sharing knowledge; enhancing wellbeing.
Ring, ring. It’s RH here reminding you to keep that cell phone away from your precious heads, especially when you are sleeping! It’s pretty simple: cell phones emit radiation and radiation is carcinogenic; thus, cell phones essentially cause cancer. (Check out the phone guide at Environmental Working Group to see how much your baby emits!). I know what you’re thinking, “Everything causes cancer, why should you worry about cell phone use?” My answer is based on the harm-reduction model to conceptualize the best use of things we know are bad for us… Basically, we aren’t going to get away from all carcinogens, BUT we can do our best to prevent exposing ourselves to the w i d e variety of all things that promote abnormal cell mutation in our environment.
So, we are ALL using headphones to talk on our cell phones now, right? RIGHT?!!!? If not, you should be because we know from various research studies that those who regularly use cell phones without headphones (basically, those that put the cell phone up to their heads) have higher rates of cancers in the temporal lobes, ears, and even in the salivary glands of the mouth. In fact, in your little iPhone user guide, you will find a warning stating that you shouldn’t allow the phone to ever touch your head… This is an easy fix. I use the headphones that came with my iPhone, which is even better than using a Bluetooth because there is no need for the device to wirelessly connect to the phone.
I know we all knew that little fun fact, I’m sure… BUT, did you know that there is also research that proves sleeping in the same vicinity of your cell phone causes an interruption to your sleep cycles? Losing good sleep is a significant predictor of poor health outcomes (in SOOOOOO many different domains). Creating a healthy sleeping environment is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Now, I know most of us are: 1) obsessed with our phones and feel the need to perpetually check emails, facebook, texts, et cetera; and 2) use our phones in place of an alarm clock, but, we’ve got to find a better place for the mobile device! Your best bet is in a different room; however, if it must be in the same room, be sure that you are sleeping with your cell phone AT LEAST five feet away from your noggin.
This advice is important for times other than just sleep as well… Think about how close our cell phones are to us – at all times! We keep them in our pockets next to our internal organs, including our sex organs (think: birth defects)! Or maybe they are in our handbag or sitting on the table right next to us, again, never far from our bodies. Be mindful of where you keep your phone, and how often it is within five feet of your body – and then be active about reducing your exposure to your phone. This is especially important for children. In fact, there are guides in other countries about appropriate exposure levels for children, again from Environmental Working Group.