There are some people who don’t own televisions. We don’t get it, but to each his own. Then there are those who refuse to put a TV in their bedroom because it’ll ruin any chances of any sexy time going on in there. That, we sort of understand. But what if you want to watch a little news, catch some sports highlights or knock out a show before bed? Nope, you shouldn’t be doing that either.
No, not because of the dreams you will have (though we suggest saving Criminal Minds for daylight hours); rather, the light from your TV is messing with your melatonin levels. Thanks, science!
“We’re designed to sleep in the dark,” Dr. Guy Meadows of The Sleep School in West London told the Daily Mail. “When the sun comes up, the light receptors in the retina at the back of the eye tell us it’s time to wake up by inhibiting the release of melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy.”
If the TV is on while you fall asleep, that could prevent you from ever reaching that perfect, drooly, deep level of sleep. Because the light receptors in your eyes will still be able to pick up the dim light from the television, no matter how tightly shut they are. And you’ll feel the effects as soon as you wake up, especially if the bad nights of sleep become consistent.
The Daily Mail noted that sleep cycles and moods are very closely related, pointing to a study out of Ohio State University that divided 16 hamsters into groups of two, exposing them to bright light for 16 hours of the day. For the next eight hours, one half were then put in “true darkness” while the other eight were exposed to dim light, which were meant to mimic the effect of a TV on at night.
After eight weeks, the hamsters exposed to the dim light scored “significantly lower on a series of mood tests,” researchers found. The hamsters that didn’t get the total darkness also drank 20 per cent less sugar water than the other group, suggesting they weren’t getting the same enjoyment out of activities they used to find pleasurable.
No interest in sugar water? That’s crazy talk. So, moral of the story: If you have to catch up on your shows, do it before you get into bed so you aren’t in a foul mood the following day. Plus, your sex life might get a boost too. Win-win.