Teens sleep next to phones unaware of the lifelong effects

Teens sleep next to phones unaware of the lifelong effects

Drawing by Mickinley Pylman

Harley Middleton, Commentary Editor

People in today’s society, especially teenagers, like to sleep with their phone under their pillow or on the bedside table to use as an alarm or in case of emergency. When people wake in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep, they go on their phone and check Instagram or Twitter. This actually has a harmful effect on the body and its sleeping pattern.

According to Vernon Griffith, a certified strength and conditioning specialist at Virginia High Performance, sleeping next to a cell phone affects the body by not allowing it to relax and unwind.

“Often times,” said Griffith, “We are stimulated nearly every minute of the day. Whether it’s our phone, televisions, computers, or flashing signs on the road.”

Contradicting the statement that sleeping next to a cell phone causes cancer, abcnewsgo.com says that there has been no research to prove that cell phones actually cause cancer.

“In general, cell phones are said to give off such small doses of electromagnetic radiation—which is also emitted from X-rays and microwaves and can lead to tumor growth in high amounts—that they’re perfectly safe to handle.” said Camille Chatterjee from abcnewsgo.com.

While cell phones may not cause cancer, they do cause an increased amount of alertness.

“Having our phone next to us constantly feeling the vibrations or notifications, stimulates us during a time when we are trying to get our brain to not be going at a thousand miles an hour.” said Griffith.

Sleep is a very vital part of the body’s well-being.

“It [a cell phone] also affects your sleep patterns by inhibiting the release of melatonin, which our body relies on to feel sleepy… it doesn’t allow us to reach REM [Rapid Eye Motion] sleep, which is vital to our bodies when it comes to recovery.” Said Griffith.

The experts at Steptohealth.com recommend that a cell phone should be kept at least three feet away from the body during sleep. Also, with the new Apple IPhone update, they have a setting that turns off the harmful blue light on the phone.

“That explains why I don’t feel rested when I wake up. Maybe I should stop sleeping next to my phone.” said senior, Abby Craft.