If you’re like 71% of Americans, you probably tuck your smart phone in bed with you so you can scroll through all the news and Instagram pictures you missed during the day. But consider yourself warned: This seemingly innocent habit can have some serious health repercussions.
1. It makes it harder to fall asleep.
The artificial light that’s emitted from your phone results in your brain producing less melatonin, the chemical that helps you fall asleep and regulates your sleep cycle. (Even the little light that shows your device is charging gives off blue wavelengths that affects your circadian rhythm.) That means you’ll have a harder time nodding off — and probably find yourself counting those annoying sheep.
2. And you’ll wake up feeling less rested.
One study found that people who used their phone after turning off the lights experienced worse sleep and felt more tired the next day. So even if you’re eventually able to nod off, it might not be of the quality you need.
3. It’s a literal fire hazard.
The New York City Police Department recently warned against snuggling up to your phone at night by tweeting four photos of pillows with burn holes after the cellphone underneath them overheated and set fire. Say no more, we hear you.
4. It’s germier than your toilet seat.
And since you would under no circumstance sleep next to your toilet, why would you sleep with your phone? The good news: To kill germs (and avoid putting a toilet seat’s worth of creepy crawlers on your cheek), you can easily clean your phone every few days with an alcohol wipe.
5. It could make you feel depressed.
According to research from Baylor University, people who use their phone more frequently are prone to moodiness and temperamental behavior. When you think about it, comparing yourself to other people on social media before you fall asleep and as soon as you wake up probably isn’t the best idea.
6. It might trigger nomophobia.
Which is a real fear of being without your phone. To prevent this from happening, turn off your phone at least once a day and place your device at least 15 feet away from you while you sleep.
7. It causes you to strain your eyes.
After a full day of staring at your computer, then an evening in front of the TV, your eyes need a break— and bringing those same zombie habits into your bed is the exact opposite of one. To avoid headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, and more, use this time before sleep to let your eyes rest.
8. It exposes you to cell phone radiation.
Even though it’s still unclear what effects cell phone radiation have on the brain, it’s still wise to avoid this exposure when possible. That’s why Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist at the Good Housekeeping Institute, warns against sleeping with phones under your pillow.