DENISON, Texas -- Checking your phone before bed and keeping it close by as you sleep is now believed to cause serious sleep problems, which could lead to poor health.
Wayne Conn, a sleep coordinator at Texoma Medical Center, said using your phone right before bed is unhealthy.
"It wakes the brain up. It gets you overstimulated and you're not going to be able to fall asleep," he said. "It's almost like a two year old that's really excited for a birthday party."
Conn said you should stop using your phone two hours before going to sleep. If you really need to make a phone call, use a land line phone.
He equated using your cell before bed to exercising. You don't exercise before sleep, so you shouldn't stimulate your brain, either.
And when falling asleep, another cell phone related problem could occur.
"Radio frequency with cell phones is thought to possibly sleep latency, which means when you got to sleep it might take you ten minutes as opposed to fifteen minutes to fall asleep," he said.
But the problem with cell phones and sleep doesn't stop there.
Even once you're asleep, it can still create a problem, even if you're unaware of it.
A phone that lights up during the night could cause a change in melatonin production.
"Any blue lights or yellow lights may cause some problems where you might not be able to go to sleep," he explained. "Any red lights are okay. You're going to have good production and sleep regularly."
The solution to the light problem is simple -- turn your phone over.
As for the radio frequency, however, Conn recommends placing your phone at least six feet away from you at night.
He challenged those people who sleep near their cell phones by saying, "Try it for two weeks. Put your phone six feet away. Turn it off, limit your usage before bed and throughout the night and see what happens."
The long term effect of the issue is sleep disruption, which can eventually cause high blood pressure, anxiety disorder and type 2 diabetes.