Why you Should Stop watching TV Before Sleep

Why you Should Stop watching TV Before Sleep

Do you know that an average American 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, there are many side-effects associated with watching too much TV. Significantly, if you are habitual of watching TV before going to bed, it may affect the quality of your long sleep

Research shows that 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.

Stop watching TV Before Sleep

What are the benefits of watching TV before going to bed?

Often people look up 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. 

A survey revealed that 1/3 of adults depend on TV as their sleeping aid.

However, experts claim that sleep quality gets adversely affected when you watch TV before going to bed—also, watching TV before sleep is associated with some adverse health effects. 

If you don't get enough sleep, you won't perform well at school or work, and you might even suffer from depression. Sleep deprivation also affects your immune system, mood, energy levels, and brain function.

However, watching TV in limit has the various benefits as follows:

1) Fictional world aids to your sleep

We all have one or more TV or movie shows to which we can associate our lives. Watching such movies or shows relaxes your mind. Research in 2012 suggests that the familiarity with the fictional world induces self-control and can be restorative.

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 will automatically shut 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 mobiles before sleeping. However, compared to TV. Mobile yields higher levels of blue light and interfere 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 any soothing music promotes mental calmness. Even if it is coming from the TV, it gives 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.

Research in 2019 showed that sleeping with artificial light from TV also poses an increased risk of obesity. In a nutshell, even if you are resting 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 the production of melatonin and thus hampers sleep.

People start encountering the problem of insomnia. The brain gets confused with understanding if it is a day or night. It not only affects the quality of sleep at times, but it also becomes difficult for you to fall asleep even at midnight. 

Harmful Effects

 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 counted as 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. 

Brain Stimulation

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, 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 dialogues and stimulate your mind further. You may also observe disturbing dreams. If you are often encountering nightmares, it affects the quality and quantity of your sleep adversely. 

Other reasons that Watching too much TV is bad for your health even during the daytime:

  • Television Makes You Fat
  • Watching too much TV can make you gain weight. There are more than 100 studies linking TV with obesity. According to the latest research, 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 have no chance to relax. As a result, they start working overtime and get tired quickly. Overworked eyes can result in dryness, blurred vision, headaches, and eye strain.

  • Watching Too Much TV Can Make You Sick
  • If you watch too many hours of TV each day, you risk getting sick. Research shows that people who watch more than three hours of TV or movies each day are twice as likely to develop asthma. They are also more likely to catch colds and flu.

  • Television Causes Depression
  • According to a study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School, people who watched more than 3 hours of TV daily were 50% more likely to experience severe depression.

  • Television Deprives Us Of Social Interaction
  • One of the essential things about socialising is interacting with other people. Unfortunately, if you sit in front of the TV instead of interacting with friends and family members, you miss opportunities to build relationships with others.

    How To Stop Watching So Much TV

    The good news is that you don't have to quit watching TV altogether. There are several ways you can reduce your TV-watching time without giving up your favourite programs:

    Use The DVR Instead Of Cable

    Instead of paying 100+ dollars per month for cable, you can save yourself some cash by 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. If you want to cut down on commercials, you will have to turn off the TV during commercial breaks. Most people spend 30 minutes to an hour watching ads every day, so cutting back on this habit could save you tons of 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. Make sure all electronic devices are turned off at least two hours before bedtime.

    Turn Off Your Electronics Before Bed

    Limit Yourself To One Show Per Day

    You might think you need to watch every episode of your favourite show, but research suggests otherwise. Limiting yourself to just one show per day 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

    When you’ve given up on trying to cut down on TV, you’ll start wasting even more time. 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, take care of household chores — whatever works best for you.

    Watch TV earlier evening

    Screen time just before sleeping impacts sleep 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 with 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 you find yourself trapped with the TV's white noise. This way, it will not interfere with your sleep quality, and you can enjoy a calming sleep.  

    What if I am not able to sleep without TV?

    If you watch TV for years before going to bed, it will be difficult to change this habit overnight. 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. 

    However, there are several alternatives for TV to consider that may distract your mind and stimulate it less than TV. You can read your favourite book that keeps you engaged before going to bed.

    If you are looking for some white noise for a peaceful sleep, you can consider listening to music. Researches show that audio stimuli such as Music aids peaceful sleep and does not interfere with an individual's sleeping patterns.

    Conclusion:

    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 comes with serious health consequences. 


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