If you are someone who sleeps with the TV on, you’re not alone. A National Sleep Foundation poll found that 60% of Americans watch TV right before bed, and according to an LG Electronics survey, 61% of Americans fall asleep with the TV on. Some people swear by it, others find it to be a complete and utter disturbance! So what’s the verdict on sleeping with the TV on? 

Why do some need the TV? 

For some, having the TV on in the bedroom can be comparable to a child who can’t sleep without their favorite blanket. The TV becomes a necessity for falling asleep because our bodies grow attached to it. People who suffer from insomnia often watch TV to divert their constant thoughts to something that is easy to digest and therefore allows their bodies to drift off to a heavy slumber. Without the TV, their mind would wander and wander all night long. 

Others have simply formed a habit with the light or sound of the TV. Some children use the TV as a night light so they can rest easy knowing the monsters under the bed will stay put. Adults who have fallen asleep with the TV on for years cannot even fathom the idea of sleeping in complete darkness or silence. So hey, if you are getting your proper 7-9 hours of sleep every night with no problems, keep that TV going! But if you are still struggling to sleep soundly, the TV might be the root of your problems. 

The negatives of leaving the TV on

Sleep is extremely important for our bodies to remain healthy and well-nourished. In order for our sleep to be completely productive, we need a calm and quiet environment. The downside of sleeping with the TV on is that it keeps our brains active without us even noticing. With the TV on, both the sound and light are stimulating our brains all night. This may be why so many people experience fatigue during the day, even if they slept through the night. 

What should you do?

If you are someone who sleeps with the TV on and doesn’t experience any fatigue the following day, your body may be used to it and you shouldn’t worry too much. However, if you sleep with the TV on and you are constantly waking up tired, you may have just found the root of your problem! Skip the TV and invest in a white-noise sound machine. This way, your brain doesn’t have to think about words or sounds on the TV, it will just hear a calming noise. 

Sleep is extremely important, so make sure you are taking every step to ensure a proper circadian rhythm! Contact Dr. Sara at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions in Scottsdale to learn more about your sleeping habits and how you can change them for the better!