Nowadays young people, especially college students tend to stay up late every night. Some of them just loitering in Facebook, some claim that they are actually studying, and also few of them have the problem of sleeping (Insomnia). However, the most popular reason these days seems to fall into the category of binge watching television, which has widely spread and is interfering with sleep patterns of individuals of actually nearly all age groups.
With sites such as Netflix, etc. these online sites have become the biggest enemies of our sleep, it’s like sleeping with the enemy. Not only does on-demand TV tempt us to keep watching episode after episode, but the shows are also designed to draw us in, boost suspense, and emotionally invest in plotlines and characters. Research shows that this can lead to excitement and increased arousal, which can translate into “increased cognitive alertness” and an inability to get the shuteye you need. The temptation to stay up to find out what happens next is too much for some and the 16-24 age bracket are the worst culprits – with one in 10 admitting they binge daily.
How many of you have pushed back your bedtime to watch just one more episode of Orange Is the New Black, or lay in bed wide-eyed after streaming three exhilarating hours of Game of Thrones or stayed up in the late hours of the night binging on Breaking Bad? All that binge watching might be taking a toll on your sleep. Research and studies have revealed that binge-watching has become a normal viewing habit and millions of people have skipped sleep, or made themselves tired, because of binge-watching, with sites such as Netflix, and other streaming online websites it has become highly addictive.
When it comes to TV’s effects on sleep, there are multiple factors at play. It may seem harmless to veg out in front of the TV but excessive screen time has an impact on sleep. Research shows that it affects sleep latency (i.e. the time it takes to get to sleep) as the bright light disrupts the body’s circadian rhythms by suppressing the evening rise of melatonin. Did you know that exposure to even the weakest glow at night – for example, your TV’s standby button – can unconsciously play havoc with your body’s circadian rhythms? While light is the main issue, often the content may have an impact on sleep too. Violence, gore or suspense may leave you feeling anxious and could contribute to tossing and turning. Staying up until the wee hours of the morning can be harmful to one’s health, furthermore, binge watching TV has been linked to poorer sleep and insomnia.
Sleep deprivation is associated with a range of medical programs, from depression to obesity to even early mortality. A lack of sleep can weaken the immune system and will also affect the body’s metabolism. Most of us need a good seven to eight hours of solid sleep a night to perform at our best. Just one bad night’s sleep affects our alertness and our ability to make good decisions, focus on tasks or manage a friendly mood. Long term sleep deprivation also has more far-reaching consequences: it’s been linked to a number of serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. But not getting enough sleep doesn’t just lead to poorer health — it can also hurt your wallet. Studies have shown that people who get better sleep are more productive and efficient at work, which results in improved earnings.
It cannot be stressed on enough that the bed should only be reserved for sleeping in order to avoid any disturbances and interferences with your sleep. Also, additionally one should try putting limits on when and how much streaming television you watch. Try to make sure you turn off the TV (and any other electronic devices) at least an hour before bed. Instead use the time to wind down properly. Have a bath, read a book, chat with your partner or even meditate or do some relaxation exercises. Be sensible when it comes to your sleep – waiting 24 hours to watch the next episode of your favorite show won’t harm you, but skipping on your sleep will!