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Why you really shouldn’t charge your phone overnight

For most of us it’s become so part of our bedtime ritual – phone charging, alarm set, lights out – that we can’t imagine NOT doing it
phone charging

Mobile phones contain rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which charge faster than traditional batteries. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to get it up to 100%. But, as we all know, our batteries don’t last very long – most of us are lucky if we can use our phone all day without it losing all its juice. One of the reasons for this is that the batteries are quite small and only have so much capacity. The other culprit is the way we constantly use our phones throughout the day. 

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This is probably why most people charge their phone overnight – you wake up with a fully charged phone, ready for the day.

But experts warn this is not a good idea. And it’s not because the battery gets overcharged, as one might think, but because it gets little bits of juice over an extended period. Battery companies say when you leave your phone charging, it reaches 100% and then receives ‘trickle charges’ to maintain this capacity, and this constant on-off stream of charging can put the battery under stress, according to Battery University

Also, batteries are in constant deterioration from the first time they’re used. So while it’s inevitable that your battery will eventually lose some of it’s charge-holding capacity, leaving it connected to a charger for too long eats away at its capacity much faster.

So how and when should you charge your phone?

Some experts say never to let the battery life get to 0% before you charge it, but to recharge it when it reaches 30% to 40%, and only until the battery is full. And try these 6 tips to boost your smartphone’s battery life.

 Photo: iStock/allanswart

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