Published on November 13th, 2020 | by Bibhuranjan


How to Make Netflix Less Destructive to Your Sleeping Routine

If you’re a Netflix binge-watcher, you’ve probably been there: Staring at the TV, playing episode-after-episode, until you check the time, and realize you’re just a few hours away from getting ready for work. It’s a scary feeling and adds to your anxiety, ridding you of some quality and much-needed sleep!

While I understand TV shows like “The Queen’s Gambit” make for some seriously good entertainment, your binging habits can be quite harmful for your health. A growing amount of evidence suggests that late-night video binging seriously damages your sleeping patterns, which is a recipe for failure.

It does so by disrupting your circadian rhythms (responsible for our sleep-wake cycle and our body’s sensitivity to light). When such an instance occurs, you brain switches off the production of melatonin, which is an incredibly important component for sleep-wake cycle, resulting in increased fatigue.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some ways recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) for enjoying binging, while making sure you get enough rest!

Set a Limit on the Number of Episodes to Binge

Don’t just fire up the latest season of The Walking Dead and decide as-you-go on how many episodes you can squeeze in prior to sleeping. As part of your new binge-watching routine, you’ll be deciding this beforehand and then try sticking to that limit, regardless if you encounter a cliffhanger episode.

If an episode ranges between 45 to 60 minutes, it would be wise to binge only 4 episodes before the clock hits “snooze” time. You can set an alarm, if needed. This will alert you instantly on when you should stop watching Netflix, as to not exceed your limits, contributing to a better sleeping routine.

Get Out of the “Auto-Play” Loop: Take Breaks!

According to the AASM, one of the most problematic features of streaming platforms like Netflix is the “auto-play loop”. Watching episode after episode is quite addictive, and without any control, stopping the playback may seem like a bad idea, especially if you are hooked to the TV show.

Therefore, make it a habit to take small breaks between episodes. You can even change Netflix’s settings to turn off the auto-play feature. Since you’ll be required to manually load the next episode, it may prevent you from being glued to the screen mindlessly like an addict.

Avoid Using Your Smartphone Before Sleeping

Users in Canada and around the world who want to unblock the American version of Netflix often invest in a VPN solution. Now, you can use the best VPN for Canada to unblock the US Netflix, but exploring an even vast library can only lead to more screen time, which is bad for your sleeping routine.

It’s incredibly easy to watch episode after episode on your smartphones when cozily tucked in, but this can keep your mind active for longer than is healthy. Therefore, make it a habit to keep your gadgets away from where you sleep, as the glowing display even strains the eyes. Instead, if you want to binge on Netflix, try streaming on a bigger and more distant screen.

Binge Lengthy Shows on the Weekend

Just like all good things in life, you need to be a little responsible to keep things fun and entertaining. The same goes for your Netflix binge-watching habits. If it goes unchecked, you may find yourself becoming addicted, thanks to Netflix’s attention-grabbing content and the constant pumping of dopamine.

As a result, if you want to keep your sleeping routine in check, it would be a wise decision to add all the lengthy TV shows for your weekend watch list. This way, you won’t have to worry about waking up for work the next day and can binge as much as you want, without any hassles or stresses.

Change Your Devices Settings for Light

After a lot of study and researches on how artificial (blue light) from screens disrupt circadian rhythms, which causes poor sleeping patterns and eventually insomnia; most computers, laptops, and smartphones now give users the option to activate a “blue light filter”.

This prevents your brain from perceiving the light your screen emits as daylight when using it, as a result, causing less strain on your eyes and avoiding any damage to your circadian rhythms. Change your devices settings to activate this filter on a schedule and make sure to use it on a daily basis.

Wrapping Up

Netflix is continuing to dominate the streaming industry; boasting over 65 million subscribers in the U.S. alone and over 167 million worldwide. “The Netflix Effect” is now so real that even a small change can cause ripples in the industry, while presenting opportunities to even the underrated to gain overnight fame, due to millions of people binge-watching a particular series at a single time.

However, despite all this popularity of the streaming platform, what most forget is how disturbing it can be for your sleeping routine in general. The vast entertainment available is just too addictive and can be problematic, especially for those people who look for an escape. If you find yourself feeling to lethargic or exhausted lately due to your binge-watching habits, make sure to follow the advices above!

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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