Why You Shouldn’t Charge Your Phone Overnight

Charging your phone at night may seem like the most opportune time, but experts suggest doing the opposite.

Charging Your Phone Day or Night
Android manufacturers including Huawei shares that charging your phone during the day rather than at night may help to preserve battery life over time. Their Android smartphone manual includes a warning that states, “Do not leave your phone connected to the charger for long periods of time or overnight.”

In contrast, they actually further explain that battery optimization occurs between 30-70 percent. This means you should try not to let your battery charge beyond 70% or run below 30% for optimal battery longevity. You may have to charge your phone more often since it’s not hitting that 100% mark, but in the long term, the battery should last longer. Similarly, Apple’s battery optimization setting occurs below 80 percent charged. This is because smartphones are lithium-ion battery-powered, which will unavoidably degrade over time. While the exact time of day doesn’t matter per se, charging at night will most likely lead to longer charging times.

Lithium-Ion Battery Power
The scientific process is complex, but there is an easier explanation. Essentially, the battery functions by “shifting charge carriers between electrodes,” causing strain to the electrodes and, over time, causing wear and tear.

To further explain this, iFixIt’s Kevin Purdy offered an easy-to-understand ‘sponge’ metaphor, “It’s pretty easy to fill a sponge from dry to mostly saturated,” he said. “But trying to force a nearly saturated sponge to absorb the very last drops of liquid requires pressure and likely leaves more liquid pooled on the surface. That ‘pooling’ is the S.E.I. (solid electrolytic interface) buildup on a battery. S.E.I. buildup reduces the overall capacity of a battery.”

In addition, letting the battery run all the way down to 0% will also reduce stress on the electrodes, which may feel wrong to do but will ultimately prolong your phone’s battery life.

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