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Should You Ban the TV From Your Bedroom?

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Updated February 28, 2013

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: Should You Ban the TV From Your Bedroom?
Answer:

You may think it's crazy, but should you ban the TV from your bedroom? For many it is as much a part of the daily routine as a morning cup of coffee: drifting off to sleep to the wisecracks of Conan or Letterman, or another selection from hundreds of channels. But could these late-night television shows be ruining your sleep?

Sleep experts recommend reserving the bedroom space for only sleep and sexual activity, yet many of us also have televisions there. It is likely that this leads to some level of sleep disruption. The persistent stimuli may delay the onset of sleep, cutting into an already sub-optimal total sleep time. Moreover, once we fall asleep the noise may keep us in lighter stages of sleep longer. If one awakens in the presence of external stimuli, the degree of consciousness may be increased, and sleep may be further disrupted.

If you are having difficulties with daytime sleepiness or insomnia, it may be time to boot the television from the bedroom.

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