Published on June 26th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
How To Netflix & Chill With Your Partner Like A Pro
With the need to socially distance right now, it’s likely you’ve been doing a lot more ‘Netflix and Chilling’ than normal recently.
From binge-worthy documentaries like Tiger King to the hilarious Rick & Morty, there are literally thousands of shows available to make your time simply fade away while self-isolating.
However, while these shows may fill you with endless hours of enjoyment, they can also have a negative effect on both your ability to fall asleep and the quality of sleep you eventually manage to get.
But have no fear – we’re here to help. In this article, we will run through some of the best ways to Netflix & Chill like a pro, helping you watch your favourite shows in a way that won’t wreak havoc on your sleep.
First things first, it’s important to understand why late-night binge-watching has such a negative effect on sleep quality. So, with this in mind, welcome to ‘Sleeping 101’.
When most people talk about ‘late-night TV being bad for you’, they’re referring to the effect it has on your circadian rhythm. This natural, biological process is something we all have – a 24-hour internal clock that controls our ability to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
When we watch TV late at night, this contributes to what’s known as ‘circadian misalignment’ – a variety of circumstances that impact our sleep-wake cycle, including our body’s sensitivity to light.
Since the type of light emitted from your TV effectively tricks your brain into thinking it’s daylight outside, it switches off the production of a hormone called melatonin – a key component to the correct regulation of your sleep-wake cycle. This, in turn, causes your sleep to suffer as a result, leading to increased levels of fatigue and symptoms of insomnia.
But that’s not the only reason why watching Netflix before bed affects your sleeping pattern – there are also the types of shows you watch to consider as well.
Say, for instance, you decide to watch a new show or film before drifting off to sleep. Since you don’t know what’s going to happen next, this piques your level of attachment to whatever you’re watching, becoming nervous about an upcoming development or thrilled at a certain character death (i.e. King Joffrey in Game Of Thrones). These feelings then make your heart pound and body feel more alert, keeping you from getting to sleep at a sensible time.
So, what can you do?
While avoiding TV before bed is the obvious solution, we can appreciate that’s much easier said than done – especially while stuck inside during the lockdown.
That said, there are a number of ways to make your Netflix watching experience less disruptive to your sleeping pattern. Here are a few ideas to think about:
- Rewatch Shows. When you head to bed, try to watch TV shows and films you’ve seen before. This will limit your level of arousal and prevent you from becoming so attached to whatever you’re watching before bed.
- Change Your Device Settings. Most phones, laptops and computers now offer an option to activate a blue light filter, which prevents your brain from perceiving the light it emits as daylight when you use it. Set it on a schedule and use it daily.
- Buy Orange Glasses. In a similar way to the blue light filter on your phone, orange glasses have a specialised lens which significantly blocks the light out in a similar way. We’d recommend an over-eyeglasses pair rather than the traditional option, but it depends how trendy you want to look.
- Stick To A Routine. Don’t think that catching up on sleep at the weekend will make up for the sleep you’ve lost during the week – it won’t. It’s more important to stick to a routine that helps you maintain a consistent sleep pattern, even if that means sacrificing a bit of your weekend lie-in.
- Keep It Cool. Having the right environment to sleep in is imperative to getting a good night’s rest. Too hot and you’ll be sweating under the covers. Too cold and you’ll be snuggling under them for warmth. The ideal temperature sits somewhere between 60°F and 67°F, so set your heating schedule accordingly.
- Keep It Dark. How dark? Well, your bedroom should be so dark you don’t know the sun has come up. That dark. Even having blackout shades or curtains may not make the room dark enough, so we’d recommend either wearing a mask or paying a little extra and investing in an electric roller blackout blind.
- Keep It Quiet. It actually doesn’t make much difference if you think you’ve gotten used to the ambient noise outside your window – whether it be annoying police sirens, air conditioners, street traffic, or your snoring partner. Your sleep quality is still being compromised so invest in a pair of earplugs to help block it out.
Watching Netflix before bed can be a lot of fun but it’s important to consider how it can affect your sleeping pattern.
While you may feel confused, worried and bored self-isolating right now, it’s important to keep to a routine where you can and, where possible, try to avoid using your phone, tablet, computer or TV before bedtime.
In doing so, this will not only ensure you get a better night’s sleep, but it’ll also enable you to focus on your favourite shows properly when you watch them during the day.
Now, with all this talk of Netflix, I’m in the mood for a film. Where on earth did I put that pair of orange glasses?!