Updated December 14, 2020Lots of people have a TV in their bedroom. In fact, 64 percent of US households keep a TV in this part of the house. But is this a good idea? Watching TV in bed may be a convenient and comfortable way to unwind after a long day, but there are a lot of drawbacks that can make some short-term relaxation really not worth it.So what’s the big deal about watching TV from the comfort of your own bed anyway? Well, most of the drawbacks of keeping a TV in the bedroom have to do with interrupted sleep, though there are a few other problems it can cause. Below, we’ll talk about 8 great reasons to kick the TV back to the living room.It Disrupts Your Circadian RhythmBlue light signals to your body it’s time to be awake. The screens on most electronics launch blue light into your eye. Therefore, every time you look at a screen, you’re signaling to your body it needs to wake up. Enough blue light coming from screens will reduce the amount of the sleep hormone melatonin your body produces after sunset, making it harder for you to initiate and maintain sleep once you shut off the TV and go to bed.While tablets and smartphones can have blue light blockers, a lot of TVs don’t come with built-in blue light filters, and older TVs probably won’t have the option to install an app or plugin with this feature. Combine that with the fact the TV screen is almost always much larger than the screen on cell phones and tablets, and your eyes are getting barraged with blue light every night in your bedroom—not the best for melatonin production.It Can Alter Your DreamsThe thing you fall asleep thinking about can have an impact on your dream content. So if you watch something scary or stressful right before bed (or fall asleep watching it), it can cause you to have disturbing dreams or even nightmares.Further, what you watch on screen often triggers related memories and thoughts in your brain, so if you’ve been through traumatic or upsetting events in the past, watching programs with content that reminds you of them might make you dream about them again.It Might Reduce Your Sleep QualityIf you fall asleep with the TV on, whether it’s because your partner is still watching or you just forgot to put it in sleep mode, your brain may continue to pay attention to the sounds even after you’re no longer aware it’s doing so.Unlike fans or humidifiers, which emit steady sounds all night, the noise from the TV is constantly changing volume, pitch, tone, etc., meaning it can jar you partially awake, interrupting your sleep cycle and reducing the amount of time you spend in REM sleep.It Can Delay Your Sleep TimeNot only does TV mess with your circadian rhythm, being engaged in a TV program can motivate you to stay awake, reducing your total sleep time as you keep saying “just one more episode.” It’s tempting enough to stay up past your bedtime to keep on binge-watching TV in your living room, but the convenience of already being in bed can make the idea of staying up till 1 or 2 in the morning to keep finding out what happens all that much more enticing.It May Give You InsomniaNot only do screens decrease melatonin production, watching TV in your bed teaches your subconscious mind the bed is a place to be awake. A major part of maintaining good sleep habits is making sure your brain knows beyond the shadow of a doubt bed = sleep.Doing things other than sleeping in your bed can break this unconscious association and forge new ones. If you work in bed, you teach your brain bed = work. If you watch TV in bed, you teach your brain bed = TV. This can lead to an inability to fall asleep in bed once you decide you want to because you’ve taught your brain the bed isn’t for sleeping. So it’s best to limit your activities in bed to just the ones that have to do with sleep.It Causes Eye ProblemsA lot of people watch TV in the dark when they’re settling into bed for sleep. The glare from backlights is bad enough for your eyes during the day, but in the dark, it’s truly horrible. Watching TV in the dark can lead to everything from eye strain to headaches and migraines to computer vision syndrome—visual problems caused by too much screen time.It Can Cause Weight GainThe simple convenience of having the TV in your bedroom will likely encourage you to watch more TV than you might otherwise have. And it’s no secret more TV means more weight gain. Not only does more time spent in front of the TV normally mean more sedentary time, but there’s evidence to suggest TV can actually make you eat more because you’re watching tons of food ads telling you to order in and consume junk food.It Can Increase Vulnerability to AdsSpeaking of ads, your brain is in a vulnerable state when you’re tired and preparing for sleep. Throw advertisements into the mix, and that’s a recipe for unnecessary spending because you’re more susceptible to external messages. What messages do most ads send? Buy stuff! Give us money! If you’re hearing this while you’re sleepy, you’ll be more likely to do it.FAQsShould I get rid of my TV altogether?While a TV in the bedroom is almost never a good idea, TV does have some upsides that might make it safer to keep it in your living room or basement rather than just ditching it altogether. First off, TV can be educational. You can find a program on just about any subject you want to learn more about, and these programs can be geared towards just about any age level.Second, TV show fandoms are tons of fun and create great bonding experiences between people who might otherwise have little in common. TV can also be great if you’re learning a new language, since it’s one of the easiest ways to expose yourself to natural conversations between people speaking your target language, helping you practice every day.Just like with everything else in life, moderation is key with TV.How much time do Americans spend on TV?The average American spends about 5 hours a day watching TV. This translates into nearly a full workweek and 15 years of your life on average. A huge portion of this time is commercials—17 days a year, in fact! No wonder TV can make you spend money and gain weight.Can I just watch my tablet in bed instead?No. While they’re not as big as TVs and therefore don’t have the same amount of blue light, watching your tablet, smartphone, laptop, or other devices will have the same detrimental effects as TV. They’ll reduce your melatonin production, impact your dreams, teach your brain the bed is not for sleeping, and cause distractions that prevent you from trying to sleep. Even though it’s really hard, it’s best to keep all screens out of the bedroom.What else can I do for better sleep besides losing the bedroom TV?In addition to keeping all electronic devices out of bed, there are tons of other healthy sleep habits you can engage in to improve your sleep. These good sleep habits are called sleep hygiene, and they include doing things like:Maintaining the same sleep and wake times every day (even weekends)Keeping your bedroom cool (within a few degrees of 65 Fahrenheit)Engaging in a pre-bedtime relaxation routine to signal to your brain it’s time for sleepAvoiding caffeine after lunch (it stays in your system for many hours)Getting at least 150 minutes of exercise a weekNot eating large meals right before bedtimeUsing blackout curtains to maintain total darkness in your bedroomWhat’s a healthy amount of TV to watch?Everybody’s different, but many of us might be thinking there are better things we could do with 35 hours a week than watch TV. The medical community tends to agree that the amount of TV the average American watches is too much—the general rule is anything over 3.5 hours per day is probably too much to be healthy.If you work full time and still watch 3.5 hours of TV a day, you’re spending nearly half of your non-working, non-sleeping hours vegging out on the couch, leaving a lot less time for things like exercising, spending quality time with family, enjoying your hobbies, and cooking healthy meals, so it’s best to limit your TV time to just the shows you can’t live without.Bottom LineOne of the best things you can do to improve your sleep is kicking the TV out of bed. Not only will it help you go to bed earlier, sleep longer and deeper, and wake up feeling more refreshed, but it might also help you reduce eye strain, stave off weight gain, and spend less money. With all that, it’s hard to come up with a good argument for keeping a TV in your bedroom.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.