The Shocking Reason Why You Need to Stop Charging Your Phone Overnight

You're gonna want to know this!

September 28, 2017
By: Amanda Mushro

iStock

Most nights, the last thing I do before I close my eyes and drift off to dreamland is scroll through my phone and charge it by my bedside overnight. If you are like me, your phone battery won't last the entire day and you've made a routine out of charging up your phone while you sleep. However, the convenience of charging overnight may actually be killing your phone's battery

According to tech experts, charging your phone overnight chips away at the phone's long term battery capacity much faster than if you only charged your phone for a couple of hours each day.

"If you think about it, charging your phone while you're sleeping results in the phone being on the charger for 3-4 months a year," says Hatem Zeine, founder of Ossia, a developer of wireless charging technology told Time. "So even though the manufacturers try their best to cover this scenario, this process inevitably lowers the capacity of your phone's battery."

The good news is that tech experts agree, you can't overcharge your phone. Once your battery is charged to 100%, the hardware inside shuts off the charging. "Modern smart phones are smart, meaning that they have built in protection chips that will safeguard the phone from taking in more charge than what it should," says Edo Campos, spokesperson for battery-maker Anker. "Good quality chargers also have protection chips that prevent the charger from releasing more power than what's needed."

However, what is killing your battery is the "trickle charge." What happens during an overnight charge is your charger turns off when your phone reaches 100%, but the charger tops off the charge during the night--this is called the "trickle charge." So overnight, your phone is constantly switching between 100 percent, a little less, and the "trickle charge."

While you won't see the battery damage immediately, you will see the effects of overnight charging in about two to three years. If you get a new phone every couple of years, great--but if not, a failing battery can be a real pain.

So what do these experts recommend?

  • Don't wait until your phone gets close to a 0% battery charge until you recharge it.
  • Once your phone gets down to around a 35% or 40% plug it into a charger since full charges wear out your battery faster
  • Keep your phone cool while it charges because heat damages you phone. So take it out of the case while it charges and don't put it under your pillow or blankets.
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