Whether it’s waiting up for a response to an unanswered text, replying to work emails long after the end of the business day, or aimlessly scrolling through Instagram, even the most disciplined among us can be found at least occasionally—if not regularly—tucked into bed with our smartphones tightly in hand or nestled under our pillows.
Here are some facts regarding bringing smart devices to bed:
- Not only could bringing your smartphone or tablet affect how fast you fall asleep, but you might not stay asleep peacefully either. To fall asleep, your body needs an increase in a hormone called melatonin. Your smart devices will affect melatonin production. On a related note, those who keep a TV on while sleeping might also be affecting the quality of their sleep. If reading is a must-have before sleep, paper book and a bedside lamp is the way to go.
- A related issue with bringing work to bed – phones, tablets, and laptops – is you’re not giving yourself a break from being connected. It’s a condition often referred to as “fear of missing out,” or “FOMO,” for short. You might want to see what people on social media are chatting about. You hear the “ping” of a text or email after you’ve closed your eyes and so you reach for your device to see who’s writing. There’s a group chat going on and it’s killing you not to be part of it. Even if you put your device on airplane mode, you might still be tempted to peek if it’s nearby. It’s recommended to leave the gadgets in another room.
- Another health issue for smartphones in bed is the twisting of the head and body to read the screen, leading to aching muscles and bones. Laying on your side to read the screen in bed for long periods of time while viewing or entering text also contributes to muscle and skeletal stress and pain.
- While the research isn’t conclusive, another concern with bringing devices to bed is tied to the radiation. We know wireless smartphones and tablets emit Wi-Fi and/or cellular signals – which is why it is suggested not to put one near your head for long periods of time. Leave them at another room or at least switch them into airplane mode.