Most people have their television seated in their bedrooms. You will be surprised to know that 64 percent of families in the US have their TV sets in their bedrooms. It goes without saying that watching the idiot box (or smart TV, for that matter) in bed is surely a relaxing and convenient way of calling it a day, but is this choice healthy for your lifestyle?
You may think it’s ok to watch TV in bed, but the drawbacks of having a TV in the bedroom may result in interrupted sleep which can lead to a host of problems like altering your dreams, disrupting the circadian rhythm, and delaying your sleep time and diminishing its quality.
Ensuring a good night’s sleep is your sure-shot way of having good health. But when you sleep with your TV on, it surges the exposure to blue light, which in turn, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and a host of other health problems.
Instead of watching TV before slee, find out what you should listen to before bed.
Why do people like to watch TV in bed?
Many people love the idea of watching TV in bed while some others have gone to the extreme of keeping two sets for catering to different interests without a tussle at bedtime. Nonetheless, here are the top reasons why many people are in favor of keeping this source of entertainment in their bedroom.
Aids in unwinding after a hard day:
Some people prefer taking a hot shower before going to sleep while some others enjoy watching television. There are some particular soaps or shows that may help you to fall asleep. This is because they work like a lullaby by providing a sense of comfort which can distract your mind from work-related stress.
Keeps you company:
If you live alone, then having a television in your bedroom can be great for keeping you company. You can watch shows or movies that make you laugh out loud or even cry. This way, you will not feel lonely and may even start to look forward to bedtime.
Aids in relaxing:
For some people, watching television is the only way they can relax. After a long day at work, all they want to do is sit back and watch their favorite show or movie without having to think about anything else. This way, they can forget about their worries and just enjoy the moment.
Prevents fights with your spouse
Couples that have a television in their bedroom can avoid arguments before going to sleep by giving each other time for what they want. A husband might enjoy playing video games while his wife watches TV, but when it’s bedtime and he wants some peace and quiet, there is only so much yelling about who gets the final say over which channel has been chosen.
More comfort at your disposal
We all know that watching television from your bed is far more comfortable than anywhere else. You would simply love going under the covers and wrapping yourself up in your cozy blanket or comforter while sucking in entertainment from your favorite show. This is even more enjoyable when it’s drizzling outside and you would hardly bother to get out of your bed.
Is it bad to have a TV in my bedroom?
While there are some benefits of having a TV in your bedroom, there are also some drawbacks that you should be aware of. These include:
You may start to rely on it too much:
If you find that you are only able to relax or unwind when you watch TV in your bedroom, then this could be a sign that you are relying on it too much. This is not healthy as it can lead to problems like insomnia.
It can disrupt your sleep:
As we mentioned before, having a TV in your bedroom can disrupt your sleep. This is because the blue light that is emitted from the screen can interfere with your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
If you fall asleep watching the TV, you will need to wake up to turn it off, or otherwise it will be on in the background while you sleep. This will mean that there is constant background noise as well as changing light levels. This will reduce your REM sleep and keep you in a half asleep state rather than getting better sleep with the TV off.
It can delay your sleep:
If you find yourself staying up late to watch TV, then this can also delay your sleep. This is because you are more likely to become engrossed in what you are watching and lose track of time.
It can cause arguments:
If you and your partner have different viewing habits, then this can lead to arguments about what to watch. This can be especially frustrating if you are trying to sleep but your partner wants to watch TV.
Read also: Sleep hygiene for couples
So, is it bad to have a TV in your bedroom? While there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of, ultimately the decision is up to you. If you think that having a TV in your bedroom will help you to relax and unwind, then go ahead and set it up. Just be sure to limit your screen time.
Reasons not to have a TV in your bedroom
There are a few reasons why you might not want to have a TV in your bedroom. These include:
It can be a distraction
If you have a TV in your bedroom, it can be a distraction from sleep. You may find yourself staying up late to watch your favorite show or movie, and this can disrupt your sleep schedule.
Prevents the association between bed and sleep
If you watch TV in bed, your brain may start to associate the bed with being awake. This can make it harder to fall asleep at night. If you do wake up at night, you may also find it harder to fall asleep as your brain stops thinking of your bedroom as just the place for sleeping, and instead starts to think of it as somewhere you go for TV entertainment.
Eventually, you may even find that you can’t sleep in bed even though you can on the couch.
Can increase anxiety and damage mental health
For some people, watching TV can increase anxiety levels. If you are already struggling with anxiety, adding a TV into the mix can make it worse. The lack of good quality sleep that you get if you are watching TV in bed can also result in depression and other impacts on your mental health.
