Binge-watching and its effect on sleeping patterns – no surprises

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With the advancement in technology and the several streaming devices along with the amazing content, the manner how people are consuming media has completely changed. Binge-watching, or viewing a whole series of programs in quick succession, is becoming very popular.

It seems there are few people who don’t like to binge-watch. Binge-watching can provide a sense of relaxation after a long day of stressful and hectic work. Almost 70% of Americans are known to be binge-watchers.

However, what we need to understand is whether binge-watching is interfering with our sleeping patterns or not.

Quality sleep and binge-watching

A recent study has been tackling the question that has been mentioned above. In the study, two groups were taken under survey. One group was regular TV watchers and another was binge-watchers. According to the study, it was revealed that watching television regularly was not responsible for the poor quality of sleep but unfortunately binge-watching is an important reason why people do not get enough sleep at night. According to the BBC, millions of individuals make themselves tired because they are binge-watching. 

How can binge-watching disrupt sleep?

Binge-watching instead of sleeping can lead to sleep disruption. There are numerous factors involved. Studies revealed that the sleep disturbances because of binge-watching were primarily because of mental stimulation, which evolved as a result of extended watching of anything during the evenings. This kind of simulation is referred to as “pre-sleep arousal”. When your brain is exposed to any programming content, like the storyline, imagery, and action, the activity of the brain starts getting stimulated and it becomes more alert. 

Streaming content mostly impacts our sleep negatively, and it has been estimated that around one-third of binge viewers have some issues with their sleep. However, some other consequences are possible too, including early sleep arousal, depression, sleep disorders and weight gain.

When you are watching episodes of the shows that you love, you are indeed going to feel a kind of escape from your boring routine. However, you are firing up your brain and not winding it down. Binge-watching is undoubtedly one of the newest phenomena. Several scientific findings have revealed that it is responsible for affecting sleep as well as various other aspects of physical and mental health. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

How can you manage binge-watching?

To make sure that you are protecting both your sleep as well as your health, it is your responsibility to control your binge-watching urges. You should consider relaxing but make sure that you are restricting yourself from overdoing it. 

  • Do not watch alone. When you are watching something on your own, you are not going to keep track of the time. However, when you decide to watch TV or binge-watch with your family members, friends, or your partner, you will be made to realize the time after 2 or 3 hours. This is extremely healthy.
  • Make sure that you are watching in light and not in darkness. You might be thinking that exposure to light will not help you sleep better but when you are watching something by making the room dark, the content will feel immersive. When the lights are on, you will be aware of everything that is going around you. These distractions will help you to limit your binge-watching sessions. 

Conclusion Individuals indeed keep looking for ways to relax after a tiring day at work. Binge-watching often helps. However, you need to ensure that you are controlling yourself so that you can get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

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