radiation from cell phones as the cause of “human carcinogens” because of the increased risk of brain cancer due to the heavy use of cell phones.
According to research in the Netherlands, when you place your phone near your head, the brain can electrically detect the radiation even though you can’t sense it. The study’s non-invasive Electroencephalography (EEG) measurements indicate that GSM from the cell phone alters brain activity. Another study has shown that phone radiation causes a blood-brain barrier (BBB). From the Swedish Salford study group, exposure to EMF radiation of up to 900 MHz will damage BBB and impair your spatial memory.
In another research conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the US, exposure to cell phone radiation for 50 minutes can alter glucose production, the primary fuel for the brain. Children are more susceptible to brain damage than adults. Therefore, repeated exposure will result in permanent brain damage.
You should not only concern yourself with long-term radiation effects but also short-term effects. If you’re among the billions who sleep next to their cell phones, you should be concerned about various problems you’re causing to your body.
How sleeping next to your phone affects your sleep cycle
Sleeping next to your phone can affect your sleeping ability, and you end up waking up several times at night or having nightmares, which can affect the automated processes in your body system by altering your biological clock or affecting your cardiac rhythm.
The blue light emitted by your phone screen can delay melatonin production, which in turn affects the schedule of your internal clock. Additionally, you not only wake up feeling groggy but also affect the quality of your sleep. You might also fail to fight the urge to browse through your social network accounts before sleeping.
Muscle pains and headaches are other health issues you may experience due to 900MHz transmission signals. So, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Lastly, there is a possibility of your phone blowing up and causing a fire. In 2014, there was news about a Texan teen woken up by the burning smell of her phone under the pillow. Sleeping with the phone under the pillows can overheat and blow up.
7 tips on how to avoid cell phone radiation when sleeping
Are you one of the millions of us who need to take a last cursory glance at your phone before you sleep? It’s time to ditch this habit once and for all. You know that it can increase your risk of exposure to EMF radiation. Here are some tips you can follow to avoid cell phone radiation.
1. Increase distance
It has been shown that the nearer your smartphone is to you at bedtime, the greater the impact on your health. You could be wondering how far away it should be from you.
To keep exposure to radiofrequency radiation to a minimum, keep your phone a minimum of three feet away from the bed. Manufacturers always print safe distances for each phone model in the user manual.
Therefore, you should read the user manual or the fine print to know the recommended safe distance.
For example, the iPhone 6 recommends keeping the phone at least half an inch away from you. To know your recommended safe distance, you should go to Settings > General > About > Legal > RF exposure (for iPhone users).
Other manufacturers recommend placing the phone ¼ inch away from your body.
2. Put your phone in airplane mode
When your phone is left on, it continuously transmits and receives electromagnetic radiation, which boosts your exposure at night. Putting your phone in airplane mode shuts down the transceiver such that your phone can’t send or receive signals.
When you set your phone to flight mode, all wireless network transmissions on your tablet or phone are disabled. When your phone is in flight mode, it ceases emitting mobile EMF radiant energy, and the great news is that our bodies are shielded from microwave radiations emitted by Wi-Fi equipment. Read my detailed article on how putting your phone in airplane mode reduces EMFs here.
When the phone is in airplane mode, you can browse the internet, send texts, or receive calls, but you can listen to music from your phone.
3. Turn off the phone
Phones emit RF radiation when searching and receiving signals from cell towers. If you leave your phone on when sleeping, it will continue searching for a wireless communication network to receive calls and texts. As a result, it will continue to emit RF radiation.
But when you put your phone off, it’s not communicating with any base station or cell towers, and thus, it cannot transmit Radio Frequency waves, which protects you against RF interference and other forms of radiation.
So, if you’re not expecting important calls, text, emails, or use it for alarms, you can switch your phone off.
Before placing your phone near you when sleeping, turn it off and enjoy quality sleep free from any RF interference.
4. Turn off the Wi-Fi router
Turn off the Wi-Fi router at night to minimize exposure to RF signals. If you intend to keep your phone on, you should turn off the Wi-Fi feature so that it doesn’t continuously search for a wireless connection or leave your cell phone outside your bedroom.
You can turn off the Wi-Fi router through a physical button. Alternatively, you can set a timer for your Wi-Fi router to automatically switch off when switching off Wi-Fi from your computer and smartphone. For example, you can go for the JRS Eco 100 D2 on Asus, which is 100% radiation-free when on standby mode.
5. Talk on desk phones when possible
Desk phones emit the least amount of radiation. As an alternative to smartphones or cordless phones, try to make calls from your desk phone while still at your workstation. Even if someone contacts you on your cell phone, attempt to return the call using your desk phone. Depending on how long you talk on your cell phone while at work, this may considerably reduce radioactive exposures.
6. Use anti-radiation phone cases
Consider using anti-radiation phone cases to block cell phone radiation. An anti-radiation phone case or shield encloses your cell phone device with a signal blocking material to protect you from RF and EMF radiation from your phone.
Watch this video to see how popular anti-radiation cases block EMF radiation from wireless cell phone signals.
Although the anti-radiation cases deflect radio waves to minimize your radiation exposure, they do not offer 100% protection. Cell phone cases mainly cover the front of the phone, and that’s why most of them reduce EMF by 99%. Some of the radiation can still leak from the sides and the back of the phone.
7. Use indoor plants that absorb radiation
Sometimes it’s impossible to keep your phone at a safe distance. In that case, you can place indoor plants that absorb radiation between you and your cell phone. Using indoor anti-radiation plants to cleanse the air within a confined space is a blessing to the human race since they absorb electromagnetic radiation from our electronic devices. Our immune response and metabolic rate are both boosted, as is the air we breathe due to their functions.
They transform all the carbon dioxide in the room into new oxygen, allowing us to breathe more easily and comfortably. In addition to making you more invigorated, these plants (also known as succulents) may also help lessen the frequency of radiation headaches. The time has come to build radiation-free houses for our families so that they may maintain a healthy lifestyle. Plants provide many health benefits, detoxify the air around you, and boost your immune system. Look at my detailed article on indoor plants that absorb radiation for more information.
Just as we have mentioned above, cell phone radiation can cause brain damage and interfere with your sleep quality. So, if you’re concerned about your safety, consider limiting the use of your cell phone, keeping your distance, or putting your phone in airplane mode. Learn other ways to protect yourself from cell phone radiation here.