Increases noise levels
Having a TV in your bedroom can increase noise levels, which can be disruptive to sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, you might want to consider removing the TV from your bedroom to create a more peaceful environment.
Surging up your sleep debt
Health experts recommend that every adult deserves sleep of at least eight hours every night. And the deficit that you may experience is termed sleep debt. This implies that if you are sleeping for six hours at night, then you are incurring a sleep debt of two hours.
Like it goes with all kinds of debts, sleep debt is something that you would always want to avoid. Otherwise, it will lead to a host of health problems like the inability to focus and exercise clarity. With the passage of time, your body would give in to mental as well as physical health issues.
If you’re sleeping with your television on, it will invariably result in sleep debt over time. This is because you cannot resist the temptation of watching one more episode and for this, you can’t help but remain awake.
Brings down the melatonin production
Melatonin is a hormone that promotes restful sleep. It tells the body and mind that it’s time for rest, especially after a long day of activity. The production of melatonin is decreased by television and other electrical devices that emit blue light. This makes it even more difficult for your brain to tell whether it’s daytime or night. If your brain believes you are still in broad daylight at midnight, falling asleep will be quite challenging and your sleep quality will be damaged.
This is the same reason why you should limit use of your cell phone and other electronic devices before bed if you are serious about your sleep hygiene.
Read also: Is a Kindle OK to read before bed?
Read also: What color LED light helps you sleep?
Stimulates the functioning of the brain:
As you are trying to calm your mind and fall asleep, the last thing you would be ready to welcome is the stimulation of your brain. As the human brain receives any form of stimulation, it will remain active in place of shutting down. This would make it way more difficult for you to fall asleep.
When there is any kind of stimulation in the brain, even if you fall asleep, it’s going to be restless rather than the deep sleep that gives your mind and body the proper rest. And if your television is kept on and giving out changing sounds, flashes of light, or new audio or video alerts, then you may even wake up in a jolt.
Most importantly, we tend to take in the sounds around us long after we fall asleep. The sounds reach us till we tap the deepest layers of the sleep cycle. This factor implies that the brain is still trying to focus on those familiar sounds and voices coming from the TV and get sudden stimulation as you try to drift off. This can give you disturbing visions in dreams. When you see a nightmare, it becomes highly difficult to fall asleep after that. As a result, the quality, as well as the quantity of your sleep, are invariably compromised.
Negative impact on physical health:
As mentioned above, keeping the television on before or during sleep can result in less sleep. And when you are not able to receive enough rest, your physical health is going to decline while showing signs of a weak immune system, high blood pressure, lack of concentration, and memory loss. The risks go far beyond the standard negative impact of prolonged sleep deprivation.
In a study conducted in 2019, it was revealed that sleeping with the television on emits artificial blue light which is linked with surged risk for obesity. It also showed that the risk was present even when the individual was getting enough sleep every night. This means that even if you are thinking that you are getting good sleep while the television is on, you are actually inflicting harm on your body in the long run and you may notice weight gain creeping up on you.
It can be costly:
If you have cable or satellite TV, having a TV in your bedroom can add to your monthly costs. This is because you will likely need an additional set-top box and/or DVR for your bedroom TV.
It can take up space:
Depending on the size of your bedroom, a TV can take up a fair amount of space. If you have a small bedroom, this may not be ideal.
All in all, it’s better to keep the television out of your bedroom for a number of reasons. If you find it difficult to stay away from the television, at least make sure that it’s turned off a few hours before you go to sleep. This will help reduce the negative impact on your sleep as well as your overall health.
Is it bad to have a TV in the children’s bedroom?
It’s not a surprise that half of the population in the US have their TV sets in children’s rooms. It’s worth mentioning that a growing number of research show a close association between watching television while in bed and hordes of educational issues among children.
A number of studies have shown that children who have a television in their bedrooms will have attention problems, and sleep issues, and score lower on school tests. Those children that are exposed to such an environment will be prone to become overweight and develop the habit of smoking later on.
Experts also opine that having a television in children’s bedrooms can pave the way for their isolation, reduced physical activity, and bad sleeping habits. When you compare to a TV being watched in the living room with the family, the same in isolation leads to higher levels of triglycerides, increased fat in the belly, and the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular issues.
When talking about co-curricular and academic achievements, children who are devoid of a TV in their bedroom will score far better than those to have it. As a parent, your responsibilities are not only limited to removing the television from the bedroom but also being vigilant to the children’s use of smartphones and computers where children can play online games by keeping awake till late.
