New research shows that binge-watching television can harm your health. Binge-viewing is watching back-to-back TV shows for a long time in a single sitting. It has been increasing across the world because of online streaming and downloading services. Researchers from universities in the USA and Belgium surveyed 423 people aged 18-25 on their TV-viewing habits. They found that binge-viewing greatly interrupted sleep patterns. Professor Jan Van den Bulck said: "Our study signals that binge-viewing is prevalent in young adults and that it may be harmful to their sleep."
The researchers asked people about sleep quality, levels of fatigue and insomnia. They also asked how often they binge-watched programs on televisions, laptops and computers. Over 80 per cent of the participants said they binge-watch. Over 20 per cent do so several times a week. Binge-watchers are 98 per cent more likely to sleep poorly. A researcher said: "Bingeable TV shows have plots that keep the viewer tied to the screen….They become intensely involved with the content and may keep thinking about it when they want to go to sleep." She said this caused sleep problems.