I’ve always had difficulty getting a good night’s sleep, and over the years I’ve learned what a delicate mechanism our brain’s “sleep center” is.
For optimal sleep, our brains crave routine and reduced stimulation.
Related post: Lights out for better sleep
A sleep physician explains how TV can disrupt our sleep: Television ruins your sleep. Here are 5 ways how
Here are the highlights, but read his entire post for more information.
- Watching television makes you go to bed later. But our brains have a predetermined amount of sleep they need to function well. When we miss that sleep, we build up a “sleep debt” that can make us tired all of the time.
- Watching television alters your brain’s bedtime habits. The introduction of television retrains our brains that the bed is just another place to sit or lay down, but not necessarily the place that we are going to initiate sleep.
- People who watch more television take longer to fall asleep, and wake up earlier. They [TV shows] can stimulate our nervous system to respond to stress rather than relaxing. This over-stimulation can cause negative effects to sleep quality that may last throughout the sleep cycle.
- Watching television makes you wake up more often during the night. The stimulating effect of light tells our brains “go!” at the same time that other mechanisms are saying “stop!”
- People who watch more television report poorer overall sleep quality. Between going to sleep later, taking longer to fall asleep, waking more frequently during the night, and waking up earlier, it would seem inevitable that overall sleep quality would be worse and fatigue would be greater.
Instant streaming options give us almost irresistible opportunities to binge watch our favorite series (Game of Thrones!). Phones, tablets and laptops make it even easier to watch videos anytime, anywhere.
If you are having sleep problems, give some thought to how much TV you watch, as well as when and where.