Does Charging Your Smartphone Overnight Ruin Your Battery?

There has been a lot of misconception about why overcharging your phone overnight will ruin your battery.

This stems from not understanding what lithium batteries are, their charge-discharge cycles and the smart mechanisms found in smartphones.

This makes it easy to believe that leaving your phone to charge or overcharge either during the night or the day can actually ruin the battery.

lithium-ion battery
Lithium-ion Battery

What are Lithium-ion Batteries?

Lithium-ion batteries are a type of rechargeable batteries that use charged lithium particles to move electricity from one end of the battery to another. The lithium ions move from the negative side to the positive of the battery forming a conductive layer that releases electricity. When all the lithium ions are on the positive side, then the battery is out of power or juice. Plugging a device with a lithium-ion battery flips the sides where the addition of electricity causes the ions to move back to the negative side hence making it rechargeable.

charge-discharge cycle
Charge-Discharge Cycle

Charging and Discharging Cycles Of Lithium Batteries

There has been some confusion about charging and discharging cycles when it comes to batteries. Every lithium battery has a number of cycles before it finally becomes useless, weak or needs a replacement.

To better explain, a charge-discharge cycle is when you use your battery from 100 per cent until it is fully drained and you charge it back up to 100 per cent. That is one charge-discharge cycle.

Repeat it again your phone battery has gone through two charge-discharge cycles. Most batteries average about 400-500 discharge cycles so by doing this you are effectively reducing the number of charge-discharge cycles your battery has.

A full cycle is what I explained above so that means if you plug in your phone at 75 per cent and charge it to 100 per cent, it doesn’t count as a full cycle but rather one-fourth of a cycle.

Repeat this four times and you will get one cycle. So there is no need to worry about reducing charge-discharge cycles anytime you plug in your phone.

In fact, it makes your battery lasts longer than waiting for it to reach 0 per cent and plugging it in to charge. This puts less stress on phone battery.

Charging Your Phone Overnight

It is a myth that you can overcharge or charging your Android or iPhone overnight ruins your battery. Charging your battery overnight doesn’t ruin your battery neither does overcharge.

First of all, devices with lithium-ion batteries have smart mechanisms that stops charging once it hits 100 per cent. This will stop your phone from overcharging or taking too much power than it can’t contain.

Secondly, overcharging or leaving your phone to charge overnight doesn’t reduce the number of charge-discharge cycles your phone battery has. What you should worry is the heat or cold that can damage your battery whilst charging.

High or low temperatures can mess up the longetivity of your phone. Damage can also occur if your room temperature is very high or low.

Leaving your phone to charge on something that can make it hot.

For example, a pillow, blanket, and some cases can cause damage to your phone battery over the long run.

Prolonged periods of elevated heat or cold and regularly using your phone to 0 per cent before you plug it in can degrade or ruin your battery very fast.

Three Best Practices to Make Your Battery Last Long

  1. Never allow your phone to reach 0 per cent before plugging in. Plug it in when it gets to 20 or 30 per cent.
  2. Make sure you do not charge your phone on stuff that has the possibility to make it hot during charging. Also make sure room temperature is not high or low
  3. Make sure your battery is also not freezing when charging.

Follow these practices and you will be able to utilize your battery life well for a long time without seeing any significant drops in performance.

But, do keep in mind that lithium-ion batteries degrade over time.

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