Can’t Sleep? Binge-Watching TV May Be The Problem

Posted: Aug 20 2017, 4:09am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Can’t Sleep? Binge-Watching TV may be the Problem
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New research says that binge-watching can lead to poor sleep quality, more fatigue and increased insomnia

You love watching multiple episodes of TV show like "The Walking Dead" or "Game of Thrones” in one sitting, but it may be ruining your sleep.

Researchers from the University of Michigan and the Leuven School for Mass Communication Research Belgium have found that excessive TV watching can lead to poor quality of sleep, fatigue and even insomnia.

“Our study signals that binge viewing is prevalent in young adults and that is may be harmful to their sleep.” Co-author Jan Van den Bulck from University of Michigan said in a statement.

Binge-watching is not a new phenomenon. People are used to seeing marathon programs for years but the pratice is on the rise due to the influx of online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. According to a survey, 70% of U.S. consumers are now binge-watching TV shows.

Findings of many previous studies have shown that binge-watching is linked to devastating impact on health. Given that binge-watching involves lying in the same position for many hours, it can cause prolonged periods of inactivity or decreased mobility and lead to many physical and psychological problems.

In the latest effort, researchers surveyed 423 adults between the ages of 18 to 25 and asked them questions about their TV viewing habits as well the quality of their sleep and other sleep issues.

Most of the participants (81 percent) reported that they engage in marathon TV viewing. Nearly 40 percent of them did binge-watching once during the month prior to study. 28 percent said they did it a few times while 7 percent had binge-viewed almost every day during that month.

On average, respondents slept around seven hours and women most frequently binge-watched than men. Researchers found that those who reported binge-watching suffered more tiredness and less sleep compared to those who didn't watch TV too long. Even if they get the right amount of sleep (7 to 9 hours for adults), the quality of sleep was not good.

"Bingeable TV shows have plots that keep the viewer tied to the screen. We think they become intensely involved with the content, and may keep thinking about it when they want to go to sleep,” said lead study author Liese Exelmans.

“This prolongs sleep onset or, in other words, requires a longer period to 'cool down' before going to sleep, thus affecting sleep overall.”

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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