You could be binge-watching your way to poor sleep

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The recent study surveyed young adults, ages 18 to 25, asking them questions about their viewing habits and their sleeping behaviors.The respondents were asked how frequently they watch television shows from streaming devices.

Young adults who binge-watched TV reported more sleep problems and fatigue as compared with people with more moderate TV-watching habits, researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

As technology is easing everything, people are now more watching tv online.In this, they indulge in binge watching which means watching multiple consecutive episodes of the same television show in one sitting on a screen, be it a television, laptop, computer or tablet. Among study participants who had poor sleep quality, one-third were binge-watchers, double the rate among non-binge watchers. Out of those participants, 40% have binge-watched once, 28% have binge-watched a couple of times, 14% have binge-watched several times in a week and 7% binge-watched every day. The findings suggest that increased cognitive arousal prior to sleep (being mentally alert) is the mechanism explaining the effects of binge viewing on sleep quality.

Although men did it less frequently their viewing sessions were nearly twice as long as women's, reports the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Because most bingeable shows often end with cliff-hangers or an unfinished plot theme, that lack of closure leaves viewers wanting to continue watching, which can hamper their ability to fall asleep.

"These students have flexible daytime schedules". This should help them calm down and gradually improve their sleep quality.

"Our study signals that binge viewing is prevalent in young adults and that it may be harmful to their sleep", co-author Jan Van den Bulck, U-M professor of communication studies, said in a statement. "We think [viewers] become intensely involved with the content, and may keep thinking about it when they want to go to sleep".

The study also specified that regular television viewing, or watching the shows at a normal pace is not related to sleep issues, but are linked to them. "This intense engagement with television content could require a longer period to "cool down" before going to sleep, thus affecting sleep overall". "Based on that research, it's very important to document the risk factors for poor sleep". Such a trend is concerning, not just because it is becoming more frequent, but also because poor sleep can lead to problems like reduced memory function, obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

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