How bad is falling asleep with the TV on? Is blue light really that damaging?

How bad is falling asleep with the TV on? Is blue light really that damaging?

For many people, having a TV in the bedroom is a must. They simply can’t imagine falling asleep unless the TV is on. This is especially true for those used to dozing off to a film or a show they watched a million times. They put it on, lower the volume, and just relax. But how healthy is it really?

Having a TV in the bedroom was absolutely normal just a few years ago. But then the “blue light” became a thing. Now we have blue light filtering glasses and special apps that tune it down to help us sleep better. It's a new villain. 

Sleeping with a TV on is a habit for many

Yet blue light is not our only enemy when it comes to watching TV in bed. A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that sleeping with the TV on in your bedroom “may be a risk factor for weight gain, overweight, and obesity.” The authors analyzed data from more than 43,000 women for the study. They went so far as to say that reducing your exposure to artificial light at night could “be a useful intervention for obesity prevention."

Create a relaxing night routine

According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, 60% of Americans watch TV right before falling asleep. Many use it simply as white noise to help them focus on something other than their racing minds.

The truth is that experts say that while background noise may actually help you fall asleep faster, the quality of said sleep WILL be compromised. The aforementioned blue light does interfere with your melatonin production and flickering images are a powerful stimulant for the brain.

Reading may be a better option for a good night routine

So unless you are seriously sleep-deprived if you don’t watch TV before bed, you might want to change your routine a bit. Listening to music, or multiple white noise playlists, as well as reading, might help. If all else fails, some scientists suggest that watching TV on an actual TV is better than using tablets and mobile phones.

Blue light is the new villain

Sleep is absolutely necessary for maintaining good health and it should be your priority. The bottom line is, try having better sleep hygiene, like going to sleep at the same time every night and creating a relaxing routine that serves you. No TV or mobile phone allowed.  It may take a little time to get used to it…but it’s absolutely worth it.

Sources:

Health 

National Sleep Foundation

JAMA Internal Medicine

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