Is it OK to Have a Television in the Bedroom?
The debate surrounding the presence of a television in the bedroom has been ongoing for years, with opinions often divided between those who believe it provides relaxation and entertainment, and those who argue it can interfere with sleep and intimacy. This comprehensive article examines the pros and cons of having a television in the bedroom, as well as expert advice from various fields, including sleep specialists, psychologists, and interior designers.
Pros of Having a Television in the Bedroom
Image: Oleh Motorin
There are several advantages to having a television in the bedroom, which makes it an appealing option for many people.
Relaxation and De-Stressing
Some experts argue that watching shows we enjoy can help us wind down and de-stress after a long day. Since watching television is a passive activity that doesn’t require active engagement like video games or scrolling through social media, our brains are more relaxed than with other forms of entertainment. The type of content we watch is crucial, as our moods can be affected by the shows or movies we choose.
Bonding Tool for Couples
Watching television together can strengthen the connection between couples by sharing a common experience. Just as having shared hobbies or friends, enjoying the same movies or shows can act as a form of social bonding. According to psychology professor Gwendolyn Seidman, Ph.D., sharing media with one’s partner can create greater feelings of closeness and commitment, particularly for couples with separate social circles.
A Better Alternative to Smartphones and Computers
Although it is still better to have no screen time before bed, watching television might be less harmful to sleep than using smartphones or computers. A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that severe sleep problems correlated to those with the highest levels of interactive screen time. On the other hand, passive media usage, such as watching television, was found to be a weaker risk factor for sleep impairment.
Cons of Having a Television in the Bedroom
Despite the advantages, there are also significant downsides to having a television in the bedroom.
Disruption of Sleep
The presence of a television in the bedroom can lead to sleep disturbances due to mental stimulation from binge-watching, resulting in insomnia, fatigue, and poor sleep quality. Watching television before bed can also suppress the sleep hormone melatonin and disrupt the body’s circadian rhythms. To maintain a healthy sleep environment, it is recommended to turn off electronic devices at least an hour before bed.
Barrier to Intimacy and Impact on Sex Life
Having a television in the bedroom can create a barrier to intimacy and negatively affect couples’ sex lives. According to sleep specialist Dennis Rosen, M.D., people might not realize that watching an extra hour of TV can lead to a decline in their sex lives. In fact, a National Sleep Foundation poll revealed that almost half of British men were willing to give up sex for six months for a new 50-inch plasma screen TV.
Expert Opinions on Television in the Bedroom
Several experts from various fields have shared their perspectives on the pros and cons of having a television in the bedroom.
Sleep experts generally advise against having a television in the bedroom, as it can disrupt the ideal sleep environment, which should be cool, quiet, dark, and clutter-free. Lisa Artis, deputy CEO of The Sleep Charity, recommends that electronic devices be switched off an hour before bedtime, or even banned from the bedroom altogether.
However, if watching television before bed is a part of your relaxation routine, sleep experts suggest turning off the TV at least an hour before bed or choosing light-hearted or familiar content to avoid anxiety.
According to psychologists, having a television in the bedroom can provide psychological benefits, such as relaxation and bonding for couples. However, it is essential to balance these benefits with the potential negative effects on sleep and intimacy.
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From an interior design perspective, incorporating a television into a bedroom can be challenging due to limited space and the need to maintain a relaxing atmosphere. However, interior designers Jenna Choate-James and Mariana Ugarte of Interior Fox argue that having a television in the bedroom is ultimately a personal choice and can be incorporated into the room’s design in a way that doesn’t disrupt the overall aesthetic.
Feng Shui and Television in the Bedroom
According to feng shui principles, having a television in the bedroom is considered bad for the flow of chi energy in the room. The reflective surface of the TV can bounce positive chi out of the room, while the strong yang energy of an electronic device can overpower the yin energy needed for a peaceful and relaxing space.
However, there are several feng shui remedies to counter the negative energy produced by a television in the bedroom:
- Cover the TV screen with a towel or blanket when not in use.
- Place the TV inside a media cabinet or armoire to keep it out of sight.
- Position a portable folding screen between the bed and TV to block the screen.
- Avoid placing the TV in front of windows, or close the drapes behind it to diffuse yang energy.
Tips for a Good Night’s Rest
To ensure a good night’s sleep, the National Sleep Foundation recommends:
- Sticking to a nightly sleep schedule.
- Avoiding alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals at night.
- Practicing a consistent bedtime ritual.
- Finding the right mattress.
- Working with your body’s natural circadian rhythm by using blackout curtains to block interfering light.
The decision to have a television in the bedroom ultimately depends on personal preferences and lifestyle. While it can provide relaxation and bonding opportunities for couples, it may also disrupt sleep and intimacy. By considering the pros and cons, as well as expert opinions and feng shui principles, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to include a television in your bedroom. If you do decide to keep a TV in your bedroom, remember to balance its usage with healthy sleep habits and create an environment that promotes rest and relaxation.