The subject of having a television in the bedroom is a controversial one. Some say that watching television in bed helps them fall asleep and even claim to have a hard time getting to sleep without one. Others, on the other hand, worry about the health effects associated with having a TV in the bedroom and don’t want one there under any circumstances.
But how harmful is a TV in the bedroom, really? And are there any tricks that make watching TV in the evening healthier? In this blog article, we get to the bottom of these questions and present you the advantages and disadvantages of having a television in the bedroom.
Television in the bedroom: advantages
Who hasn't occasionally enjoyed watching a series or a movie in the evening before going to bed to end the day on a relaxed note?
There are only two possibilities when this happens: Either you drag yourself from the couch and head to the bedroom, or you spend an uncomfortable night in the living room. In both cases, you risk interrupting your sleep and not getting the rest you need. Keeping a TV in the bedroom allows you to avoid this dilemma.
As mentioned above, watching TV helps many people fall asleep. If you’ve had a hard day at work or are going through some things in your personal life, the TV can provide a welcome distraction and steer your thoughts in a different direction.
TV in the bedroom: disadvantages
While many choose to have a television in the bedroom for the sake of convenience, this decision also has its drawbacks. First of all, televisions emit a high amount of blue light. To improve the quality of our sleep, we should expose ourselves to as little blue light as possible, especially in the evening.
How does blue light impact our sleep?
Of course, the television is not the only emitter of blue light - other devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops are also major sources. While mobile device manufacturers continue to work to make backlighting as comfortable as possible, even in the dark, sleep researchers warn of the negative effects that exposure to blue light in the late evening has on technology users.
A 2015 Belgian study found that smartphone use before bed not only negatively impacted participants’ sleep efficiency, but also made it more difficult for them to concentrate in their daily lives the next day.
Blue light has a negative effect on our sleep because it disrupts our internal clock. When it gets dark, our brain (more specifically, the pineal gland) releases the hormone melatonin, which makes us feel tired and helps us fall asleep. The brightness from electronic devices causes less melatonin to be released, thereby making it take longer for us to fall asleep. Televisions with an LED screen also emit blue light. Even though the light appears white at first, it has a high blue content, because blue in the color spectrum increases brightness.
Does electromagnetic radiation affect our sleep?
Televisions and other devices emit not only blue light, but also electromagnetic radiation or electrosmog. Due to the prevalence of electronic devices, we’re constantly surrounded by electromagnetic radiation nowadays. The spread of these devices has been associated with the rise of those who identify as electrosensitive and claim to react to increased radiation with headaches or other symptoms.
Studies on blue light and electromagnetic radiation
Studies on the subject of blue light and insomnia should be viewed critically, however, because our sleep is a very complex process in which many different factors play a role. For example, diet or the optimal sleep temperature can also have profound effects on our sleep and thus influence the results of these studies.
With regards to electromagnetic radiation, to date no study can prove that the exposure to electrosmog is linked with negative health consequences. However, this of course does not exclude the possibility that electrosmog is harmful, as the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Television in the bedroom: relationship
The TV in the bedroom can lead to less intimacy between couples; for some, it is even a frequent source of arguments. For one thing, partners’ tastes can certainly differ when it comes to the topic of which series or movie to watch in the evening. Furthermore, different sleeping habits also play a role.
Some people are larks, and thus live by the motto of “early to be, early to rise,” whereas are night owls. How much sleep an individual needs also differs from person to person, though the average is roughly seven to eight hours per night.
If one partner has had a very busy day, he or she likely doesn't want to watch TV in the evening before going to sleep. This can lead to tension, however, if the other partner doesn’t respect this. If the TV is in the bedroom in the first place, many such arguments can be prevented.
5 tips about having a TV in the bedroom: How to find a compromise
Should you decide to keep a TV in the bedroom, you can consider the following points to make your sleep as relaxed as possible.
If you are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation as described above, you can easily reduce it by unplugging the TV at night. This should help you fall asleep faster and wake up without feeling drained.
Set a timer
If the TV is on all night, not only can you expect to receive a high electric bill that month, but you also run the risk of being woken up by a movie’s or TV program’s loud noises. This is the reason why modern devices are equipped with timers, so the TV can automatically turn off at the time you choose.
Night mode for televisions
Some manufacturers now offer televisions with the night mode setting. Of course, this applies not only to the TV, but to all electronic devices that you use before going to bed.
It might not be the best idea to watch more exciting series in the evening, as this type of stimulation makes it harder to fall asleep once you’ve finished the program. Shows that tend to end with a cliffhanger are also a bad idea, as they make it more difficult to turn off the TV at the end of the episode. For this reason, you should rather choose calmer documentaries or series in the evening before going to sleep.
The right distance from the TV
As televisions have now reached sizes that were quite unimaginable in the past, the right distance between you and the television becomes particularly important. The general rule is: screen diagonal length times three. So, if your TV measures 2 meters diagonally, you should place a distance between you and it of at least 6 meters.
Products from Zizzz that help you get a good night’s sleep
At Zizzz, we offer many great products that not only help you sleep better, but are also good for the environment. To help you create the right sleeping environment for every season, we offer duvets with three different types of fillings.
Our down comforters are filled with European duck down. Our down has been awarded the GOTS seal, which means that it doesn’t come from force-fed or live-plucked animals. We also offer wool duvets with wool which comes from happy sheep raised in the Swiss Alps; these are available for both adults and children.