Who doesn’t love binge-watching their favorite show on a lazy Saturday afternoon? TV has become an American pastime. The average American home has three televisions, and 1/3 of households have four TVs.
About 64 percent of households have a TV in the master bedroom, and it might be causing problems for those room dwellers. Here are a few key reasons to take the TV out of your bedroom.
- Sleep Problems
If you suffer from insomnia or other sleep issues, the TV is probably making things worse.
“Did you know that watching more than two hours of TV on a daily basis is linked to several common sleep problems?” suggests an article from the sleep experts at Perfect Cloud Mattress. A chief problem is found in staying up late to binge-watch your favorite shows, cutting your sleep short.
“…If you are having…issues with sleep and are watching excessive hours of television a night, cutting back on your viewing may be the answer,” the article continues, acknowledging that it may just be one piece of the puzzle. Your sleep environment can also play a huge role in your sleep problems. When combined, the two problems create a recipe for disaster.
- Less Intimacy
You’ve probably heard the statement “the bed should only be used for sleep and sex,” but when you’re watching television until you fall asleep, sex often takes a backburner. Couples may become too bored, jaded, or tired for intimacy, and their physical connection naturally weakens.
This isn’t always the case—many couples bond over watching their favorite shows together, cuddling in bed. But it’s not always the case, and if you suspect that the television is hampering intimacy between you and your partner, it probably is.
- Potential Relationship Struggles
Along with having less intimacy in the bedroom, the television could be hurting your relationship in other ways. Conversations in bed after the work is done or the kids are in bed can be invaluable for growing your relationship.
No couple is perfect, and there are always disagreements. Successful couples talk through the problems until they’ve resolved them, refusing to ignore the problem or go to bed angry.
“Our marriages require us to be intentional and thoughtful. And that rarely happens when the television is on,” writes Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist.
- Challenged Motivation
If the first thing you see when you wake up and fall asleep is the television, it’s hard to maintain motivation. You may not watch television first thing in the morning but seeing it on the dresser could make you think about later when you can shut off your brain and relax—it can be a real motivation killer.
In the evening, instead of tackling a home improvement project, cleaning up dinner, or otherwise being productive, you’re more likely to throw on your loungewear and lie in bed for hours, binging your favorite television show. You certainly deserve a little relaxation after a long day, but this habit makes it difficult to accomplish the essentials.
- Boosts Couch Potato Syndrome
There are physical barriers as well. Those with a television in the bedroom watch almost twice as much TV as those who don’t, which means they’re sitting or lying down instead of working out.
A study for more than 13,200 people in their 30s-40s showed that when people watched television for more than two hours per day, they had significantly lower physical activity levels and thus had a higher mortality rate due to heart disease, stroke, cancer, or type II diabetes. The study also found that three or more hours of TV per day increased the mortality rate twofold compared to those watching less than one hour daily.
The study found that watching TV was much worse than other types of sitting activities. “Compared to driving a car or doing work on a computer, television is a very passive activity,” Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a cardiologist at New York University, told NBCNews.com. She recommends incorporating more physical activity wherever possible to offset the problem.
- Mental Health Challenges
Depression and anxiety statistics around the world are growing rapidly, and they’re some of the top causes of disability. Unfortunately, a television in the bedroom has been linked to increasing levels of depression and anxiety.
Those with a TV in the bedroom are more likely to binge-watch. The American Public Health Association recently published a study showing that binge-watchers are more likely to develop anxiety and depression. The study concluded by stating that the issue of binge-watching television, particularly in the evenings before bed, is a “growing public health concern.”
Having a television in your bedroom is a personal decision, but you should know the risks you face. Many individuals and couples are able to successfully circumvent the above issues, but if you feel it’s hindering your life, it might be time to literally pull the plug.