Study says binge watching is connected to lack of sleep

By Rylee Seavers | Broadcast Reporter

A study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has found a connection between lack of sleep in young adults and binge watching.

The study defined binge watching as “watching multiple consecutive episodes of the same television show in one sitting on a screen, be it a television, laptop, computer or tablet computer screen.”

Dr. Michael Scullin, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor, said the blue light emitted by screens makes our brain think the sun is rising, therefore making us feel more awake regardless of the time of day.

The study also found that the frequency of binge watching impacts sleep.

Scullin said this is due to altering your bodies circadian rhythms, which includes hormones like melatonin, which make a person tired.

“The more you are disturbing that, not just one night a week, but two nights a week, three nights a week, seven nights a week, the harder it’s going to be to get on a normal sleep schedule and get quality sleep. Sleep that’s restorative,” Scullin said.

Chicago senior, Liv Nortillo said that after binge watching she sometimes does not sleep as well or feels more fatigued.

“That’s why I try not to do it so much,” Nortillo said.”Because I know, personally, sleep is really important to me and so I want to make sure that I get my sleep,”

Sculling said cutting in to the eight hours meant for sleep in order to binge watch can have a negative effect on mood, socializing and learning abilities. Instead, he suggests finding other times for viewing or reducing time spent watching TV altogether.