Is it safe to put your phone near your head when you are sleeping?

Asaad — these posts are good; I’d rank them somewhere in a B/B+.

For a higher grade, take a look at examples of good practice — I have links to lots here. Also take a look at this work — among the best I’ve ever had. Have a really thorough read of the rubric (end syllabus) with those pieces of work in mind. The issue is that you are choosing great topics but only getting into them in my view to a good/very good standard. See especially the Content Contribution part of the rubric if you want an A. Don’t just tell the story, think critically about it. For example, in the predators post, what did you think of the meta-analysis? Convincing? What would make it better?



Mobiles phones have been a big problem for many of us. They take a lot of our time and could affect our vision ability. In addition, many believe that the radiation that mobile phones emit can cause serious health issues to people who always keep their phone in their pockets or even close to them when they sleep. However, phones emitting dangerous radiations is still debatable, as Andrew mentioned in class. So, I wanted to do a researcher about it to know if this radiation can really affect me, as I always carry my phone in my pocket and put it near my head when I sleep to wake me up in the morning.

The Null Hypothesis is that a mobile phone radiation does not cause health issues.

Alternative Hypothesis: a phone radiation does cause health issues

X variable: phone radiation

Y variable: cancer or diseases

soft points and hard points measured

According to an article in, a natural health website, there was a case revealed in the May issue of the Environmental Health Trust’s newsletter for a woman who got breast cancer and thinks that her phone caused that. The results of the study of the case suggested that putting a phone in your pocket or closer than 6 inches to your body can cause serious damage to your body such as cancer. The case was for an Asian woman who is living in the United States. cancer. She and her doctor suggested that her cell phone caused the breast cancer because she used to put her cell phone in her bra. However, her doctor could not prove that the reason for her cancer was the cell phone even though the doctor could not find any other possible causes for her cancer. In addition, two specialists in cancer Robert Nagourney and John West, conducted a research on the case and suggested that the phone’s radiation was most likely the cause for her breast cancer because they noticed that the cancerous cells distribution was similar to the shape of her phone. However, we still cannot conclude that phone’s radiations can cause either cancer or any other diseases from this case. This is because it is just an anecdote and the study has neither studied many subjects nor stated all the results. Furthermore, the researchers did not provide any mechanism for why cell phone radiation can cause breast cancer. However, I think that this anecdote could really serve as an additional evidence for other studies results that show that there is correlation between breast cancer and exposure to phone radiation, as we learned in class, anecdotes can be powerful.


Image found here

I found Another study in the same article, which was done in 2008 and observed nearly 13,000 children. The researchers studied phones’ radiation effect on children whose mothers used mobile phones before they gave birth to them. The hypothesis tested in this study was that phones radiation cause behavioral difficulties. The independent variable in the study is exposure to phones radiation, which is also a hard point. The response variable is behavioral difficulties (hard point). The study has also measured soft points such as school performance, but did not include the statisticsThe study revealed that women who used cell phones during pregnancy and during childhood, had children who were linked to behavioral difficulties viii.  They suggested that these women were 54 percent more likely to have children with behavioral issues. The researchers continued studying the children they observed and noticed that children who were given cell phones were:

  • “80 percent more likely to suffer from behavioral difficulties”
  • “25 percent more at risk from emotional problems”
  • “34 percent more likely to suffer from difficulties relating to their peers”
  • “35 percent more likely to be hyperactive”
  • “49 percent more prone to problems with conduct”

. I think that this study was well-done in many aspects such as the number of samples studied. However, the study was observational and in my view did not eliminate third variables such as the brand of the phones children or their mothers used, time spent using phones, and living conditions, as some of them may have lived in areas where the chance of getting exposed to dangerous radiations by factories is high. In addition, behavioral difficulties can happen because of wide range of factors such as the way children were raised or the school environment, which is the most frequent cause for behavioral difficulties. Also, there is high possibility that the study suffers from the Texas Shooter Problem because it is observational and because of the many factors measured in the study that may cause the researchers to conclude false causation relationships due to the big number of correlations found in the study.

Finally, the results of the study show strong evidence, despite the fact that the study is observational, that putting a phone near you can result in negative outcomes to either you or your children, as the study has studies a huge number of mothers and children and has also ruled out reverse causation because it measured the effects over a long period of time.

