Watching More Than This Amount Of TV A Day May Ruin Your Sleep

Scientists have put an exact number on it.
Stefano Madrigali via Getty Images

If you’re anything like me, you love nothing more than a late-night TV binge (I’m on a Good Girls rewatch right now ― why is their soundtrack so good?).

But scientists have recently discovered that yes, there does appear to be a point at which you’ve officially watched too much telly; and it can ruin your sleep.

As part of research published by Neurourology and Urodynamics, researchers looked into 2011-2016 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in the US.

They found that 32% of their 13,294 participants had experienced the urge to get up from their sleep to urinate at least twice a night ― this is a condition called nocturia.

Once they accounted for factors like age, weight, gender, race, and more, the scientists only found one significant variable ― watching a certain amount of TV per day.

How much TV is too much per day?

They found that those who watched TV for more than five hours a night were a whopping 48% more likely to experience nocturia.

On average, we Brits watch just over four hours a day ― meaning a lot of us are nearing the upper limit of telly.

However, while researchers say that “this study represents the first exploration of the correlation between TV and/or video viewing time and nocturia,” they acknowledge there may be other factors behind the association.

For instance, long TV binges are associated with physical inactivity and type 2 diabetes, both of which can cause nocturia.

And the researchers state in their study that “moreover, TV watching typically aligns with beverage consumption, leading to an elevated fluid intake”.

TV watching has long been associated with poor sleep, “and a decrease in sleep quality is closely linked to experiencing nocturia,” the scientists write.

While the authors of the paper do not claim to show any causality ― only correlation ― between TV watching and nocturia, “increasing public awareness of this potential health risk encourages individuals to be more mindful of their TV and/or video time,” they say.