If you own a mobile device, you've probably wondered at least once whether you should charge your phone overnight. Between work, school, and my social life, my phone gets a lot of use, so I usually end up charging it pretty often; indeed, I actually can't remember a day when I didn't stop to plug it in at least once or twice. As such, charging my phone at night feels like second nature to me. Like many people, I also use my phone as my alarm clock, so if my phone's battery were to die during the night, I'd have something of a disaster on my hands in the morning.
So, should you charge your phone overnight? According to Android Authority, the simple answer is: Yes. In the recent video "Should I Charge My Phone Overnight?," the YouTube channel of the website of the same name breaks down why exactly it's a good idea to charge your phone while you snooze — although it's worth noting that there are a few caveats here, too. As the video explains, a number of variables are at play, including the kind of battery in your phone and even what the weather and your climate control situation is like (hi there, heat dome). However, although your individual mileage may vary, keeping your phone plugged in overnight is probably in your best interest.
Here are three reasons why charging your phone at night is A-OK:
1. The Battery Is Built For It
While most of today's cell phones (and, really, technologies in general) run on lithium ion batteries, there was a period where nickel-based batteries were much more common. Nickel batteries are distinct from lithium ion ones in that they have a "cyclic memory," which means that instead of "remembering" their full charge capacity, they can "learn" to only remember their most recent charge.
This becomes a problem, of course, when you can no longer charge your battery to its full capacity, therein limiting how long your technology will last without needing a charge. Lithium ion batteries don't have this problem; indeed, the transition to lithium ion batteries is the reason a lot of people believe mobile phones picked up the way they did in the early 2000s. Today, pretty much everyone's cell phone has a lithium ion battery — which means that they don't have the same problems the nickel batteries of yesterday did.
2. Temperature Matters
Are there any complications or failures when it comes to lithium ion batteries? As Android Authority points out, batteries tend to dislike dramatic changes in temperature — that is, when it's either too hot or too cold — no matter what, and the lithium ion batteries in our phones are no exception. How well your phone charges will depend on what both the weather and your climate control is like; the battery is capable of receiving a charge when it's between the temperatures of 32 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. There's A Reason We Call Them "Smartphones"
Our smartphones aren't just smart because we can use them to check our email and update Facebook. In fact, even the batteries in most smartphones these days are pretty smart: When our phones are plugged in and charging, the batteries can recognize when they've reached full capacity. Once this happens, the phones may use the connected charger as its primary power source instead of working off the battery. This is why you can wake up to a fully charged battery while your phone remains on and powered throughout the night.
So, there you have it! The simple answer is that yes, you should charge your phone overnight. To get more information on why this process works and the science behind batteries, check out the full video above.