Diana Kelly Levey

Why Watching One More Show On Netflix Can Wreck Your Sleep

laptop in bed in the dark no sleep

July 3, 2018 | Categories:

Earlier this year, Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings identified the company’s biggest competitor.  It’s not YouTube.  It’s not Amazon. It’s not Hulu. It’s not any of the late-night Jimmy’s— Kimmel or Fallon. It’s sleep, Hastings said during an interview with analysts after Netflix’s first-quarter financials were released, according to a USAToday.com article.

If you’ve been catching up on the Netflix original series Stranger Things season 2 since it was released last weekend like I have, that you can probably relate to what Hastings is saying.

Interestingly, a recent study completed for World Sleep Day, Unfiltered Sleep: The Global Prioritization Puzzle, showed that the top three things Americans want more of than sleep are: time with family (46%), quality time with their significant other (43%), and watching their favorite TV shows/movies (30%). Maybe some good news for Netflix after all!

Most have succumb, maybe more often than we’d like to admit, to a great cliffhanger at the end of one show and then had to watch the next episode in a series that night. Netflix even “helps” encourage the decision to keep watching, as the next episode will automatically start playing for you. (Here’s how to prevent that from happening in the future.)

There is certainly nothing wrong with indulging in a dose of TV time, after all relaxing is good for you. The trouble comes when we do this at the expense of sleep. Beyond relaxing, sleep is truly the best way to rejuvenate, a good thing to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to start that next episode.

One of the best ways to help ensure you get a good night’s sleep daily and keep your TV watching behavior in check, is to establish a bedtime routine. While 92 percent of the adults in our Philips’ survey said that “sleep is crucial to their overall health and well- being, “only 57 percent said they have a specific sleep schedule. (Also, learn about the weekend sleep habits that wreck weekday sleep.)

Working backwards when trying to establish a healthy sleep schedule can help.

  • If aiming for seven to eight hours of sleep and planning to wake up at 7 am, ideally, you’d be snoozing by 11 pm.
  • Remembering, it might take 15 minutes or so to fall asleep once your head hits the pillow, plan to be in bed with the lights out by 10:45 p.m.
  • 45 mins prior to that, TV time should be over, giving your body enough time to wind down and prep for sleep. If you know you’ll be tempted to keep watching once you start streaming, set a reminder on your phone or an alarm for 10 pm so you’ll get a notification reminding yourself to get a good night’s sleep.

Find yourself binge-watching too much during the day? Here’s how to find motivation to work out when you’d rather be watching Netflix.

A version of this article first appeared on Philip’s blog.

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