Do you usually fall asleep in front of the TV? Or is it your habit to have the television on in your bedroom while you snooze through the night? In the middle of winter, when the weather looks to be cold for the foreseeable future and the days remain shorter (and darker), it’s natural to feel like “hibernating” a bit. And because getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and well-being, your family medical advise want you to take a mid-winter look at your sleep patterns and habits.
So if you’re one of the six-out-of-ten Americans who tend to sleep in front of the television (according to recent studies), you might want to learn more about what’s happening with your body and brain as a result of that habit.
And what you find out may surprise you.
Watching The NEWS
Nutrition, Exercise, Water intake, Supplements, and Sleep are generally regarded as the top five elements of a healthy overall regimen.
That means people live longer, fuller lives when they eat right, work out, drink enough water, supplement their diets, and get plenty of sleep.
These five health habits work together, too, to boost your overall feeling of vitality and wellness. People who work out regularly tend to sleep better… people who take the right supplements and drink plenty of water tend to eat better… and so forth.
So making small improvements in the other family medical advise, such as beginning an exercise program or a healthy diet, can help you get a better night’s rest.
Watching your “NEWSS” habits is a good way to help your body get the sleep it needs to consolidate your memories, relax your muscles, refresh your brain, and do many other things to promote better overall help.
But what about watching the “news” as you fall asleep?
The News Is Not All Bad…
Not many studies have been done which can state conclusively the impact of falling asleep in front of the television. But many sleep experts have said that it may actually be better than the alternative for some people.
Folks who have a hard time “turning off the brain” at bedtime often report that having the TV on helps them fall asleep faster by “drowning out” the thoughts and worries that would keep them awake.
For these people, the alternative to falling asleep in front of the television would be sleep deprivation… and that’s probably worse than the bad effects of TV-sleeping for many people.
It’s not uncommon for people to report that they fall asleep faster if they put on a program they’ve seen many times before, turn down the volume, and hit the pillow.
If that’s what it takes to get to sleep, some experts say, then go ahead and leave the TV on. It’s better than tossing and turning with a restless brain that won’t let you get to sleep at all.
… But It’s Generally Not Best To TV-Sleep
You might get to sleep faster with the television on… but what kind of sleep will you be getting?
The same sleep experts say you’re likely to be stuck in “light” sleep when you’re continuing to experience sensory inputs from the television.
The kind of deep “Rapid Eye Movement” (REM) sleep your body really needs is harder to come by while the tube is on.
Plus, there’s some evidence that the bombardment of “blue light” from the screen can impede your body’s natural production of melatonin, which is the chemical that helps you sleep better.
Most professionals agree that it’s best not to sleep with the television on. Folks who’ve developed this habit might consider setting a timer to turn the TV off after they’ve fallen asleep, or trying to avoid the TV snooze altogether by exercising more and changing their diet.
Screens are part of our lives these days, from phones to computers to TVs. It’s almost impossible to function in our modern society without making screen-viewing a major part of the day. But if you can turn them all off at night, you’ll sleep better in the long run, and your family medical professionals would love to see you realize the health benefits you’d get from sleeping without the TV.
Your family medical practitioners want you and your family to live as healthy and happy a life as you can. This means, of course, exercising the right amount of caution (without an overabundance of fear) with regard to some of the exceptional aspects of 2020 – such as the COVID-19 pandemic and our society’s reaction to it.
But it also means maintaining a consistent approach to the regular habits that keep your family healthy and living a life of high vitality.
Call your family clinic for more great ideas. Your personal family medical advise not only know what’s generally good in terms of health practices… they know you, they know your family, and they probably know what will work best for you specifically. They want you to stay healthy, and that means keeping you and your family well (and properly) fed.