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Sleep is sometimes challenging to come by, especially after a long, busy day. There needs to be time to wind down. One way to do that is to watch some television. When you were a child, grownups may have always reminded you to turn the TV off before bed. Now that you’re grownup, you prefer to leave it on.
Why do I sleep better with the TV on? For one, it’s relaxing. The background noise can be comforting to some and may benefit sleep. It may also be from conditioning. You have grown accustomed to watching TV every night before bed. Without doing so, it would be difficult to fall asleep.
Another reason why you may sleep better with the TV on is that it can drown out stressful or negative thoughts. Having the game on or your favorite show creates a positive and relaxing environment. Some people sleep better with white noise, for example.
It’s essential to understand the reasons for why you sleep better with the TV on. For instance, it may relate to Insomnia.
TV During Bedtime and Insomnia
Insomniacs are people who have trouble sleeping. They have a more severe case that requires extensive treatment or therapy. That’s why some of the things that make them sleep are also applicable to those who can’t fall asleep easily in some instances.
One effective way for insomniacs to sleep is watching TV during bedtime. TV is one of the best distractions for people who think a lot or have personal problems. Their sense of sight and hearing are dominated by the images and sounds from the TV.
Eventually, their eyes get tired, and they start feeling sleepy. The TV’s audio finally becomes a lullaby or a storyteller for their ears. The result? A person who ultimately sleeps like a baby.
Does Having the TV on Affect Your Sleep?
Unfortunately, some factors make the habit bad for your health. What if you’re watching a random show or movie on your TV? For example, an action scene suddenly pops up. Think about the sound effects and the characters’ loud reactions.
Come to think of it; there’s not much difference if you prepare the list of shows or movies yourself. Their theme may be boring or quiet enough for bedtime, but what about their opening song and some quick, loud scenes you overlooked?
That kind of disadvantage will wake you up all of a sudden. Your sleep cycle is ruined, and you have to do it all over again, which may take some time. If you have work the next day, you’re more likely to be late. And, even if you wake up on time, you’ll be tired.
The next reason why sleeping with the TV on can be unhealthy for you is tolerance for a bad habit. It can be so bad that if you’re spending the night in another place without a TV, you’ll find it hard to sleep. Not to mention the possibility of a power outage. The best thing you can do is try your best to stop the habit.
Here are the tips you can follow until you’re able to sleep soundly even without a TV:
- Maintain a fixed bedtime schedule even during the weekends to keep a normal sleep-wake cycle, also known as circadian rhythm, and make your body clock beneficial to your health, not disruptive.
- Always sleep at the time when you regularly get sleepy (this is applicable for people who don’t have to wake up early).
- Take a nap for 20 minutes at most during the daytime if the length of your sleep wasn’t long enough (never sleep for hours in the afternoon to avoid ruining your circadian rhythm).
- Do something productive like preparing for the next day, chatting with a friend, or cleaning the dining room and kitchen if you’re feeling sleepy before your scheduled bedtime.
- Stop looking at bright screens, one to two hours within your bedtime. (Alternative: only look at small screens with low brightness and a blue light filter just like in newer mobile phone models).
- Wear sleep masks or keep your room pitch-dark during bedtime by using heavy curtains and covering your light-emitting electronics.
- Make sure your room is well-ventilated and maintains a cool temperature of 18 degrees Celsius or 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lie on a mattress and pillow that’s perfect for your level of comfort.
- Don’t keep your TV and computer inside your bedroom (condition your mind that the room is for sleep and other private things only).
- Install dim nightlights or use a flashlight in case you need to pee or drink water in the middle of the night.
- Don’t drink too much water before bed to avoid waking up just to pee.
- Exercise early in the morning so you’ll get super-tired at night.
- Limit your caffeine intake.
- Don’t smoke cigarettes before bedtime.
- This may sound childish but try to count sheep to block your thoughts until you sleep.
- Improve your time management skills to avoid stressing over stuff even when you’re already in bed.
- Don’t watch TV late at night (Alternative: listen to audiobooks, relaxing songs, or white noise).
We can also give you the steps to relaxing your mind and body as you prepare to fall asleep:
- Start by closing your eyes.
- Inhale and exhale slowly to maintain deep breaths.
- Tense your muscles for a few seconds and release (start from your toes to your head).
- Concentrate on imagining a peaceful place.
Is It Bad to Watch TV Lying Down?
So you realized it’s not the best idea to sleep with the TV on. Is that enough to guarantee that you’ll have a healthier physical and mental health? If you love to watch TV while lying down on the floor or sofa, you should pay attention to this section.
The first disadvantage of lying down while watching TV has something to do with your eyes. Your eyes should be in a horizontal position, which is why it’s better to sit. If you’re lying down, your eyes will try so hard to process the images to make you comprehend what you see. That may lead to a terrible headache.
Next, your body will feel tired. Watching TV can go on for hours, so you don’t want to strain your back, shoulders, and hips.
Aside from sitting with proper posture, you may do some yoga poses while watching TV to prevent body pain in the long run. There’s no excuse anymore for not stretching your body every day.
Try the following yoga poses for a healthier activity while binge-watching your shows:
- Sit on your legs by kneeling first on pillows and laying your bottom on your calves.
- Sit on the floor without slouching by pressing your back against the sofa with a pillow and keeping your legs straight on the surface.
- Spread your legs until they form a wide “V” and place your elbows on the pillows between your thighs.
Is It OK to Sleep with the Light On?
Sometimes, we can’t help thinking about scary stories and horror scenes out of the blue. That’s why it’s okay to watch TV sometimes until you sleep as long as you activate the timer that will automatically turn the device off. What if you turn the lights on as well?
Your body is designed to be alert once it senses light. Humans are meant to be awake in the morning and fast asleep at night. So, it’s a no-brainer that we sleep less when we’re exposed to the lights in our room.
The results are fatigue during the day and stress when you get confused, waking up at night thinking it’s morning already.
Conclusion – Why Do I Sleep Better with the TV On?
As much as possible, give yourself a favor and sleep in total darkness for the sake of your health. If you can’t stand sleeping in the dark, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.