Does smartwatch negatively affect my health

Is it alright to sleep with a smartwatch? What are the health hazards?

Wearing a smartwatch while you sleep could potentially be harmful to your health. The main hazard is the electromagnetic radiation that the watch emits. This radiation can disrupt your sleep by causing insomnia and headaches. It can also lead to more serious health problems like cancer. So, it is best to avoid wearing a smartwatch while you sleep.

There are other risks associated with sleeping with a smartwatch as well. For example, the watch could overheat and cause burns. It could also malfunction and give you false readings that could lead to incorrect medical treatment. Therefore, it is important to be aware of these risks before you decide to wear a smartwatch to bed.

If you are going to wear a smartwatch to bed, there are some things you can do to minimize the risks. First, make sure that the watch is set to “Do Not Disturb” mode so that it doesn’t emit any electromagnetic radiation. Second, don’t wear the watch on your wrist – instead, put it in a drawer or somewhere else away from your body. Finally, consult with a doctor if you have any concerns about wearing a smartwatch to bed.

Does Smartwatch Negatively affect my Health?

Researchers are examining the negative influence of the Smartwatch on health. Although there is no definitive proof that Smartwatch has harmful side effects, there are several clear reasons why it might be a problem in the long term.

Most smartwatches generate Electromagnetic field radiations which can impact the health of the user in the long run. Out of many electromagnetic radiations that a smartwatch emits continuously, Bluetooth is the one that has been classified as “Possible carcinogenic” by World Health Organization (WHO). Prolonged exposure to Bluetooth can be the reason for cancer, DNA damage in infants and unborn fetuses. It can also cause infertility in women.

The EM radiations emitted by your smartwatch can be the reason for chronic headaches if you wear them 24/7 for detailed monitoring. It can further interfere with your sleep if it gets too personal with the sleep analysis and this can result in unpleasant mood swings.

Body Dysmorphia is another problem associated with the extensive use of a smartwatch. Just like it is quite possible for people to cause permanent damage to their cervical by looking at their phones for long hours, they can also develop unwanted physical changes with a habit of recurrently looking at their watch. This will further worsen their attention to their work as people will get distracted by every notification on their smartwatches.

Smartwatches also use stainless steel to make the body of the watch or certain parts for durability and robustness. Stainless steel contains Nickel in traces which can be the reason for allergies and rashes for people with sensitive skin. The Straps of the smartwatches also can irritate the skin due to sweat accumulation and the use of bad quality material.

Given all the possibilities of negative impacts, it is also quite true that most smartwatches have a minimal value of SAR levels which are not dangerous to human health on regular use.

What Are The Dangers of Sleeping With A Watch On?

Sleep is essential for our physical and mental health, yet many of us do not get enough of it. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, 50-70 million US adults have a sleep disorder!

One of the most common sleep disorders is insomnia, which can be caused by stress, anxiety, medications, or underlying medical conditions. If you struggle with insomnia, you may be tempted to try sleeping with a watch on in hopes that it will help you fall asleep faster.

However, sleeping with a watch on can actually have the opposite effect and make insomnia worse. Here’s why:

  1. Watches emit electromagnetic radiation (EMR), which has been linked to cancer and other health problems.
  2. The light from the watch can disrupt your body’s natural sleep cycle and make it harder to fall asleep.
  3. Watches are often uncomfortable to wear to bed, which can make it difficult to get a good night’s rest.
  4. If you have insomnia, sleeping with a watch on is likely not going to help and may even make the condition worse. If you’re struggling to sleep, talk to your doctor about other treatment options that may be more effective for you.

How tight should a watch be?

Wearing your watch too tight can be a reason for skin rashes and infections as the wrist is put under lots of unwanted pressure for a longer period.

If you are someone who wears their smartwatch to bed for sleep analysis, make sure there is a one-finger gap between the strap and the wrist which will allow proper ventilation to the skin pores.

Which Smartwatch band is ideal for wearing at night?

There are different materials available for the straps of a smartwatch. If you want to wear your smartwatch to bed at night, make sure you use a comfortable and breathable strap made up of soft and inert material like nylon. 

There are other hypoallergenic material straps available for all the leading smartwatch brands and you can definitely try one of these from the list –

  • OYODSS Silicone band for Apple Watch
  • Hapaw Nylon Band for Fitbit
  • TECKMICO bands for AmazeFit GTS
  • Fintie Woven Nylon Band for Samsung Galaxy Watches

Cheap rubber or silicone bands and metal straps are not recommended for sleeping at night as these two are not comfortable and breathable. The metal strap can be a potential source of scratches and hazards.

