If you’ve been spending all your free time watching episode after episode of Game of Thrones, you might want to limit your time hanging with Arya Stark and Jon Snow—even if you’re staying fit in the process.
Even though we all love—and borderline need—a good binge-watching sesh every so often, the habit’s unhealthy rep is hardly news. Watching too much TV impacts the way we eat for the worse, and now it might be the culprit behind your missing zzz’s.
Self-admitted binge-watchers had a 98 percent increased risk of poor sleep quality opposed to non-bingers.
According to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, binge-watching has officially been linked to everything from poor sleep quality to fatigue and increased insomnia. And not just because the activity keeps you up past your bedtime.
After analyzing survey results of 423 participants between the ages of 18 and 25 years old, researchers found self-admitted binge-watchers had a 98 percent increased risk of poor sleep quality opposed to non-bingers. The average watching session among the group was around three hours, meaning even a measly three episodes of your favorite show could be to blame for your sleep issues.
Beyond general viewing time, the type of show also matters. If you’re emotionally invested, you’re probably extra alert, which gives your system an added obstacle for calming down post-binge.
But fear not, TV addicts: You don’t need to go cold turkey on your beloved shows to sleep like a baby; just limit how often and how long you do it. And if you’re having trouble drifting into dreamland after a particularly exciting episode, try meditating to soothe your senses.
Or just try a new ritual: Hold the Netflix and just chill.
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