Do you know that an average person watches 4 hours of TV every day?
Watching TV has been used for a long time as a sleep-aiding activity. Most of us have a habit of watching TV an hour before sleep to distress ourselves after a long working day. But watching too much television is not suitable for your health.
Do you know that TV is doing more bad than good to you? While it is considered an excellent source of entertainment for people of all ages, many side effects are associated with watching too much TV. Significantly, if you are habitual in watching TV before going to bed, it may affect the quality of your long sleep.
According to Healthline, watching TV becomes an addiction gradually and impacts your psychological state adversely over time.
In this blog post, we will discuss the potential benefits and harmful effects of watching TV to understand the long-term implications of watching TV before sleep.
What Are The Benefits Of Watching Tv Before Going To Bed?
People often look up to the TV as a source of entertainment as it provides them with much-needed relaxation after a hectic day at work. From news to sports, it is a one-stop solution that offers a wide range of entertainment options to choose from.
However, experts at NIH claim that sleep quality gets adversely affected when you watch TV before bed—also, watching TV before sleep is associated with some adverse health effects.
However, watching TV in limit has various benefits, as follows:
1) Fictional World Aids Your Sleep
We all have one or more TV or movie shows with which we can associate our lives. Watching such movies or shows relaxes your mind. It is Ok to sleep while watching TV occasionally. However, it would help to oversee it by shortlisting low-key movies and shows. Often action movies are responsible for stimulating your brain and should be avoided.
You can use a sleep timer that automatically shuts down your TV after your favourite show. Even if you fall asleep, this timer will turn off the TV to avoid any disturbance when you are in a sound sleep.
2) Least Blue Light Compared To Other Devices
Social media has become highly addictive, and most people love to spend their time on mobile phones before sleeping. However, compared to TV. Mobile yields higher levels of blue light and interferes with melatonin production. Among the various alternatives such as laptops, tablets, and mobiles, TV is responsible for the lowest blue light emission and is safer to watch.
3) Act Like A White Noise
The hum of the TV acts as white noise for many people and induces their sleep. It is comforting for many to listen to TV background noise as it calms their minds and provides them with a sense of satisfaction. Hence, TV can be a boon to many by acting as a brilliant sleep aid.
4) Calming Sounds To Promote Sleep
Music is effective for insomnia treatment for many people. Listening to soothing music promotes mental calmness. Even if it comes from the TV, it has the same calming effect.
Harmful Effects Of Watching TV Before Going To Bed
Here are the 4 strong reasons to cut back on your nightly viewing habits:
Affect Your Health Adversely
The background TV noises are responsible for frequent sleep interruptions. If you keep your TV switched on while sleeping, it adversely affects your sleep. If you cannot sleep properly, it may lead to adverse health impacts like memory loss, high blood pressure, and weak immunity.
Sleep deprivation also leads to Alzheimer's disease. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes cognitive impairment due to the loss of neurons in the brain.
Artificial light from TV also poses an increased risk of obesity. In a nutshell, even if you rest the whole night in front of the TV, it will still affect your health adversely.
Decreases The Melatonin Production
Melatonin is an essential hormone in our body that induces sleep. Our body produces melatonin to signal that it's time to sleep. However, devices like TV, mobile, and other gadgets produce blue light, which interferes with melatonin production and thus hampers sleep.
People start encountering the problem of insomnia. The brain needs clarification to understand if it is a day or night. It not only affects the quality of sleep at times but also makes it difficult to fall asleep even at midnight.
Increases The Sleep Debt
It is recommended to sleep for at least 8 hours every day to get recharged for the next day. Any reduction in sleep for these attributed hours is counted as sleep debt.
If you sleep for 7 hours instead of 8, 1 hour is considered sleep debt.
Sleeping while TV is on actually reduces the quality of sleep and eventually ruins the sleep routine, which leads to the accumulation of sleep debt.
The accumulation of sleep debt impacts cognitive skills adversely. You start losing your focus, and it also gives rise to several physical and mental problems.
Watching TV at night stimulates the brain and induces insomnia. When you are in the process of sleeping, any slight stimulation to your brain induces you to awake. As an active brain cannot be shut off, it becomes hard to sleep.
You get restless in the middle of the night and cannot get the deep sleep your body needs.
