19 Mar Sleeping with the TV on, why should you not!
Getting a full night of sleep (minimum of 8 hours) is absolutely necessary for your overall health and for maintaining a good quality of life, (read our blog titled “Benefits of a good night’s sleep” for more info as to why sleeping is so important).
Many people find that sleeping with the TV on helps them fall off to sleep. However, experts are of the opinion that this is not a good idea. Sleeping with TV one increases your exposure to blue light, which may increase your risk of obesity, diabetes and many other health problems.
There is a lot of studies on the topic of how the technology we use everyday affects our sleep, weight, stress levels and overall health.
These studies look into how social media, 24-hours news cycles and the devices we use to access them (phones/laptops/tablets/TVs) impact our health. While much of this research is still ongoing, the general consensus is that, if you can avoid using this type of technology while in bed, you should. This is exactly why we have repeatedly heard that we should not be on our phones right before bed, and it is also why sleep experts recommend not sleeping with the TV on. While you might find that your TV helps you fall asleep, experts warn that the quality of sleep you’ll get will suffer.
Why not to sleep with the TV on.
- It can reduce your total hours of sleep if you force yourself to stay up to finish what you are watching, or to watch one more episode of your favourite show, you will reduce your hours of sleep from the recommend 8 hours.
- It decrease your melatonin production. Melatoninis the hormone that helps us sleep. It’s what signals to your body that it’s time to rest and recover from the day. TVs and other devices that produce blue light can reduce the amount of melatonin your body makes. This can make it hard for your brain to know whether it’s night or day. When your brain thinks it’s still daytime in the middle of the night, it can make falling asleep and staying asleep very difficult.
- It will stimulate your brain. The last thing you need you’re trying to sleep is for your brain to be stimulated. As a stimulated brain will stay active and won’t shut off, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. When your brain is stimulated, it can cause the sleep you to be restless and not get the deep sleep your body needs. Resulting in a decrease of your quantity and quality of sleep.
- It can negatively affect your health. Without adequate sleep, you will have a higher chance of experiencing a variety of health effects, such as high blood pressure, a weakened immunity, and memory loss, amongst many other, and the risks go beyond the standard effects of sleep deprivation. A study has found that sleeping with artificial light, such as that from the TV, was associated with an increased risk for obesity. The study found that this risk was increased even if there was no decrease in the quantity or quality of sleep that participants received. Thus, if you’re getting a great night’s rest in front of the TV, it might still hurt your health in the long run.
To reiterate the above many people sleep with their TV on every night, even though researchers and sleep experts are against is. Sleeping with your TV on can reduce the sleep you get, interrupt your body’s melatonin production, keep your brain overstimulated, and lead to long-term health effects.
But if you’re going to sleep with the TV on, there are two ways to reduce the negative effects. Number one – choose a TV show or movie you’re already familiar with, and number two – set a sleep timer on your TV to keep it from playing all night.