How Does Binge Watching Effect Your Health?
Published | 5 min read
Binge watching can lead to unhealthy habits that negatively impact your weight, skin, heart, and digestion. These tips can help you make watching TV a healthier activity.
In 2013, Netflix made it possible for viewers to watch as many episodes of a TV show as they want. This is different from traditional TV, which requires you to wait one week between episodes.
Additionally, more than
However, binge watching is linked to serious health effects that may negatively affect your productivity, weight, and even your heart. These side effects may be worse if you’re staying up late and eating unhealthy snacks while watching TV.
In this guide, we’ll explain why you may want to cut back on binge watching, and how to make the experience healthier when you do watch TV.
Health Dangers Of Binge Watching TV
When you sacrifice regular sleeping hours to watch multiple episodes of the latest drama, your body will face the consequences of staying up all night. You might be tearing up from the emotions of your favorite character dying, but your eyes will end up being dry and uncomfortable from late nights.
Other health risks include:
There is a strong relationship between sleep deprivation and
Moreover, having poor sleep quality has been shown to induce atherosclerosis, a heart condition where plaque build-up in the arteries can obstruct the blood flow and could be fatal.
Weight gain and digestive issues
If you‘re staying up late, chances are you’re going to be snacking. Consuming food during what should be your sleeping time is unhealthy behavior. It is also the reason why staying up late could lead to a higher body mass index (BMI) and risk of obesity.
Developing eye bags and dark undereye circles are just one of the many skin-related problems that would arise if you’re sleep-deprived.
Reduced sleep time is thought to bring about a break in skin barrier function and mucous membranes so a lack of sleep can impair your skin’s integrity.
From Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (TCM) point of view, too much binge-watching can deplete the
An abundance of
Tips For Staying Healthy While Binge-Watching
There are some things that you can do for your health if you’re a binge-watching enthusiast:
Set a curfew
TCM believes that we should be awake and asleep according to our meridian clock. According to this, our ideal bedtime is 11 pm.
Staying up past 11 pm prevents the regeneration of Liver
Set a curfew for yourself and plan your binge-watching time carefully. If it helps, try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you when it’s time to stop watching TV and go to bed.
Consume healthy snacks and supplements
Instead of drinking carbonated beverages and reaching for fried chicken at midnight, try something healthier. For beverages, you can opt for herbal teas.
American ginseng tea can replenish
Furthermore, teas like
If you feel the need to snack, avoid fried, oily and salty snacks. Fresh fruit, for example, would be a healthier option.
Acupressure can be done on your own and the best thing is, you don’t even have to take your eyes off your screen to do it. You can massage these six easily reached acupoints to relieve tension:
San Yin Jiao (SP6)
- Tai Chong (LV3)
- Zu San Li (ST36)
- Bai Hui (DU20)
- Tai Yang (EX-HN5)
- Feng Chi (GB20)
Since most forms of entertainment were limited during the pandemic, it’s no wonder that more people relied on binge-watching shows on Netflix and other streaming services to relax. However, you should know when it’s time to hit pause and practice self-discipline when necessary.
If you need additional help falling asleep at night, consider an herbal sleep formula. This can help you adopt a bedtime routine and set your internal clock so your body knows when it’s time to sleep.
This is an adaptation of an article, “Keep An Eye On The Ball & Your Health – This World Cup,” which first appeared on Eu Yan Sang website.
- International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020. Understanding the Phenomenon of Binge-Watching—A Systematic Review.
- Pubmed. 2021. Binge Watching during COVID-19: Associations with Stress and Body Weight
- Pubmed. 2010. Can poor sleep affect skin integrity?
- Communications Biology. 2021. Role of sleep deprivation in immune-related disease risk and outcomes.
- GeroScience. 2021. Effects of sleep deprivation on endothelial function in adult humans: a systematic review.
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