According to experts, their relationship with television screens at bedtime is complicated and harmful to their health, the reasons revealed.
But with all the stories about blue light and the circadian rhythm invading your news, you’ve probably wondered what effect falling asleep in front of the TV might have on your body and brain.
And now, a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine has found that sleeping with the TV on in your bedroom may be a risk factor for weight gain, overweight, and obesity. The report’s authors analyzed data from more than 43,000 women for the study. They went on to say that reducing your exposure to artificial light evening could be a useful intervention for obesity prevention.
Sleeping with the TV on could do more than gain weight. Have you been bathed in so much blue light that your body’s melatonin stores are as dry as the Sahara?
Or, since your brain scrolling through everything you’ve ever done wrong in your life as soon as your head hits the pillow, is using your TV as a sedative the lesser of two evils? We consulted experts to find out.
Falling asleep in front of the TV is fairly common, but there isn’t much research on its use as a sleep aid. to sleep.
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According to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of Americans watch TV just before falling asleep. A survey conducted by LG Electronics revealed that 61% of them fall asleep with the television on. For some, it’s just a nightly ritual, says Dr. Vikas Jain, a sleep medicine specialist at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Illinois. Others find background noise relaxing or claim that it helps them fall asleep.
But the scientific information available to date appears to be mixed: a study published in the journal Behavioral Sleep Medicine found that the use of any type of media as a sleep aid was detrimental to sleep quality, while another linked Internet use to sleep quality, but not television.
In my opinion, isolating yourself in front of the TV promotes poor sleep hygiene, says Chris Brantner, certified sleep science trainer at SleepZoo.com. However, it can be argued that there are benefits to doing so. (Break the clog of thoughts that prevent you from sleeping, for example).
Background noise can help you fall asleep faster.
When you set the volume on your television loud enough to drown out the thoughts that bombard your mind, but not so loud as to prevent your body from going into sleep mode, the effect can be similar to that of a white noise machine, in that environment. noise can help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, says Dr. Jain.
Plus, streaming a TV episode or movie you’ve seen many times before can give you a sense of familiarity and comfort, making it less likely that a new show trigger an emotional response that will keep you up at night, says Dr. Jain. This is especially the case if what he’s watching is of a more light-hearted nature (think sitcoms or Hallmark movies).
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However, the quality of sleep you get can easily be compromised.
Falling asleep with the TV on means you’re also absorbing blue light from electronic devices. It can affect the quality of your sleep by suppressing the production of melatonin (the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle) and delaying sleep onset (the time it takes you to fall asleep), says Dr. Jain.
Between screen flickering and the possibility of the next content being more stimulating, you may linger in the lighter stages of sleep, missing out on some of the important restorative work your body does during sleep , such as memory consolidation and muscle healing.
By changing your viewing habits before you go to sleep, you can lessen its negative effects.
Watch TV on a real TV, as opposed to a tablet or phone placed in front your face, it can reduce the amount of blue light you’re exposed to, says Brantner. (Another option could be move away from the screen and listen only to the sound).
Turning off autoplay can also help improve playback quality. to sleep : Turning off autoplay can also help improve sleep quality: It reduces the chances of your sleep being interrupted in light stages by flashing lights and sound changes, he explains.
You can even go as far as setting your TV to automatically turn off at a certain time to turn off the light after you go to bed.
Also, be careful not to become too dependent on television to help you sleep. By reinforcing the association between television and sleep, it can be difficult to fall asleep without it, says Dr. Jain, especially in settings where you don’t have access to it (for example, during a breakdown electricity or a camping trip).
One strategy might be to slowly reduce the use of television and establish new calming behaviors at bedtime, such as reading, meditating or journaling, says Dr. Brantner. Having a variety of options to promote sleep can help you avoid becoming too reliant on one habit, which could increase your possibilities to spend a quality night, whatever the environment in which you sleep.
Using television as a sleep aid may not be the best way to promote good sleep hygiene. But if the alternative is total sleep deprivation, it may be better than nothing, though more research is needed to be sure.
Since anxiety and the inability to calm thoughts is one of the main reasons Because people have trouble sleeping, it stands to reason that if TV helps calm you down, you might as well use it to help you fall asleep, says Brantner. In other words, he looks Netflix and relax.