Sleep Myth About Watching TV: Debunked

Healthy Sleep, Sleep Myths

Sleep Myth: Watching TV Helps You Fall Asleep

Sleep plays a vital role in keeping your life’s good health and well-being. Getting enough quality and amount of sleep can help protect your physical and mental health as well as improve your overall quality of life.

There are so many pervasive myths about sleep. People hear them frequently, and some may even practice them. These myths are sometimes known as “old wives’ tales” and people have been following them from generations. However, the information is often incorrect or dangerous. One present day myth is that watching TV helps you fall asleep.

Do you think watching television helps you snooze? Let’s find out.

The Myth

If you enjoy watching TV before you go to sleep, you are not alone. The National Sleep Foundation released its annual poll results which showed that watching television is one of the most popular pre-sleep activity of Americans, especially among adults. In a study that surveyed 844 adults, results reveal that 31 percent prefer TV as a sleep aid.

The Fact

Research reveals that watching TV before you go to bed can cause serious health problems including depression. A 2016 study shows that using media as a sleep aid for adults can increase fatigue. Moreover, these people received high scores on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index indicating poor sleep. Another study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine shows that watching television before bedtime can contribute to chronic sleep debt.

One of the problems with watching TV before bedtime is the bright blue light that the screen emits. When exposed to blue light, your brain will stop producing melatonin, the sleep hormone. It will make you feel more awake and alert. The blue light can also delay your REM sleep, which can lead to morning drowsiness. Even if you think your sleep is fine, you are not getting the quality of sleep that you need.

Verdict

The idea of watching TV before you go to sleep might be a common practice for a lot of people. Nevertheless, dozing off in front of the television doesn’t actually help you fall asleep. Aside from the health problems loss of sleep can create, it will also keep you awake and alert. To get a good night’s sleep, you can wind down by reading a book, chatting with your partner or writing in a journal.

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