Wanting people to binge TV shows is one thing, but trying to combat sleep is a bit more precarious. A month after Netflix CEO Reed Hastings stated his company is “competing with sleep,” in an earnings call, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) explained ways to binge watch Netflix without damaging your health.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the 42-year-old association dedicated to sleep medicine explained how inconsistent sleep due to binge-watching could increase the likelihood of “workplace accident or drowsy driving crash.” Netflix and sleep may forever remain proverbial enemies, but AASM wants the two to at least coexist, for our sake. “Responsible binge-watching is the way to balance your personal entertainment with your health and well-being,” AASM President Dr. Ronald Chervin said in a statement.
Binge-watching has evolved from being a pejorative for the anti-social to a way of life. According to a recent report, 70 percent of Americans binge on at least five episodes of a program at a time. Those are just average Americans, not the ones trying to make history. Last year, a 25-year-old man binge-watched 94 hours of TV episodes to break the Guinness World Record for longest television binge-watching marathon.
Knowing how daunting a task it could be for people to watch less TV, the AASM has some helpful tips to curbing the binge. Here are AASM’s top tips to stream without harming yourself:
- Set an episode limit each night before you begin watching
- Take a break between each episode to get out of the “auto-play” loop
- Download episodes on your smartphone to control how many you watch at once
- Schedule time on the weekend to catch up on your favorite shows
- To minimize the alerting effects of brightly lit screens at night, use one of the apps for your computer, tablet, and smartphone that filters blue light after sunset
- Stream videos to your TV instead of your mobile device at night to reduce exposure to brightly lit, handheld screens
- Avoid using mobile devices while in bed
- Turn off all screens at least a half-hour before your bedtime