You could be binge-watching your way to poor sleep

Watching TV
Binge Watching Television Is Turning You Into A Zombie IRL
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21 August, 2017

To come up with the results, researchers had them perform an online survey regarding their watching habits, as well as their levels of fatigue, insomnia, or how good their sleep quality is.

A new study recently linked binge-watching to increased risk of insomnia, fatigue, and poor sleep quality. This can lead to excitement and increased arousal, the research shows, which can translate into increased cognitive alertness and an inability to get the shuteye you need. Streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu offer a plethora of great TV shows from around the world, and the ability to play them on demand.

With so many TV channels and only streaming websites, many of us spend our evening binge watching our favorite series.

"This prolongs sleep onset or, in other words, requires a longer period to "cool down" before going to sleep, thus affecting sleep overall", Exelmans said.

Her team pointed out binge watching frequently happens unintentionally. Also, when they decide it's time to go to bed, they are still under the influence of the action and it takes them more to calm down and get ready to fall asleep. A lack of high-quality sleep also causes a number of problems, including heart disease, hypertension, trouble focusing, decreased cognitive function, and more.

Co author Jan Van den Bulck, professor of communication studies at the University of MI, said: "Our study signals binge viewing is prevalent in young adults and that it may be harmful to their sleep". One episode turns into another and soon you're binge watching Game of Thrones until 2 a.m.

Researchers surveyed 423 adults between the ages of 18 to 25 in February 2016, asking about sleep quality, fatigue, and insomnia, as well as the frequency of binge-watching programs on a TV, laptop, or desktop computer for the last month. 62% of them were women and 74% were students. Roughly 7 percent binge-viewed nearly every day.

Overall, men binge-watched significantly less than women - however, when they did engage in binge-watching, their sessions were almost twice as long as those identified among women.

In addition, the more a person binge-watched, the poorer the sleep quality and the more symptoms of insomnia and fatigue showed during the day.

Furthermore, while researchers did find that participants slept an average of seven and a half hours per night, which is within the recommended average of seven to nine hours, they noted that sleep quality and timing was severely lacking.


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