Cell phones, televisions, desktops, laptops, iPads, Kindles, tablets, and more. Many people have turned their bedrooms into miniature Best Buy locations. But what are the health risks associated with this? And, what in the world is it doing to our sleep?
A study sponsored by mobile companies themselves found that using cell phones before bed caused people to take longer to reach critical deep stages of sleep and they spent less time in deep sleep. This translates to a diminished ability for the body to heal, depressed immune function, depressed hormone function, and poorer performance the following day.
The most alarming part is that majority people sleep with their cell phones right by their side. Many people will admit to checking message alerts in the middle of the night (and needlessly disrupting their sleep patterns). Plus, many more will admit that the first thing they do is reach for their cell phone as soon as they wake up each day.
Our attention is enormously valuable, and how you begin and end your day has a huge impact on the results in your life. Starting the day checking emails and messages on your phone immediately puts others priorities ahead of yours. You start the day addressing other people’s needs instead of taking time to care for yourself physically and getting focused on your own goals for the day. You are, in essence, saying, “I know I have things that I want to accomplish, but I would much rather try to take care of them last when I’m stressed out, out of time, and out of energy.”
Ending your day by kissing your cell phone goodnight and laying it by your side is another surefire way to set yourself up for failure. Your thoughts are lingering on your last interaction on your phone and not your goals. And the spectrum of light emitted from your cell phone screen triggers your brain to secrete more “daytime hormones” which delays and reduces the secretion of the sleepy time hormone melatonin.
Cooking Up Cancer
We already covered some powerful reasons to keep your cell phone out of your bedroom, but the issues go far deeper than that. Our appliances and electronic devices emit both electric and magnetic fields known as EMFs. Electric fields are easily blocked by walls and other objects, but magnetic fields can pass through walls, buildings, and the human body with ease. EMFs have been found to cause disruption in communication between the cells in our bodies.
EMFs from our common electronic friends have been linked to leukemia, brain tumors, and breast cancer, along with several other serious issues. So, what about cell phone EMFs?
The World Health Organization has now classified cell phone radiation as a Class B carcinogen.
Dr. Siegal Sadetzki testified at a U.S. Senate hearing that cell phones were identified as a contributor to salivary gland tumors. The report states that your risk of getting a parotid tumor on the same side of your head that you use for listening to the cell phone increases by:
- 34 percent if you are a regular cell phone user and have used a mobile phone for five years.
- 58 percent if you had more than about 5,500 calls in your lifetime.
- 49 percent if you have spoken on the phone for more than 266.3 hours during your lifetime.
Still not convinced yet?
The results on children are far worse. Unfortunately, children and teens are at greatest risk, both for parotid gland tumors and brain tumors, because their thinner skull bones allow for greater penetration of cell phone radiation.
The radiation can deeply impact tissues all the way to their mid brain, where tumors are more fatal. Additionally, children’s cells reproduce faster, so they’re more susceptible to aggressive cell growth. The biggest issue today is that kids face longer lifetime exposure. I remember a time very clearly when cell phones didn’t exist, whereas countless people alive today were born into the widespread use of cell phones. According to Professor Lennart Hardell of Sweden, people who begin using cell phones heavily as teenagers have four to five times more brain cancer as young adults.
Moral of the story here: Don’t keep cell phones around your body needlessly, and communicate this to the young people in your life as well. And, knowing these effects, why in the world would you sleep with your cell phone near you all night long?
People hang on to their phones and electronic devices like they are their best friends in the world. They act like they’re going to fallout and die if they don’t have their cell phone within texting distance.
Trust me, you’ll live… and if you don’t pay attention to this, all the rest of your years are not going to be very fun. Get the electronics out of your bedroom! If sleep is important to you, then you’ll do this. If being healthy and not having a chronic disease is important to you, then you’ll do this. Television, laptops, cell phones, all of these things are kicking out radiation that is disrupting your sleep. Keep your bedroom reserved for sleep and sex.
Numerous studies have confirmed that watching television before bed disrupts your sleep cycle. It might seem like a mundane activity to sit back and watch TV in your bed, but parts of your brain are being set off like fireworks. You’re actually putting a stressor on your brain and body, especially if it’s time to be winding down for bed.
Data shows that children with televisions in their bedrooms score lower on school tests and are more likely to have sleep problems. And, to top it all off, having a TV in the bedroom is associated with a greater risk of obesity.
What about for mama and papa? Couples who keep a TV in their bedroom have sex half as often as those who don’t. More and better sex should be reason enough for most people. I’ll bet that after the world discovers this data, you’ll be shocked if you see a television in a bedroom from then on. You’ll walk into someone’s bedroom, see a TV, then put your hand over your chest as you gasp and say, “Really? People still watch TV in bed…? Really?”
Having these electronics in your bedroom is like a first-degree assault on your sleep. Take action on this now, out of respect for your body, and get those gadgets out of your bedroom. Stack the conditions in your favor to ensure that you’re creating an environment to get the sleep you deserve.
Friends Out Power Tip # 1
Many people use their phone as a Swiss Army Knife to replace a lot of other useful devices. One of those useful devices is an alarm clock. To avoid this seduction of keeping it your bedside, simply take action to use an alternative alarm clock. You can use the alarm clock, with the full shut-off dimmer, you can use a traditional buzzer alarm clock, or you can even use a rooster for all I care. Just stop using your cell phone if you don’t have to.
Friends Out Power Tip # 2
The importance of communication in a relationship has become cliché. Yet, the reality of the situation is that communication is the basis for any successful union. If you want to get the TV out of your bedroom and you are worried that your partner won’t want to go along with it, simply have a compassionate heart-to-heart with them. Explain why this is important to you, and ask them if they’d be willing to work with you on this because you respect them and want them to be happy as well. You’ll probably be surprised what a little extra love and communication can do (plus give them a copy of this article).
Friends Out Power Tip # 3
I know it might sound crazy, but everything will be okay if you keep your phone in another room while you sleep. It’s 99.999 percent likely that you won’t miss anything important. But, you will radically improve your sleep quality if you’re not allowing your cell phone’s notifications and radiation to disrupt your valuable sleep.