It’s 4am and you’re still watching Orange is the New Black. You stayed in because you have to work early in the morning, but one episode turned into five and now there is no turning back. You close your eyes trying desperately to get to sleep, but all you can see are orange jumpsuits and prison bars. Your Netflix Binge has turned into an all-nighter and your boss is probably going to make fun of you for being hungover again, but little do they know you were sober, eating chips, and laughing at fictional convicts. So how do enjoy your Netflix binge without destroying your sleep?
According to Deloitte's 10th annual Digital Democracy Survey, 70% of Americans binge-watch TV. While doing so, these individuals often eat at late hours, are exposed to bright lights, and become excited and anxious, all of which can contribute to a hard time getting to sleep. So here are some tips to help you manage your binge-watching in order to still get to sleep and avoid some of the worst outcomes the next day.
Adjust the light on your TV! Blue light can keep an individual awake at night, as it suppresses their production of melatonin. Lower the backlight setting on your TV to its lowest level to help your brain understand that it’s getting toward bedtime. While you're at it, lower the volume, too. Loud noises are more likely to keep you awake and could startle you back to full consciousness if you do find yourself drifting off.
Skip the binge eating! Two binges at once is just asking for trouble. Don’t binge-watch and eat at the same time. Instead brew up some herbal tea, drink water, or even try a drinkable sleep supplement like Som Sleep. Eating before bed is a good way to put on weight and keep you awake.
Turn off Autoplay! Pick a time you want to turn of the TV and stick to it. Choose how many episodes you wish to watch and turn off the autoplay setting on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. By doing so, you can avoid the temptation of watching that next episode just because it starts automatically right after the previous one.
Binge on the couch! By reserving your bed exclusively for sleep and not entertainment, your brain will better connect your bed to the idea of going to sleep. Watching TV in bed can keep you awake for hours, as your brain will come to identify your bed as a space for laying down...awake. By bingeing on the couch, you’ll keep your bed defined solely as your sleeping environment and ease the transition between wake and sleep.
So, rejoice! You do not have to give up binge-watching Breaking Bad at night in order to get a great rest. Just follow these tips and you can do both! You will thank us and your boss will, too.