Is It Ok To Sleep With A Watch On?

Fewer people use wristwatches as time goes by, but those who do know how much it can come in handy at times. Watch manufacturers have made many improvements over time, both in design and utility. They are no longer merely fashionable items that tell time.

With the emergence of many modern models packed with interesting features, people now have a couple more reasons to wear their wrist watches to bed other than for just telling time. However, many people are, quite reasonably so, against the idea of sleeping with watches on for safety reasons.

Generally, it is OK to sleep with a watch on, though there are some downsides which you should be aware of. These include physical discomfort, possible damage to your watch, and electromagnetic radiation.

In this article, we’ll explore these concerns and see whether it is safe to sleep with a wristwatch on.

Why Sleep With A Watch On?

People sleep with watches for a variety of reasons.

Tell The Time When You Wake

The most obvious of these is the ability to tell the time immediately whenever they wake up, whether in the morning, in the middle of the night, or during a nap.

Don’t Have To Remember To Put Your Watch Back On

Others may wear watches throughout the day and prefer to fall asleep with them on so they don’t forget them in the morning.

Sleep Tracking

However, with smart and digital watches, as well as sleep and fitness trackers becoming more available, telling the time is no longer the main reason people wear their watches to bed. Nowadays, watches can monitor sleeping cycles by detecting body movement. They can also monitor the heart rate and notify the person in case something is unusual.

Alarm and Alerts

Wrist watches can have alarm clocks. Many people that own an Apple watch for instance, can make and receive calls which can replace having to get the phone each time you receive a call in the middle of the night. Luminous watches are easy to read in the dark, and they even allow you to track sleep patterns to assess your sleep quality. Many other features can come with wrist watches, depending on the model.

Is It Safe To Wear A Watch To Bed?

It doesn’t really kill to sleep with a wristwatch on, although it might hurt a little and feel uncomfortable. The safety of wearing your watch to sleep depends on things like the type of your watch and the way you sleep.

The wrong design and the wrong position can make it less comfortable wearing a watch, and may sometimes cause wrist pain. If you take the necessary precautions, such as sleep with airplane mode on, it should be perfectly fine to sleep with a watch on, provided it’s an adequate watch in terms of shape and design. We’ll explore this in more detail in a while.  

What Are the Risks Of Sleeping With A Watch On?

If you’re considering sleeping with a watch on, you should think about some safety concerns. We’ll tell you all about them in the next section, but let’s see what common risks associated are with wearing a watch to bed.

Physical Issues

If you’re sleeping with your watch on when asleep, you can easily press it against your body, which can cause some pain or you may end up hitting yourself with it. Chances are much higher when it’s a luxury watch, so we wouldn’t recommend you sleep with that on. Additionally, if you sleep with your watch on, then chances are, you’ll wear it outside too. When you’re awake, you notice if a watch is wrapped tightly around your wrist. This won’t happen if you’re in a deep sleep and you run the risk of having the watch worn too tightly.

If a watch band is too tight, it can affect your blood circulation and cause you pain. If someone is sleeping next to you, they wouldn’t be very happy to be woken up by an unintentional wristwatch blow to their face. So, there’s that, too. There’s also the risk of hitting the bedside table in a pitch black room, and this could cause the watch to break.

Sleep Disruption and the Alarm clock

Some watches may disrupt your sleep with their ticking sounds if you wear a mechanical watch. Smart watches, on the other hand, can receive notifications or text messages which are bound to wake you from a restful REM sleep.

Watch Damage

If you’re not careful, you might accidentally damage your watch. If you often make sudden movements in your sleep, you might hit it against something such as a wall, a nightstand, or anything. Smart watches are likely to sustain more damage than luxury ones, but it is still a bit risky.


Modern, smart watches usually emit a certain amount of electromagnetic radiation, especially if it’s connected to your phone. While it is still a small amount, being exposed to the radiation emitted all the time may cause significant issues in the long run.

Numerous studies have addressed the danger of being exposed to this kind of radiation all day. This should not be taken lightly, given the watch’s proximity to your body and brain.

Read also: Is it OK to read Kindle before bed?

How To Safely Sleep While Wearing Watch Bands

As you can see, the risks we mentioned above, except for radiation, are light, if not a bit silly. The point is, they can be easily dealt with, but so can radiation in most cases. Here are a couple of ways you can safely wear your watch to bed.

Sleeping Position

If you’re wearing a watch that can hurt you physically, sleeping on your back is a much better option. This way, your hand can move freely and there won’t be too much weight on them.

If you’re used to sleeping on one side, wear your watch on the other. You’ll need to adjust your sleeping position to make sure you have nothing to worry about.

EMF Blocking

High exposure to electromagnetic radiation can be really hazardous to your health. You don’t want your watch to increase those odds. High levels of EMF can cause sleep disturbances and insomnia and, in the long run, may lead to mere serious health issues.

The good thing is that smart watches release small amounts of that, compared to smartphones for instance. Still, consider getting an EMF-blocking device to significantly reduce the electromagnetic field originating from your watch.

With that in mind, other devices such as your smartphone, wi-fi router, or any other electrical devices emit a lot more radiation.

So, if you’re worried about exposure, consider keeping them as far away as possible and unplugging unnecessary devices.

Watch Strap

To prevent the watch from hurting your wrist, body, sleep buddy, or partner, you can get a nice, comfortable strap for your watch. You should have a nice collection to pick from for different occasions anyway!

You’ll find that for sleeping, rubber straps are the best; they are flexible and take in as much crazy movement you might make. Silicone, on the other hand, may cause skin irritation, so, avoid that when going to bed at night.

Band Tightness

Wearing a watch too tightly around your wrist can prevent blood from flowing normally, and you risk waking up with skin pain.

On the other hand, a smart watch usually shouldn’t be too loose; that can affect the accuracy of the results, particularly if you’re tracking your sleep.

The answer is somewhere in between. Make sure your watch fits right, but never too tight.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, wearing a watch to bed is completely fine and can be pretty useful in many ways in life. Many modern watches are convenient and do not cause any physical issues. However, there are other concerns you need to keep in mind.

All in all, by taking the necessary precautions, the watch should not harm you in any way.