We love our televisions. We turn it on when we wake up and switch it on when we come home. We leave it on as background noise when we are cooking, cleaning, working, or doing other things. We even leave the TV on for our pets when we leave the house.
Since today’s common activities include things like “Netflix and chill” and “binge-watching” nights, people admit to knowing more about their favorite characters than their own friends. A study by LG Electronics USA determined that “Americans have redefined their relationships with television, seeing their TV less as an entertainment device and more as a companion.”
The average American home has 2.86 TV sets, according to Nielsen’s 2009 Television Audience Report, which may not seem too excessive if one doesn’t consider the fact that the average US home only had 2.5 people. While the living room is the main location for a television set, many people have put an additional set in their bedroom.
But why shouldn’t you have a TV in your bedroom? Your bed is probably your most preferred place to relax. It is warm, soft, and comfortable. It’s the best place to really sprawl out and watch the latest episode of your favorite show. Right?
Unfortunately, it’s not a good idea to have a television in your bedroom – for numerous reasons.
Many people work, eat, watch TV, and simply lounge on their bed. It’s where you go when you’re upset, where you collapse at the end of a hard day, and a personal space that feels safe and secure.
Your bed, however, should be a place with a purpose that is used only for sleep and sex. Nothing else.
If you use your bedroom for other activities, it can affect your body’s ability to recognize the true purpose of your bed. Besides, a blaring television is not conducive to sleep or sex.
Distraction #1: Screen Exposure
Your bedroom should not contain any distractions that keep you from sleep. Technology, in particular, is a major distraction in the bedroom. This includes televisions, laptops, mobile devices, and any other tech with a screen. In addition to leaving the television on while going to sleep, seventy-one percent of Americans sleep with their cell phone in or next to their bed – with some even holding their phone while they sleep. We have become accustomed to flipping through emails, working on assignments, and checking social media when we should be trying to sleep.
However, research shows that artificial light from these screens can severely damage our ability to fall and stay asleep, even affecting our sleep cycles. “Artificial light exposure between dusk and the time we go to bed suppresses release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, enhances alertness and shifts circadian rhythms to a later hour – making it more difficult to fall asleep,” said Dr. Charles Czeisler, from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in a National Sleep Foundation press release.
Distraction #2: Eating
Food should be left in the kitchen. Eating in your bed, something that many people admit to doing, is a poor decision. No matter how careful you are, you are bound to get crumbs in your bed, between your sheets, and on the floor. If not immediately removed, these morsels of food could attract a variety of pests, including flies, ants, cockroaches, and in the worst case scenario – mice.
If you do find it necessary to have a snack in bed, be sure to wash your sheets as soon as possible and then sweep your floor, including underneath your bed, to remove all possible food remnants.
Distraction #3: Work
We are overworked as a nation and oftentimes, we feel that we must keep up with correspondence and projects, even when it’s bedtime. Beyond the fact that you are most likely bringing a bright screen into your bed in the form of a laptop or smartphone, you are also affecting your distinction between work and home.
If you work in bed, especially if it’s a regular undertaking, your mind begins to meld together when you are working and when you are relaxing, making it all the more difficult to truly unwind in bed.
Restore Your Bedroom
If you find yourself having trouble sleeping at night, it may be time to take back your bedroom and restore it to its true purpose. To help your body and mind recognize your room as a place of rest and intimacy, you must begin by removing all technological devices, such as your television and smartphone. Reduce outside noises and ensure that the room is dark and cool.
Ensuring that your bedroom is used only for sleep and sex can not only affect your mood and daytime alertness, it can improve your overall well-being.