How does a smartwatch track your sleep?

Smartwatches use the accelerometer to track your movements along with the speed and direction of your motion to determine your sleep and other activities during the day.

Other sensors measure different body compositions and physiological changes in your body and aid in sleep tracking and analysis. Once the data is collected, it gets supplied to an internal algorithm in the smartwatch processor which further breaks down the sleep into detailed sections like light sleep, deep sleep, REM sleep, and nap.

Why should you track your Sleep?

Sleep tracking is essential when you are not on a regular sleep cycle or you have trouble getting into deep sleep mode at night. Sleep is an important factor for good health. It is the golden period for the body to relax, detoxify and rejuvenate for the day tomorrow.

Here are some solid reasons for considering tracking your sleep at night –

If you frequently wake up at night:

Sleep disorders are common among people. They can have obstructive sleep apnea or periodic limb movement disorder which can wake you up intermittently at night and prevent them from getting a good night’s sleep. Environmental factors (like noise and traffic on the road), snoring partners or family members, and crying babies can be other factors that can compel you to let go of your beautiful seep. So, in order to get your sleep cycle back on track, you need to monitor it and practice healthy habits accordingly to improve your sleep.

You are too tired or sleepy at work (during the day):

If you are someone with insomnia (inability to sleep) or obstructive sleep apnea, then it is possible that you are not getting enough sleep during the night and thus feel sleepy during the day. This is exhausting and distracting at the same time. Another rare reason for lack of REM sleep can be narcolepsy which pushes you harder with all the tiredness. So, to take back control of your sleep, you need to track it and follow a strict regime of relaxation and sleeping.

You want to optimize your work and performance:

If you are an athlete or someone who spends long hours working that involves both your mental and physical strength, a good night’s sleep can be a boon for you. Your body is completely rejuvenated and it replenishes all its energy bottles while you sleep. Women who are approaching menopause should also focus on optimizing their sleep to alleviate mood, improve memory and reinforce their concentration.

Is it OK to sleep with Apple Watch On?

Yes, it is. In fact, the smartwatch itself does not cause any harm as there are no known cases of wearables causing unusual sleep conditions or sleep deprivation.

The Apple Watch is one of the most effective smartwatches on the market, with a sleek design and low level of radiation. It shouldn’t be an issue for you to sleep with Apple Watch ON, therefore it shouldn’t be an issue to wear Apple Watch overnight. Make sure you take a break in between to avoid extended exposure and dependency.

Is it OK to sleep with Samsung Galaxy Watch On?

Like Apple Watches, Samsung Galaxy Watch is also slim and emits low levels of radiation which has been deemed safe by WHO for regular use. So, if you like you can go for Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 or 4 which are quite slim.

Make sure you have nylon or another comfortable strap to go with and that you are not wearing it too tight on your wrist.

How to prevent the negative effects of wearing a smartwatch?

Though there is no general scientific validation that proves that smartwatches have dangerous repercussions on the health of the users, the individual experiences of the users cannot be neglected. Some users have complained about various discomfort and sickness which might be attributed to their smartwatches.

Here are some tips that you can introduce in your smartwatch-driven lifestyle to negate the possible and probable harmful effects of wearing a smartwatch.

Use your smartwatch only when it is needed

Though most smartwatch brands sell their smartwatches and fitness bands with a tagline of 24/7 tracking of motion and sleep, it is not advised to follow that publicity gimmick. If you are already a sound sleeper, you shouldn’t be tracking your sleep to overcomplicate your lifestyle. You can simply take off your smartwatch when you go to bed.

This will keep you safe from the continuous EMF radiations entering your body. If you are someone who has purchased the smartwatch for sleep tracking, it is advised not to overdo it. You can track once or twice a week over a month period and the data that is collected should be enough for you to draw meaningful insights.

When you are not actively performing exercise or playing any sports, it is simply not necessary to keep wearing your smartwatch. So, you can benefit from not wearing it so much when you are relaxing at home.

Turn off your watch when you are at work or at an important event

With an interactive smartwatch on your wrist, there is a possibility that you feel constantly distracted. After all smartwatches, today are equivalent to smartphones in terms of features and capabilities. This can hurt you in some situations where or when your attention is demanded or requested for.

So, you need to break this vicious contraption and start living in the present again. When you are at work or at an important meeting, switch off the watch as you would do with your smartphone. All you need to do is focus on work and carry on with the digital detoxification. This will keep you socially healthy and free of any unnecessary EMF radiation impingements.