Not just watching but even listening to TV stimulates the brain. The sounds around us also hit the sleep cycle to the core. The brain can catch the bits of dialogue and stimulate your mind further. You may also observe disturbing dreams. If you often encounter nightmares, it adversely affects the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Television Makes You Obese
Watching too much TV can make you gain weight. There are more than 100 studies linking TV with obesity. According to the NIH excessive television watching can increase appetite and decrease metabolism. It can also cause stress which makes you eat more.
Television Is Bad For Your Eyes
When we stare at screens like TVs, computers, and smartphones all day long, our eyes need to rest. But when we use these devices in front of us, our eyes cannot relax. As a result, they start working overtime and get tired quickly. Overworked eyes can result in dryness, blurred vision, headaches, and strain.
Watching Too Much TV Can Make You Sick
You risk getting sick if you watch too many hours of TV each day. Research at Reuters shows that people who watch more than three hours of TV or movies daily are twice as likely to develop asthma. They are also more likely to catch colds and flu.
Television Deprives Us Of Social Interaction
One of the essential things about socialising is interacting with other people. You need to take advantage of opportunities to build relationships with others if you sit in front of the TV instead of interacting with friends and family.
How To Stop Watching So Much TV
The good news is that you don't have to quit watching TV altogether and improve your sleep hygiene. There are several ways you can reduce your TV-watching time without giving up your favourite programs:
Use The DVR Instead Of The Cable
Instead of paying 100+ dollars per month for cable, you can save some cash using a digital video recorder (DVR). This device lets you record multiple channels, so you never have to worry about missing anything. Plus, you can pause live TV while you go to do something else.
Watch Fewer Commercials
This one might be hard to hear, but it's true. To cut down on commercials, you must turn off the TV during commercial breaks. Most people spend 30 minutes to an hour watching ads daily, so cutting back on this habit could save time and effort.
Turn Off Your Electronics Before Bed
It may seem obvious, but the lights in your home affect your brainwaves. Blue light emitted by electronics suppresses the production of melatonin. Ensure all electronic devices, including the mobile phone are turned off at least two hours before bedtime.
Limit Yourself To One Show Per Day
You might think you must watch every episode of your favourite show, but research suggests otherwise. Limiting yourself to just one show daily can help you get more done. Studies also suggest that people who limit themselves to only one daily program report fewer stress-related symptoms.
Find Something Else To Do With Your Time
You'll start wasting even more time when you've given up on trying to cut down on TV. Instead, use that extra time to do something productive. For example, you can clean the house, exercise, read books, play games, write, paint, draw, call a friend, and take care of household chores — whatever works best for you.
Watch TV Earlier In The Evening.
Screen time just before sleeping impacts sleeps hygiene adversely. Hence, it would help if you considered watching it during the evening instead of at night to catch up with your favourite TV shows. If you are deeply engrossed in your TV watching, you should gradually start shifting this habit. Start turning off the TV 15 minutes before you go to sleep and raise it another 15 minutes gradually, week after week.
Keep The Volume Low
Keeping the TV volume on the lowest mode is an excellent idea if the TV's white noise traps you. This will not interfere with your sleep quality, and you can enjoy a calming sleep.
Now that you know about all the reasons why you should stop watching TV before sleep, let’s take a look at a few frequently asked questions.
How Long Will It Take To Change The Habit Of Watching Tv?
If you watch TV for years before going to bed, it will take time to change this habit. To build a healthy habit, it takes some time to switch. Cutting down instantly may be depressing, and you may not be able to sleep properly.
How To Stop Watching TV Before Sleep?
There are several alternatives for TV that may distract your mind and stimulate it less than TV. For instance, you can read your favorite book that keeps you engaged before bed.
What if I am not able to sleep without a TV?
You can consider listening to music if you are looking for some white noise for a peaceful sleep. Researches show that audio stimuli such as music aids peaceful sleep and does not interfere with an individual's sleeping patterns.
TV has become an integral part of our lives. It helps us relax, unwind and stay connected. But, excessive screen time can cause insomnia and other health problems. So, try these tips to reduce your screen time and improve sleep. TV has become a part of our life. We cannot live without it.
But we must keep in mind that it is not suitable for us. It affects our health and makes us lazy. Hence, you should strictly avoid watching Tv during bedtime as it has serious health consequences.
We hope you've liked this blog on why you should stop watching TV before sleep. CraftedBeds also offers a collection of comfortable mattresses and bedding products that give a peaceful night's sleep. Check it out and get a night of better sleep!