We all know how important it is to make our bedrooms a comforting and peaceful place so that we can get the sleep we need. So should you have a TV in the bedroom? Below, we look at the advantages and disadvantages, and what they mean for your restful sleep.
Advantages of Having a TV in Your Bedroom
There are some people who are firmly against having a television in the bedroom, but there are several reasons why it might have some advantages.
Firstly, if we have limited mobility, fatigue, or face other health issues, having a TV in our bedrooms where we spend a lot of time can help entertain us and improve emotional wellbeing.
Additionally, having a TV in our bedroom may be a sound choice if, for example, we live in shared accommodation or have a limited number of rooms.
Studies show that watching a favourite TV show with our romantic partners might also help create shared experiences that deepen feelings of intimacy, something that goes hand in hand with creating a safe and warm atmosphere in our bedrooms.
Similarly, if we find the sound of a television comforting because it provides background noise, having a nature programme on or some other soothing show might be just what we need to help prepare for sleep.
Lastly, winding down after a busy day is really important too, especially if we have stressful jobs. If TV helps us feel more relaxed, it might improve our sleep routine to have the TV in the bedroom so we can watch it until we feel suitably calm and ready to switch off.
Disadvantages of Having a TV in Your Bedroom
Getting a good sleep relies on us having a tranquil space to rest, while televisions bring us hours of entertainment and distraction. Unless carefully managed, it’s easy to see how watching “just one more episode” of our favourite show could impact our sleep.
In addition, if we interrupt our sleep patterns by adding in another episode of our favourite show, we might not immediately feel the effects, but research shows that an inconsistent sleep pattern could increase our risk of ailments like diabetes and heart problems.
A large-scale study by the University College London from 2017 also found a link between children at the age of seven having a TV in their bedrooms and a greater risk of obesity as they moved into their teenage years.
Another study found that children with a television in their bedrooms were more likely to have what is considered an unhealthy amount of screen time, something that links with poor eyesight, weight gain and sleep problems.
Adults who use computers and phones a lot may also benefit from reducing their screen time by removing their television from the bedroom. Blue light from electronics is known to disrupt our sleep and cause problems like eye-strain and headaches.
Lastly, if we are spending all our time watching TV we might not be communicating with our partners. It might be better to remove the television from our bedrooms so that we can dedicate this time specifically to communication, intimacy and, of course, sleep.
All that said, there is still little research specifically into the effects of having a TV in our bedrooms, especially among adults, so these disadvantages aren’t necessarily the final word.
Minimizing Negatives if You Do Want a TV in Your Bedroom
Following a few carefully chosen rules could help reduce any negative effects of having a TV in the bedroom.
Everyone will have different rules, but we might decide on a specific time at which we turn off the TV so that we can help to limit screen time and stick to a sleep schedule.
If possible, having a way to hide the television or at least remove the remote from easy reach could also help to cut down on the temptation to turn to the TV if we are having trouble sleeping.
Also, carefully choosing what kinds of programmes we watch before bed could be another way of using TV to our advantage. One example might be shunning horror films and instead opting for calming, safe programmes that can help us wind down.
When we look at the research and the reasons for and against having a TV in our bedrooms, we realise that in terms of so-called sleep hygiene, it might not be the best choice we can make.
However, so long as we are careful about why television is there, having a TV in our bedrooms could be a good thing. It might give us ways of improving comfort, helping us wind down and even creating more intimacy with a partner.
As ever, sleep is such a personal thing, so listening to our intuition about what works for us and our family will be the best guide on whether to have a TV in the bedroom or not.
Do you have a TV in your bedroom or do you prefer your bedroom distraction-free? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!