Don’t let a watch (no matter how smart) dictate your life

From time to time, you need to remind yourself that you are the master of the technologies you own and that it is not the other way around. It is our human nature to get immersed and lost in technology so much that we let it control our life. The same happens with your smartwatch.

 So, whenever you feel your life is turning into mechanical and mundane activity in futility, you need to get away from your smartwatch and connect with the people around you. You should not allow yourself to deplete emotionally for the pursuit of a physically perfect body. Both physical and emotional well-being can be achieved side by side. You need to remember that.

Get an EMF Harmonizer Mobility Wrist Band

The EMF Harmonizer Mobility wristband is an anti-emf band that protects your body from electromagnetic radiation which is present almost everywhere around you. The sources of these Electromagnetic radiations are:

  • Smartbands and smartwatches
  • Cell phone towers
  • WiFi routers
  • Smartphones and smart devices at your home

The EMF Harmonizer Mobility wristband is both protective and stylish as it comes with a leather band and a stainless steel magnetic clasp. So, you can wear it to work, to a party, during workouts, etc.

The manufacturers of EMF Harmony state that the EMF Harmony wristband works through a bio-energetic approach that was developed in Europe. These bands and bracelets feature a unique dual-tier technology that provided the users with active protection from EMF radiations.

The first level of the shield is referred to as a Direct Technology that produces specific vibrational frequencies which counterbalance or harmonize the frequencies found in the EM radiation.

The second level of protection is called Adaptive Technology that destresses the cells in the body stressed by the radiation, thus bringing down their energy to an optimal level for better well-being.

The claims are bold and rather metaphysical and studies are going around to prove the effectiveness of EMF Harmonizer and other such products with valid quantitative results.

List the negative effects of wearing smartwatches

Before I start bombarding you with the negative effects of wearing smartwatches, I want to state one fact clearly. Smartwatches and activity trackers come with unsurpassable benefits that overshadow or obscure their disadvantages. People in the world today are motivated more than ever to remain healthy and fit as their smartwatches are key motivating factors. So, keeping this in mind, I will list down some obvious and some not-so-obvious negative impacts of smartwatches.

The term “Techorexia” is popular nowadays which refers to how users get addicted to their smartwatches and other wearables at the expense of enjoying their sports or workout sessions.

Effects on mental health

  • According to an article back in 2014 by a revered newspaper, many smartwatch users have experienced what is called a “ Phantom device phenomenon” where the device influences the mental status of the user.
  • Your smartwatch or activity tracker tracks every nuance of your daily life including sleep patterns and moods. This can result in a dangerous obsession which further induces anxiety and negativity.

Radiation Exposure

  • Electromagnetic radiations are continuously emitted from your wearables like smartwatches which can be carcinogenic in the long run and damage the DNA.
  • Bluetooth radiations are more than capable of penetrating the tissue of a human body. In addition to this, the sensors produce small electric currents which in turn produce EM waves all the time.

Impact on Social life

  • There are people who own a smartwatch as a status symbol rather than a device to help them exercise or stay fit.
  • This strains the social life of the users resulting in distractions and body dysmorphia.
  • Your consistent inclination to look at your smartwatch every time a notification pops up can be annoying to others around you. This can put your relationships with your friends and peers in jeopardy.

Your private information is always at stake

  • Smartwatches collect your most personal and sensitive data all the time. This includes information about your body, your bank account emails, and texts from your friends and family.
  • Bluetooth connection 24/7 always keeps you in a vulnerable state. You are prone to attacks from cyberbullies and other cyber attackers.

Inaccurate data, shelf-life of the sensors, etc

  • The accuracy of the data that a smartwatch collects depends on the quality of the sensor. If you own a budget smartwatch or activity tracker, there can be huge discrepancies in the data it collects.
  • These discrepancies lead you to believe that there is something wrong with your body, thus putting you under unnecessary stress.
  • Research and development are going on every day. Thus, it is only a matter of a small period of time before your smartwatch and the sensors in it become outdated. You will be compelled to go out and purchase a new one as your life depends on it. This is a vicious cycle of consumerism and you should be aware of it.

List the preventive methods to avoid the negative effects of wearing smartwatches

Now that I have mentioned the possible negative effects of wearing smartwatches extensively, it is my duty to provide preventive measures as well. After all “Prevention is much better than cure”.

