Maybe you wake up and instantly turn on the television. Perhaps you’re not sure if you even own a television. Is it that giant blob in the corner? The point is, we all have wildly varied relationships with our television. Some of us are addicted to the screen, while others watch infrequently for casual entertainment.
So, should you have a TV in your bedroom? Well, that’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? There’s a lot of genuine debate around having a television in the bedroom. For some families, televisions have always been banned from bedrooms. Meanwhile, others grew up with a set at the foot of their bed. The truth is, every family is different. What works for some of us won’t work for everyone. The only way we can properly analyze this issue is to look at the research and see what it says about the average individual. Then, it’s up to you to decide what works best.
First, let’s look at the benefits of booting the TV from the bedroom.
Pros of Ditching Your Bedroom TV
1. Better Sleep
This benefit lies at the top of every single article railing against bedroom televisions, and for good reason. Watching the television before bed or falling asleep with it on are scientifically proven to harm sleep. The light from televisions and other electronic screens automatically encourage brain activity.
While this normally might be a good thing, an active mind is not something you want right before bed. Television light can also warp your circadian rhythm because it prevents your body from making a lot of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by your body before bed to help you sleep.
2. Extra Sleep
What’s better than extra sleep? We all tend to complain about not having the time to sleep a few more hours, but let’s be honest. How often do we spend the time we should be sleeping surfing channels? If we remove the reason we stay up late, then extra sleep is a guarantee.
3. Entertainment-Sleep Separation
You’ve probably heard of work-life balance or work-life separation, but what about entertainment-sleep separation? I would argue that this dynamic is equally important. The reason we have televisions in our bedrooms is so we can be more comfortable. Who doesn’t want to snuggle under their fluffy comforter and watch reruns of their favorite TV show?
If we keep the television in the living room, then we might have to share with other people or sit upright on the couch instead of laying down. Most importantly, we can’t fall asleep in front of the television anymore. The excess amount of comfort from watching TV in the bedroom is exactly why we should stop.
It’s much easier to stay up way too late when you’re already in bed watching a movie, then when you’re sitting on the living room couch.
3. Save Money
Everyone wants a little extra spending cash, and the best way to get it is by cutting down on the television. One of the primary goals of relocating the bedroom TV is to watch less TV. As a bonus, this means the television is eating up far less of your electricity bill. Even turned off, electronics will suck up electricity. This standby-power is a leech on your total electricity usage and often amounts to 5-10% of your total bill. Yikes!
Cons of Removing the TV from the Bedroom
1. It’s Not Effective
Perhaps the most significant rebuttal against removing a bedroom TV is that it doesn’t work. Most of the detriments of having a television in the bedroom are the same as the disadvantages of having your phone or computer in the bed. For many people, televisions are becoming obsolete. We watch our favorite shows on our laptops and stream YouTube on our phones. What’s the point of taking the time to get rid of the TV, when we’re just going to scroll through Twitter until 2 am?
2. Relaxing Background Noise
Some people like to use their television sets as pleasant white noise as they work or get ready. It’s like putting on playlists or ambiance soundtracks, some quiet chatter to fill the silence as you work. If you already have a healthy relationship with TV usage, then there are no big benefits to ditching it.
3. Limited Space
Do you live in a tiny apartment or a college dorm room? There might be very few other options for storage besides removing the TV entirely. If you have a television and need to put it in the bedroom, it’s much more effective to tough it out and discipline yourself. Learn to stop your bad habits and create a better relationship with the screen.
One day, those late nights will catch up or you’ll oversleep for a meeting and be forced to fix your habits. But it’s much better for everyone involved if you start now without the negative ramifications.
4. We Are All Different
As with anything in life, we have different battles to fight. For some of us, the temptation to watch TV all the time is overwhelming. We get sucked into the nebulous void of sitcoms, action flicks, and crazy romantic comedies. However, other people don’t have that issue at all. Lots of people don’t enjoy watching television excessively. If you aren’t struggling with unhealthy side effects, why not leave the TV in your bedroom?
All right, now that we’re more informed, let’s go back to that million-dollar question. Should you have a TV in your bedroom? As mentioned before, that answer is solely up to you. If you remove the TV only to watch shows on your laptop, what was the point?
Having a healthy relationship with the electronic screens in our lives requires developing good habits. On the other hand, maybe banning bedroom television is the first step towards those good habits. There are plenty of scientifically proven health advantages of watching less TV, especially before bed. In the end, the decision is up to you.