How bad is sleeping with the TV on?

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Lying in bed with the TV on is how many of us like to end our days. It doesn’t help that streaming services make it easier than ever to watch just one more episode of our favorite shows. Often we can find ourselves awake until the small hours of the morning, getting our TV fix before nodding off while the television carries on without us. Those of us that do sleep with the TV on will most likely have spotted experts claiming this is bad for us and can be damaging our health, but are they right? Probably, they are experts after all.

Do we really need to sleep with the TV on, or is it just a comfort blanket we are too scared to live without? It can be hard to break the cycle of sleeping without any noise, sometimes the whole point of sleeping with background noise is to make sure we stop our minds from overthinking. We’ve all been there, tossing and turning at 4am trying to sleep but our minds keep racing. Here is what he experts say.

The light is not your friend

Sure it is nice to fall asleep to the sound of voices, it makes the loneliness disappear, but using the TV to do so isn’t helping. The light beamed from the screen is actually preventing you from having a proper sleep, and it will make you wake up more frequently during the night. Of course, a solution would be to make sure your TV has a sleep timer so it will turn itself off relatively shortly after you’ve made your way to dreamland. Many of our smartphones come with blue light disabling features for the evening to make sure our eyes are able to take a rest; unfortunately, not many TVs offer the same support. Watching the TV in the dark makes our eyes work harder, which is not ideal at the end of our day.

Okay, we get it, you need the distraction

So you just can’t sleep without distractions, fine. It was worth a shot to try and get you to stop, but if it is the only way you can get some shut-eye, then we have a solution. If your mind is just too busy at the latter stage of the day, then there is a solution that doesn’t require powering through three episodes of House of Cards before dropping off to sleep. You could try using a white noise machine, this will replace the steady noise the TV can provide, but it does not produce the sleep-harming blue light. Furthermore, because it is a constant noise, you won’t be woken up like you would if someone shouts, or shoots a gun, or breaks glass on the TV.

Technology is not helping us sleep, so we need to free ourselves from our devices before it’s too late. We can do some meditation or yoga to help relax our minds before heading to bed. Using the TV to sleep will seriously reduce the effectiveness of our recovery, something that is only going to get worse the more we rely on it.

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