Advertisement

Reduce Screen Time for Better Sleep

Reduce Screen Time for Better Sleep

Not getting enough sleep? Your TV habits may be the cause.

In Bedtime for Bonzo, when college professor Peter Boyd (Ronald Regan) attempts to demonstrate that he can teach a chimpanzee (Bonzo) right from wrong, the chimp seems to be enjoying the instruction. One important lesson he’s taught: When it’s time to hit the hay, it’s lights out!

Can humans today learn the lesson Professor Boyd was trying to teach Bonzo back in 1951—that getting to bed on time, with no TV or screen time, is essential for good brain health?

Many folks are late-night viewers—a University of Pennsylvania study found late-night TV (11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.) is a major reason up to 40 percent of US adults don’t get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep nightly. And it takes its toll on your brain!

A recent study in Nature Scientific Reports reveals that adults 50 and older who, over a six-year stretch, watch more than 3.5 hours of TV daily experience a greater cognitive decline than adults who watch 2.5 hours a day or less. That affects a lot of folks, since according to a 2016 Nielsen report, on average, American adults are watching five hours and four minutes of television per day.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with watching Dr. Oz (recorded or otherwise) and learning how to make your RealAge younger. But no TV in the bedroom! And keep your tube time to less than 2.5 hours per day. Don’t let it keep you up at night and you’ll be able to remember what you watched!

Tell Me Why…I Dream
Tell Me Why…I Dream
You’re in class and the teacher announces a surprise test. You haven’t studied, done homework or even been to class for weeks—and you may or may not b...
Read More
How can I improve my sleep?
Mercy HealthMercy Health
Here are a few tips to help you improve your sleep and get a better night's rest: Establish a reg...
More Answers
Can I make up for lost sleep on the weekend?
Carol Ash, DOCarol Ash, DO
We create "sleep debt" during the week, which many of us try to make up for by sleeping in on the we...
More Answers
What Can I Do to Avoid Waking Up at Night After Falling Asleep?
What Can I Do to Avoid Waking Up at Night After Falling Asleep?