Is bing-watching harmful to my health?
You may or may not have asked yourself that particular question in the past, but a recent tweet by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings saying, “Sleep is my greatest enemy” caught the attention of American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). AASM felt the tweet by the Netflix head honcho needed a response.
“You can stream your favorite shows and movies without sacrificing the sleep you need each night,” said AASM President Dr. Ronald Chervin. “Responsible binge-watching is the way to balance your personal entertainment with your health and well-being.”
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults should sleep seven or more hours per night. Binge-watchers who fail to put limits on their video streaming will suffer the consequences of insufficient sleep. School and work performance will suffer as mood and cognitive abilities deteriorate, and the risk of being in a workplace accident or drowsy driving crash will increase due to excessive sleepiness.
It is possible to get healthy sleep and satisfy your craving to watch the latest video sensations by binge-watching responsibly:
- Set an episode limit each night before you begin watching
- Take a break between each episode to get out of the “auto-play” loop
- Download episodes on your smartphone to control how many you watch at once
- Schedule time on the weekend to catch up on your favorite shows
- To minimize the alerting effects of brightly lit screens at night, use one of the apps for your computer, tablet and smartphone that filters blue light after sunset
- Stream videos to your TV instead of your mobile device at night to reduce exposure to brightly lit, handheld screens
- Avoid using mobile devices while in bed
- Turn off all screens at least a half-hour before your bedtime
“There are far more than 13 reasons why sleep is the new black,” said Chervin. “Sleep is essential for health and safety, and healthy sleep enables you to maximize the enjoyment of your entertainment.”
Do you agree with AASM, or do you think it’s much ado about nothing? Comment below.