In addition, while it is better to do experimental studies instead of observational studies, this concept cannot be applied here because putting a phone near a child’s head or even giving a child a phone is unethical and cannot be applied as a way of testing this hypothesis.

What I would have done differently in the study is to ask all the participants in the study about their living conditions, the county where they live in to know if there were any factories near them that could have cause any radiation emissions, which will help me reduce any variations or correlations with other third variables that could occur in the study.


The image is found here

This picture clearly shows that the effects of putting your cell-phone near your head can very among different age ranges, which also supports my claim that the results of the study on children could have different results when studying adults.

So, again, is it safe to put your phone in your pocket or near your head?

According to Apple website, the Specific Absorption Rate, the rate at which the body absorbs Radiofrequency energy, can be reduced by trying not to hold your phone when you are making a call, i.e. put the call on speaker or using a headphone. It also says that you should carry your iPhone at least 5mm away from your body to reduce the effect of the Radiofrequency energy on your body. However, Apple did not indicate or suggest that the Radiofrequency energy either is safe or harmful.

Bottom line: studies on the danger of cell phones radiation show that putting the cell phone close to one’s body can be dangerous and could cause cancer; however, the evidence is not strong. Also, most studies had only observed children, which, as a result, could produce different results than if these studies were measuring adults, as it is known that adults’ bones and skin are different than those of children Even though the evidence is not strong enough, one should consider putting his/her phone away when not using it. As for myself, I decided to but an electronic alarm to wake me up in the morning as a better substitute for phones, which will reduce the chances of getting exposed to my phone’s radiation and will also work as a more effective way of waking my up for classes.





5 thoughts on “Is it safe to put your phone near your head when you are sleeping?

  1. Asaad Saleh Salim Al Busaidi Post author

    Hi Guys,
    thanks for commenting. I personally would not not use my phone because of it’s importance nowadays in doing necessary tasks. However, I decided to buy a digital alarm clock as a substitute for the phone’s alarm and it works well!

  2. Dana Corinne Pirrotta

    First off, I really love that this post is very detailed and that you take the time to include multiple journals and studies to analyze, furthering your understanding on the topic. This makes this post much more applicable to us and prepares us to make our own educated decisions on how we feel about sleeping with our phones. I remember Andrew talking about a case similar to the one you first mentioned in class; the Asian girl who developed breast cancer in the area she would tuck her phone into her bra. When Andrew first brought this case up, I was really intrigued but I honestly forgot about it so I am glad you were able to reintroduce it to us. This is a great example of anecdotal evidence. She put her phone in her bra regularly, and then developed breast cancer where she would place the phone. But, there is no mechanism and anecdotal evidence is not reliable.
    The last picture you included in your post was really helpful, and it is cool to see blog posts include photos that are relevant! Sometimes I get lazy and just throw in a random photo instead of a graph, which would really strengthen my blog posts.
    Anyways, until scientists determine something final, I will probably keep sleeping with my cellphone. I feel safe having it near by, and how else will I wake up in the morning?

  3. Isaac Chandler Orndorff

    Very interesting topic! I did something similar in the last blog post, relating it to male infertility. Like yours, it proved some possible evidence of infertility, but we haven’t had cell phones long enough to see if it will truly affect us in our life time. Unfortunately, our generation will be the guinea pigs for this. My question is, knowing there’s a small chance to get cancer if you have a cell phone, will you find it reasonable to not have one? In this day and age, technology is so needed that it would seem impossible not to. Like mentioned in class, is this enough for us to outweigh the good technolgy brings?

  4. Michael David Kresovich

    Cellphones are very crucial, especially today in society, We use them a lot. I have wondered the implications of always having the cellphone around me, or even right up to my ear. This study helped me look at even more ways to it.

  5. jgb5274

    This blog post caught my attention because I often wondered the long term affects of a person in constant contact with their cell phone. It has always been a common concern of many people and the rumors that it causes cancer always goes around but has yet to be completely proven according to your research. I’m curious to know if staring at a cell phone screen a lot can affect a persons vision? This article mentions the different short term vision problems that occur from phone use, but does not mention anything about long term eye-sight problems.

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