January 23, 2020
The weather is dreary, we’re still skint from Christmas and we’ve got Netflix, BritBox, Amazon Prime and now a new series of Love Island to choose from. Yep, we’re well and truly into binge-watching season.
This Is What Binge-Watching TV Does To Your Brain And Body
But while we love a good marathon TV session, the desire to watch “just one more episode” before bed can spiral. Earlier this month, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy confirmed it knew of three patients in the UK being treated for “binge-watching addiction”. 
So when does binge-watching go from harmless entertainment to addiction, and what impact is it really having on our brains and bodies? 
GP Dr Paul Stillman explains that binge-watching can have a very real affect on our hormones, which can in turn impact our mental health and wellbeing. 
“Binge-watching TV can create a ‘high’ then a significant emotional downturn when we’ve finished watching,” he says. The high is caused by the production of chemicals such as dopamine which are released during any pleasurable activity – and that includes watching your favourite TV show.
“When binge-watching TV your brain is continually producing dopamine. You experience something like an addiction as your brain starts to create it. Simply getting immersed in the lives of characters, story lines and caring what happens in a TV show can become addictive.”
If you’re ditching friends and family or cancelling social engagements to watch a boxset, it can be a sign you’re becoming too reliant on that “high”, he adds. Other signs to be aware of included snacking rather than cooking meals and not sleeping as well.
Dr Roger Henderson, a GP and UK medical director of Liva Healthcare, says there’s “mounting evidence that heavy binge-watching may have an impact on our health” – particularly when it comes to sleep. “Electronic screens emit blue light which can impact on our production of melatonin – a key hormone involved in getting a good night’s sleep,” he tells HuffPost UK.Sleep can also be impacted by the fact that binge-watching is a sedentary activity, adds Dr Stillman, who is working with the MindYourBack campaign.
“First if you sit in one position for a long time it may cause back pain which can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep, second it can tempt you to sit every longer as you want to find out what happens next, third, violence and suspense before going to bed can leave you anxious and wide awake so that you can’t get to sleep,” he says.
Short-term, sleep deprivation can lead to fatigue, lack of concentration and a short temper, while research suggests longterm deprivation can increase the risk of serious health problems such as heart disease, heart attacks, stroke and high blood pressure. Sitting in one position for too puts an unhealthy strain on certain ligaments and muscles, says Dr Henderson, which can impact your posture.
“Certain positions are worse than others for this. So to prevent bad posture, avoid sitting slumped to one side, keep your feet supported, do not strain your neck for long periods while looking at a screen and avoid sitting for an extended period without taking a break,” he advises. 
Long periods of focusing on one screen – or multi-screening – may also be detrimental to our eyes, adds Dr Henderson. “This can cause eye strain, particularly if you are on your phone switching between screens,” he says. “Eye strain can cause increased headaches, blurred vision and difficulty focusing. Be sure to visit your optometrist if you are suffering from any of these symptoms.”
You needn’t cancel that Netflix subscription altogether, but having an awareness of your behaviour and staying tuned to impact on your body is key to keeping healthy.  “The best way to binge-watch is for an hour or two in the day rather than at bedtime or late in the evening, and ideally to avoid screen use for an hour before going to bed,” says Dr Henderson. “Try to take a break from watching after an hour or so even if you are engrossed in a show.”
And if you know you’re going to graze in front of the TV, prepare some healthy snacks beforehand, he says, rather than bingeing twice over on TV and crisps.READ MORE: What Happens To Your Brain And Body When You Only Get Six Hours Sleep? The Best Healthy Meal Delivery Kits For 2020 Here’s What Your Tongue Tells You About Your Health
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Brody Jenner, Kaitlynn Carter open up about working together after split | Page Six Celebrity News
May 07, 2021
SoF-7BataFw
Jessica Simpson divides fans with no-makeup Instagram photo | Page Six Celebrity News
May 07, 2021
HwqgnxhJejM
TikTok user who matched with Matthew Perry on Raya at age 19 speaks out | Page Six Celebrity News
May 06, 2021
8hEPvd2mCJ4
Ellen DeGeneres Will End Talk Show After 19 Seasons | Daily Pop | E! News
May 12, 2021
fl8PaCxyL-M
Porsha Engagement, Leo Unrecognizable? & Seth Talks Tom - "Nightly Pop" 05/11/21 | E! News
May 11, 2021
36i6CHqVzC0
Stripper Love, Who Crossed the Line? & Prostitute Problems - "Nightly Pop" 05/11/21 | E! News
May 11, 2021
jrUTOEEOM60
‘Dracula’s Castle’ Offers Tourists Covid Shots | TMZ TV
May 12, 2021
0x-SWFsRJwU
NJ Gov. Phil Murphy Says Vaccine Shot and Free Beer Program's Working | TMZ
May 11, 2021
CKH38Y7USsg
Kylie & Travis' Triple Date with Biebers, Kendall & Devin | TMZ TV
May 11, 2021
4sPkwvKFcHQ
'The Bachelor' Star Colton Underwood Addresses His Controversial Coming Out
May 12, 2021
kVERop3CQZo
Ashe Gets Personal in Debut Album 'Ashlyn,' Featuring Collab With Finneas
May 10, 2021
JddMS_MG6O4
ViacomCBS Stock Falls Despite Q1 Earnings and Paramount Plus Streaming Growth
May 06, 2021
YMV6KD0sfHg
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.