Where to put a TV in your bedroom?
If you can’t help but have a TV in the bedroom, you must look for incredible ways to incorporate this equipment into your private space.
Although it can be extremely tempting to snug in the comforter and watch your favorite shows with your partner, it’s important to maintain a calming space that aids in sleep. This could imply that you may want to conceal the TV when it is not in use or keep it discreet in the bedroom. So if you are wondering is it bad to have a TV in my bedroom, let’s try to curb its negative impact to the greatest possible extent. It may also help your feng shui!
1. Creating a dedicated seating area for your television
How about creating a suite in your bedroom with a dedicated space for the television? Bring in the television to the center of the main wall. This will not just give more functionality to the room but keep a place devoted to the television. This can surely introduce some space between your sleep and screen time. Rather than watching the television from the bed, have a few armchairs to watch the TV from.
2. Withdraw the television into the couch or bed
Some people prefer concealing the television while being asleep for relaxation or aesthetic purposes. If you are one such person, you may think of incorporating such a system in your bedroom. Television can be concealed easily under your bed or within the unit at the bed end or in a motorized arm. This way your television will remain hidden when not in use though you can always extract it vertically whenever you want.
The function of this unit is to disguise a contemporary painting or sculpture above its lid. This idea can also be incorporated for wall-mounted tech. You may also keep the television hidden in storage units or shelves located opposite the bed with an artwork panel.
3. Pairing with the fireplace
In place of hiding a television, you can bravely feature it with the fireplace. This is the easiest bedroom design to coalesce with the modern aesthetic. All that you need to do is to have an area dedicated to the television which is made cozy and convenient with a contemporary fireplace. If you want to have a delightfully modern look for your bedroom, you may create an electric fireplace that works well with a high-tech flat screen television to strike a balance in your bedroom.
4. Contrasting modern tech with antique furniture
While many homeowners may think that this pair is a little strange to match, a traditional bedroom paired with modern technology can level up your private space. In such a room, a wall-mounted television would go well with an antique sideboard.
Having a visible television will instantly play up your contemporary bedroom. This way you can prep up the bedroom by adding some other modern elements. For instance, you can keep the bedroom walls crisp white and keep some tropical plants to spruce up your bedroom look with the flat screen television at the center.
5. Hiding the TV behind sliding panels
You could consider bringing in a TV cabinet into your bedroom. However, you should be extra careful about the choice of doors. For example, if you have conventional hinged doors of the cabinet, then it will remain swung open as long as you are watching the television.
This is where the role of sliding panels comes to the fore. They can conceal the television when not in use in the bedroom or other rooms of your house. Depending on where you are putting these panels, they can give way to varying items of the household such as electronic gadgets or books, or other souvenirs to complete the look of the bedroom.
6. Keeping a television inside built-in furniture
Making space for built-in furniture is the most efficient way of utilizing space while ensuring all the essential items have a dedicated space for display including your television. You can have a series of cabinets on the wall opposite to your bed and have the television fitted in one of the bespoke cabinets with a screen flush with sliding doors which can make the entire design seamless. The most important advantage of having built-in furniture in your room is that it is a stylish solution built around to cater to the specific need of the room.
7. Tucking the television into a wall cavity
Regardless of whether you support the inclusion of your television in your bedroom or not, you will never want the equipment to overtake all the other elements in your bedroom. So how about tucking the TV nearly into a wall alcove? This will maintain its discreet presence, especially if you have a sizeable bedroom.
Consider having the television fitted in the alcove located between the en suite and wardrobe to ensure that the TV doesn’t stand in between the stunning view of the bedroom. And if you want the modernity of your bedroom to flourish, consider having a minimalistic design with clean lines and solid color options.
Conclusion: Is it bad to have a TV in your bedroom?
With all being said, let’s unanimously admit the fact that a TV doesn’t belong in the bedroom. While some people have got into the habit of falling asleep while keeping the idiot box on others may love the idea of sleeping with the silent white noise. No matter whether it’s the light or the noise or the distraction that this equipment brings to the bedroom, you should shun it from the bedroom.
Although there can be some good aspects of keeping the TV in your bedroom, they fail to outweigh the negative points. In the end, nobody would ever recommend you to have your TV in the bedroom and, if you are still keeping it, it’s time to think otherwise.
After all, your bedroom should be a peaceful and serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, not a place for distractions. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get rid of the television from your bedroom and get a good night’s rest!