Is it bad to leave your phone playing music all night?

Our smartphones are our best friends. They are with us when we wake. They are with us when we sleep. And everything in-between, it seems! It could be argued that sometimes our smartphones are dumb and they don’t always do what we want, but we still love them. From Google Play Music to Amazon Prime movies and more, it’s tempting to leave your phone on while trying to go to sleep. But is this smart?

Yes and no.

While listening to soothing music (or head-banger beats if that’s your thing) seems like a good way to go to sleep, there are a few reasons to rethink this situation.

Battery Usage

While it’s true that your battery will get zapped eventually whether you are listening to music or not, using applications that take a lot of power, such as videos and audio, will run your battery down faster. You can remedy this, though, by keeping it plugged into a power source while you are listening so that the battery continues charging while you enjoy listening to your favorite iTunes.

The bigger factor in running down your battery is likely due to LCD screen time. If your phone plays music with the display on “dim,” you can save some serious battery that way. You may also just lower the brightness down to 50% or less to save battery power.

Mental Distractions

Another reason you may not want to listen to music as you fall asleep is the mental distractibility that this creates in your brain. Some people say they are distracted by vocal music when they are trying to fall asleep and that the music keeps them awake. Others like to listen sometimes, but keep the volume low enough so that it will not keep them up.

Danger of Fire

While the risk is relatively small, there is a slight risk of fire if you leave your phone on all night. A phone that is allowed to stay on all night while utilizing so many of the resources of the phone, may find that the phone has heated up to dangerous levels. If you do this, make sure that your phone is not making contact with your bedspread or pillow. Many phones have a heat sensitivity tool that automatically shuts down your phone if it gets too hot. Check yours out to see if this is the case. But if in doubt, the best choice is to leave it on a solid surface where it cannot make contact with anything that is combustible should it heat up to dangerous levels. 

Battery Aging

If you’re worried about what overnight charging with music playing all night can do to your battery, one thing that it can do is that it may age your battery faster than it should. According to PC Mag, a highly-respected source for computers and technology, keeping your battery in use and/or charging it continuously overnight may make the battery wear out faster than it should in the long term. 

Disturbing Others in the Household

If you live alone, play away! But if you share your domicile with others, it’s possible that your Iron Maiden songs could keep others awake, which may cause them to be irritated with you for your lack of respect for their sleeping time. This is something to ponder if others are within range of your smartphone. Of course, you can always use earplugs to avoid this issue. 

A Happy Medium

Perhaps a good idea would be to do it sometimes when you are not sleepy or want to hear some new songs and let it rest the other times. Alternatively, you could download a great nature sounds app like “Calm” or “Relax Melodies” that provides relaxing nature sounds like rain, ocean waves, and others to help you sleep better. This is a much better choice is you want something to lull you to sleep. Also, Tim Janis and others provide videos with relaxing nature scenes and audio 24/7, including some live streams where you can also chat with others who have trouble falling asleep.

Use Common Sense

The fact that you stopped to read this article shows you have some concern over the dangers or issues regarding leaving your phone on all night. While there are a number of things to consider, the best rule of thumb is to use common sense. Leave your phone on at night if you enjoy going to sleep to some music while keeping in mind that it is likely to distract you if the music is too loud or particularly overbearing. Respect others too and remember they could be bothered by the sound of music coming from a room next to them. Use earbuds when possible. Place your phone on a flat, smooth surface and never leave it on your bed or under your pillow, as this could cause it to overheat.  Use your best judgment, but remember, to keep your phone lasting a long time, it needs a good night’s sleep, too!


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