Binge-watching can damage your health—here's a solution to reduce its negative effects

If you were planning to binge-watch Netflix tonight, beware.

Watching TV
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Watching TV

Binge-watching—which can be translated as binge-watching—is far more damaging to your health than previously thought, reveals a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, spotted by Business Insider UK.

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98% poorer sleep quality

Overall, people who engage in this activity are 98% more likely to have poorer sleep quality than those who don't.

And according to Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute interviewed by Business Insider UK, binge-watching can have long-term consequences for your sleep quality:

In the early evening, when binge-watching most often takes place, we should start secreting melatonin—the hormone that prepares us for sleep - but watching brightly lit screens reduces our ability to secrete this hormone, making it harder to fall asleep. It also reduces the amount of sleep you get.

Best to binge-watch before 6pm

But TV series fans aren't going to stop binge-watching just yet.

That's why the researcher, interviewed by Business Insider, offers a solution to mitigate the negative effects of binge-watching: ideally do it before 6pm and if that's not possible, you should at least stop an hour before going to bed:

If you choose to do it during the week, stop an hour before, as you'll probably need to do some relaxation exercises, and it's probably not a good thing to start taking medication to sleep better, all so you can keep watching blockbuster series.

Moreover, this new study shows that binge-watching is not just for young people. Indeed, this habit is beginning to take hold among the elderly, said Robert Oexman.

He emphasises that people should not see this as a temporary problem, but as something that will have long-term repercussions:

People don't necessarily see a problem with what they are doing. They see it as something temporary, that they can stop for a coffee and everything will be back to normal. But that's not the case. The health consequences of binge-watching continue.
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