Repeat after us: a TV does NOT belong in the bedroom. Transform your relationship in one fell swoop, Darling. Ditch that boob tube for good.
You walk into your bedroom only to find your significant other staring zombie-like at another episode of “Finding Bigfoot,” while chips and popcorn are strewn about the bed. Nothing’s more attractive, right?
The average person in the U.S. watches about five hours of television per day, which adds up to 35 hours each week. Just so we’re on the same page, that is nearly a full-time job.
Binge-watching Netflix in your living room is bad enough, but worshipping a TV in your bedroom is one of the worst decisions you can make for a variety of reasons. If you value your physical and mental health, as well as your relationship, read on for why you should smash that TV now.
Although the effects of having a TV in your bedroom might go unnoticed, they are still there. Here are a few ways relationships will improve once the TV is gone for good out of the bedroom:
- The sex gets better. While sex for men is somewhat mental, for women, the mind is everything. That means when a woman sees her partner lying in bed, covered in cheese puffs and passed out during an episode of the Simpsons, she’s probably not going to pounce on the bed in a good way.
Studies show that having a television in your bedroom cuts your likelihood for sex in half. So what will you choose: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or some real-life romance?
- You’ll communicate more effectively. It’s proven there is a correlation between television and a diminishing level of cognizance. When you and your partner both are focused on television shows and use television as a way to escape from reality, your real issues are set aside.
Watching reality shows also gives couples a false ideology of what relationships should be like. In turn, you’re more likely to think your relationship isn’t “perfect,” which will result in pent-up resentment and emotions. Ditch the reality TV show and instead foster your own reality with your spouse by cuddling and talking in bed.
- There will be less bickering and fighting. Your perfect night of binge-watching Game of Thrones from your side of the bed might not align with your spouse’s perfect night of reading for half an hour and peacefully drifting off to sleep.
Having a television in the bedroom is an open invitation for a fight. If you want to watch the HGTV transformation of a 6,000 sq. foot home and your spouse doesn’t, one person isn’t going to be happy. From not being able to agree on what to watch or when the television should be on, your relationship will likely struggle more if you have a TV in the bedroom.
Physical Health Benefits
Along with the added calories you’ll burn from some extra hanky-panky, there are other reasons you should banish the television from your bedroom for your physical health:
- Sleep takes priority. You might not think much about how you’ll sleep when you’re watching an action movie right before bed, but chances are, it won’t be quality rest. The content matter of what you watch before you glide off into dreamland greatly affects how well you will sleep. Anything action- or horror-driven will keep you awake longer because of the adrenaline your body creates while watching the show.
Don’t take the above as an open invitation to watch any comedy or reality show, though. The lights alone from the television greatly affect your circadian rhythm. Give yourself a good hour or two before bed with NO screens—meaning no phone, tablet, computer, or television.
- Headaches are reduced. With the shift in technology from simple cellphones to smartphones and tablets, people are spending more and more time tied to their screens every day. With the average American spending around five hours watching television a day, plus the time you spend at the computer or looking at your phone, eye strain is a big concern of healthcare professionals.
Eyestrain can trigger headaches or migraines, leaving you feeling miserable and wasting even more time when you could be productive. If you have to look at a screen for long periods of time because of work, take frequent short breaks to reduce the overall exposure time—and don’t indulge in too much television.
- Activity levels will increase. TV + Bedroom = Recipe for Weight Gain, especially for children who have a television in their bedroom. When you don’t have a television in your bedroom, you’ll sleep much better, leaving you feeling well-rested and energized. Use that extra energy to burn some calories! Pick up a hobby like taking nature walks or biking.
Mental Health Benefits
The physical health benefits are often enough to convince most folks the TV in their bedroom might not be the best idea. However, there are also some aspects of your mental health that can improve when you ditch the bedroom TV:
- Feelings of depression and loneliness may decrease. When you only have a television in your living space and not in your bedroom, you’re less likely to avoid binge-watching television, which is very good news. Binge-watching television is linked to loneliness and depression. Just because you’re watching fulfilling relationships on your TV doesn’t mean you’re getting anything from it. Entertainment is entertainment and should be left at that.
- Healthier thoughts will flourish. What you do upon waking and right before you go to bed can greatly affect your mood. Watching TV doesn’t do you any favors in the happiness camp.
When you wake up, avoid looking at your phone or television for at least 20-30 minutes. Turning the TV on in your bedroom can be tempting, but it will actually take you longer to get ready for work or school. Replace your morning or night TV time with these activities:
- Write a short note in a journal or diary.
- Jot down a goal or two for the day or for the following morning.
- Use some of your extra time to take a quick 15-minute walk outside before you start your day.
- Make a healthier breakfast or late-night snack than you would normally have if you had been watching your favorite show.
- Say “thank you” to someone who helped you during the week by writing a thank you card for them. Gratitude is an amazing cure-all.
- Productive habits can now fill your life. Giving up television, even if just at night, means you’ll have a fair amount of extra time on your hands. Take that time to self-invest. Treat yourself to a massage, do yoga or meditate. You might even be able to find some daily stress relief by coloring a picture.
There is a good chance once you take a break from TV for a while, you’ll notice your creativity will increase… along with a better mood.
For those of you who are concerned with only the tangible effects, this section is for you. Giving up that TV in your bedroom can save you money in more ways than you might think:
- Ditch some cable costs. If you have cable, you know the pain associated with paying your bill. Any add-ons like HBO, Cinemax or Showtime just continue to raise the rates. In five years, the average cable cost has increased by almost 40 percent, and it’s set to continue skyrocketing.
Even if you just remove the television in your bedroom, your cable cost will likely decrease slightly. You’ll also save some money by not paying for electricity to that TV.
- Your spending habits will change. You swear and declare those Superbowl ads don’t affect you. You laugh at them, right?
Advertisers are no idiots. They know most Americans have at least two if not three televisions in their homes—usually one in the living room and the other in the bedroom or basement. If the advertisers can find you when you’re in bed, half asleep, they’ve done their job well. New research shows you’re more prone to act on advertisements when you’re tired. It’s just another reason to banish the bedroom television.
- Reality TV is not reality. Reality is not the Kardashians, the Bachelor, or even HGTV. Reality is made up of the moments you are missing because you’re choosing to watch someone else’s reality.
Think of it this way: If you watch an average of 35 hours of TV per week, you are spending 1,820 hours a year. That is the equivalent of almost 76 days, or 20 percent of the year. Repeat that habit for just five years, and one entire year of your life has been spent watching television. Would you rather watch someone’s dreams come true on TV, or make your own happen in real life?
If you’re ready to throw the TV out of your bedroom for good, here are a few ideas you can start with to fill those extra hours during the week:
- Partner up with a friend or your spouse to walk or workout two or three times a week.
- Have amazing sex with less distractions (you can thank us later).
- Call a friend you haven’t connected with in a long time.
- Get out and enjoy beautiful weather by biking, hiking or rollerblading.
- Have an impromptu dance party while you’re getting ready for work.
- Snuggle with your spouse and talk about absolutely anything that comes to mind.
- Adopt a shelter pet for companionship and to encourage you to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle.
- Pick up a new hobby, like crocheting, fishing or web design.
Don’t let life pass you by because you have your eyes glued to the television. Embrace a healthier lifestyle today by getting rid of that bedroom TV set.
About the Author
Megan Wild is a home decor expert who loves helping couples design the home of their dreams. You can check out more of her tips on her blog, Your Wild Home.