June 10, 2009
TV Watching Cuts Into Sleep Time?

TV is bad for your health.

According to the authors of the study, Mathias Basner, MD, MS, MSc, and David F. Dinges, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, they were surprised to find that watching television seemed to be the most important time cue for the beginning of the sleep period, rather than hours past sunset or other more biological factors. So, in fact, TV may make people stay up late, while alarm clocks make them get up early, potentially reducing sleep time below what is physiologically needed.

Sleeping less than 7-8 hours daily impairs alertness and is associated with increased obesity, morbidity and mortality. Despite this fact, up to 40 percent of Americans sleep for less than the recommended time per night.

"Given the relationship of short sleep duration to health risks, there is concern that many Americans are chronically under-sleeping due to lifestyle choices," said Dinges. Dr. Basner added that "According to our results, watching less television in the evening and postponing work start time in the morning appear to be the candidate behavioral changes for achieving additional sleep and reducing chronic sleep debt. While the timing of work may not be flexible, giving up some TV viewing in the evening should be possible to promote adequate sleep."

Since lack of sleep causes obesity and that leads to metabolic syndrome that television calling you from across the room is killing you. You might find it hard to resist the lure of the television. It is everywhere. Many are pulled in by the siren's song. But wait, I wrote this post to let you know there is a way to escape: you just have to move and then you will find yourself safely living in an Amish paradise.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 June 10 11:34 PM  Brain Sleep

Mthson said at June 11, 2009 12:37 AM:

Do researchers have any idea yet how we might eventually reduce the number of sleep hours our bodies need? I don't really see people talking about that, but it's something almost the entire population would enjoy. It could create huge gains in both productivity and quality of life.

Kane said at June 11, 2009 5:25 AM:

While Mthson's point is well-taken, I more appreciate his post's timestamp.

Lono said at June 11, 2009 8:27 AM:

Nice - but is yours really any better?

Fortunately for many of us gratuitous consumers of media the DVR has allowed us the luxury of a much more flexible lifestyle.

(VCR's weren't efficent enough for the task)

However I find myself far more often seduced by the siren song of the Internet than the Television - particularly when I am foolish enough to engage in interactive media that requires inherently a social component between myself and other participants.

This is why I would never voluntarily engage in an MMORPG as I am not interested in a virtual reality where I am expected to hold a second (and non paying) job.


morpheus said at June 12, 2009 4:07 PM:

one of those usless studies

that even a todler gets witout a study

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