Is Falling Asleep With the TV On That Bad?

According to Dr. Guy Meadows of The Sleep School in West London, humans are designed to sleep in the dark. That is, we need a dim light to quickly fall asleep. “When the sun comes up, the light receptors in the retina at the back of the eye tell us it’s time to wake up by inhibiting the release of melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy.”- He said. These light receptors send signals to the brain, telling it that it’s time for the body to engage in activities, so must get up when it’s day. But when the TV is switched on while trying to fall asleep, it confuses the brain, thus preventing you from falling asleep. This messes with the quality of your sleep by suppressing the production of melatonin.

A study conducted shows that 60% of Americans fall asleep in front of the TV, adducing it to a nightly ritual while others say that the noise from the TV makes them sleep faster. However, the case may be, sleeping while the TV is always switched on poses a danger to people.

In fact, turning the TV off immediately before falling asleep isn’t encouraged. The reason is that TV creates a fight-or-flight adrenaline heave. The brain, according to experts, needs to stop being stimulated by triggers an hour before bedtime.

For some, setting the volume of the TV high makes them fall asleep faster. This could also be done but it shouldn’t be in a way that will prevent the body from going into a proper sleep mode. Instead, you may try the white noise machine, which has no light effects as opposed to the TV with the blue lights emitting from it. The white noise machine helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep; it makes you fall asleep as soon as possible.

The truth still remains — researchers haven’t really delved into what the actual effects of having the TV on while trying to fall asleep have on an individual, they’ve only been able to tell us why it’s dangerous to turn on the blue lights which emit from the TV while trying to fall asleep since it confuses the circadian rhythm or internal clock. Well, watching the TV, which is some distance far from you, is better than scrolling through your phone (which is in front of you) to check the latest on Facebook or Instagram, the know the latest on Netflix. However, those who fall into these two categories are classified to be the same because they are still bombarded with lights, whether far from the eyes or not.

Let’s understand it this way— humans have a circadian rhythm (internal clock). The circadian rhythm tells you when it’s time to fall asleep if it’s dark outside; and when it’s time to be awake. When light emanates from any source, it affects the ability of this clock to tell you when it’s the actual time to fall asleep or be awake.
Our bodies need rest. Therefore, they need to enter deep sleep so that they could repair tissues and process the information we took in throughout the day’s activities. But if exposed to any light source, it prevents all these processes from occurring. When this happens, there is an absolute possibility that you will develop serious health issues such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety.

The bottom line is that if you feel it makes you fall asleep, so much the better for you. However, you ought to avoid the light emitting from the TV.

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