Why it’s better not to fall asleep on the sofa

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You probably recognise the following scenario: after a long and tiring day, you can finally curl up on the sofa with a blanket. You grab a snack and you’re all set to watch your favourite series or film. But just before the end, your eyes suddenly feel very heavy and they close. It happens to all of us. But is falling asleep in front of the television as harmless as it seems?


From crime and drama series to cooking shows and reality TV, there's something for everyone. Watching television is a moment of relaxation for many, but it makes you less Zen than you might think. The film or series makes you think and constantly keeps your mind occupied. Your brain is active, which makes it harder for your body to prepare for the night. So you end up less relaxed under the covers than you had hoped.


Watching TV disrupts your sleep cycle

The most important phase of the sleep cycle is deep sleep. You need this deep sleep to wake up the next day refreshed and cheerful. If you fall asleep on the sofa in front of the TV in the evening, you will be in the light sleep phase for longer. You are also more likely to be woken up in between by flashes of light or the sound of your television. The sound of your television is not monotonous and can sometimes abruptly become very loud, for example, because of a commercial. Even if you wake up briefly and fall asleep again immediately, you will not get a good quality deep sleep. If you also leave your TV on all night, the quality of your sleep will decrease dramatically. 

When you wake up after your nap in front of the TV, you often have to move to the bedroom. As a result, you are wide awake again and your entire sleep cycle is disrupted. So we recommend going to bed as soon as you get sleepy. This way, you get up the next day with new energy. 


Blue light

Light has an effect on your sleep. As we mentioned earlier, it’s best to keep your bedroom as dark as possible. 
Even if your room is completely dark, your biorhythm will be disturbed if you’ve been in front of blue light before going to sleep. This is because of the short wavelength of the blue light rays that disrupt melatonin levels. Melatonin is the sleep hormone that makes us tired and sleepy. So less melatonin is produced when we scroll on our mobile phones and that is also the case when we stare at our TV screen. The blue light makes you less sleepy, which is not beneficial to your sleep. 

In addition, the blue light from the television screen triggers the production of the stress hormone cortisol. The stress your body experiences when watching an exciting series can also affect your sleep. Stress and sleep are an exhausting combination, which is why we would like to give you a few tips. 

So why do we fall asleep on the sofa so easily?

Not everything about watching TV is bad. If you want to stop your thoughts or want to let them wander, a series or film can certainly help. Because the background noise of your television has a very calming effect, you will easily fall asleep on your sofa. In addition, we often immediately lie down under our blanket, which makes it logical that we fall asleep faster. 

Fun fact: we fall asleep faster with an exciting series than to dull television.  

How do you make sure you don't fall asleep?

Sit up straight instead of lying in your sofa. It seems so tempting, but when you're tired and you lie down, your eyes will soon close. Also, during the commercials, stand up for a moment and walk around the house. This keeps your blood circulating well and gives you renewed energy. You can also get a glass of water to stay awake. Finally, make sure there’s sufficient light in the living room. The combination of a dark room and blue light is very tiring for your eyes.

Is falling asleep in front of the TV really harmless? There is no need to worry if you fall asleep on the sofa. There is not enough evidence to prove that it would be dangerous. What we do know for sure, is that you will get a better night’s sleep when you fall asleep without the TV and in a personalised bed. Does your sleep need improvement? Then make an appointment with one of our dealers to find a personalised sleeping solution.