Frankly, the most obvious preventive measures are self-awareness and self-control. But these two are massive features and one needs to practice them to develop them fully. The path to self-awareness and self-control starts with these small steps:

  • You shouldn’t use your smartwatch all the time. Rather, use it for a specific purpose like you would do with a blood pressure monitor or a pedometer. When you are not tracking anything actively, take off your watch and put it somewhere safe. 
  • You should try to avoid your watch tracking at the night. This is the time when your body needs the least distractions. Unless it is absolutely necessary to track your sleep or SpO2, do not use your watch while you sleep
  • If you are concerned about Bluetooth radiation, you should get an activity tracker that doesn’t have Bluetooth or a screen. This will keep you away from distractions and you can connect a wire to transfer data at night.
  • Students should strictly refrain from using smartwatches as there will always be a distraction hazard on their wrists when they are studying. Instead, get a pedometer to track your runs or a fitness band without a screen to track your other activities.
  • Keep an accurate account of your sensitive details and information. You don’t have to share with all of your devices to achieve ecosystem nonsense. The more you spread your information, the more vulnerable you are to cyber-attacks and hackers.

Is It a Good Idea to Track Your Sleep?

With a ridiculous crowd of smartwatches, wearable gadgets, and apps on the market, sleep tracking has become a trend rather than a necessity. On one hand, it is good to know that people around the world are trying to be aware of sleep and their sleeping habits. But, there are cases where it is a reason for unnecessary stress and concern.

There is a new term for this obsession with tracking sleep- Orthosomnia. Orthosomnia refers to the condition where the users get obsessed over the results of fitness trackers and smartwatches and start putting a lot of pressure on themselves to sleep better.

Sleep tracking is not bad right away. It can be useful when used with mindfulness. You can look at your sleep patterns in general and can draw informational insights on how to improve your sleep. It should be taken as a advice or tip rather than a duty that has to be followed. This blind trust and following bring in all the unwanted anxiety and stress.

Tracking everything-in general- be it food calories, steps, or sleep can be very unsettling and will wind up taking up lots of your active hours. You will certainly overthink about and this is the root cause of all your future troubles.

So, if you have figured out that you are dependent and obsessive about tracking, stop doing it. Instead try some good sleep hygiene like trying to sleep at a reasonable hour, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, or improving the overall ambiance of your room. This has worked for people for centuries before the invention of these wearables and smartwatches.

How to be a Responsible Wearable User?

Wearable devices make you powerful as you have access to lots of information and resources at your disposal. Not only do they track your activities but also they supply you with features similar to a smartphone. So, with this power, it is your duty to be responsible and aware while using it. Here are some tips that will help you become a responsible wearable user –

Use your wearable only when it is necessary

  • Just like you should prohibit “drinking and driving” or using your phone while driving, you shouldn’t use your wearable too while driving. This is a source of distraction and can result in serious accidents with a small lapse in your attention.
  • Turn off your smartwatch when you are at an important event like a meeting or school. These places want you to be attentive and your wearable might work against that.
  • Do not take a wearable (even the smallest ones) to an examination or any other place where the use is prohibited.

Awareness of the radiation hazard

  • You as a responsible wearable user should be concerned about the potent radiation wearable devices emit. So, you should take all the preventive measures to minimize the impact of these radiations.
  • Wearables should not be used around pregnant women, or small babies as they are most vulnerable to these radiations. EM radiations can cause DNA damage to fetuses and small growing babies.

Responsibility towards self

  • Studies and research around the world have proved that users can get lost in the use of these smart wearable devices to an extent that can induce obsessive behavior, anxiety, and unsurmountable stress.
  • So, you should always stick to your self-control and mindfulness.
  • You, as a wearable user should always trust your decisions and instincts first and use the pieces of information from the wearable as tips or advice, but not as commandments.

What are Wearable Watches?

According to an article on Investopedia, Wearable devices or technologies, simply known as wearables is a category of smart electronic gadgets that can be worn as accessories, attached to clothes, or implanted in the person’s body.

Wearable watches are smart electronic watches that can be worn on the wrist and they function like a small computer or smart device. The primary purpose is to track your health stats and bodily functions for better control of your lifestyle and fitness regime.

These wearable or smartwatches have microprocessor chips in them which allow them to function independently as a computer. The sensors embedded in these devices deploy different techniques (mostly non-invasive) to accumulate data about your body like counting steps, calories, sleep tracking, SpO2 measurement, etc.

Can Smartwatches Cause Cancer?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because the evidence is conflicting. Some studies have claimed that smartwatches emit cancer-causing electromagnetic radiation, while others have found no relationship between the two. Before a definitive conclusion can be drawn, further study is required.

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