It’s no secret that binge-watching shows and movies can be addicting. Binge-watching has been declared a killer and a time-waster in recent years, but it’s not all bad. But what you may not know is that binge-watching can be good for your health. For starters, binge-watching is one of the most effective methods of preventing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
As for what else binge-watching can do for you, here are just six examples:
1-Helps you sleep better:
According to a 2015 survey on the sleep habits of 59,000 individuals in 100 countries, bingeing on TV shows is used as a tool for falling asleep more often than you might expect. Moreover, the survey showed that almost half of all people who use TV as a sleeping aid choose dramas as their method of choice. If you’re looking for your next show to help you sleep at night, try
something calming and soothing like The OA, Jane the Virgin, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, or Game of Thrones.
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Research has shown that people who watch television shows in a non-linear fashion-including those who binge-watch shows on Netflix, for instance- are less creative than those who prefer to watch the same programs linearly.
A study conducted by psychologists from the University of Texas and San Diego State University noted that linear television viewing is associated with “greater levels of critical thinking, complex reasoning, and open-mindedness.” Nevertheless, if you’re going to binge, it’s essential to choose your programming wisely. For example, The Newsroom, Mad Men, Sherlock, and House of Cards can stimulate your brain.
3-Enhances social relationships:
A study conducted by the University of Michigan, for instance, discovered that people who watched more than two hours of television per day were significantly less likely to feel lonely than those who watched less than 30 minutes per day. The same study also found that binge-watching can enhance your quality of life by making you feel invested in the world around you and giving you a way to engage with people.
Binge-watching television can also be a form of therapy. According to a study published in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, watching TV can reduce stress. Still, the type of programming you choose to watch impacts how well the practice works. The study showed that watching “problem-solving programs,” like Sherlock, for example, decreased participants’ cortisol levels (a stress hormone) by 23 percent.
5-Finding meaning and insight:
If you’re looking for a new way to help you find meaning and valuable insights, try watching a TV show that requires you to develop empathy. For example, Breaking Bad helped viewers understand by making them question what it means to be “good,” and in the process, viewers learned something about themselves. Or you can watch an inspiring documentary-like: The Black Woman Speaks, which exposes the lingering effects of slavery on present-day black women.
6-Helps you overcome sadness:
If you’ve ever felt nostalgic about a show you used to watch, it’s probably because of the reminders it offered you of happier times. A study conducted by researchers at the Queen Mary University of London found that 52 percent of viewers who had watched a show many years ago returned to re-experience the feelings associated with their favorite TV moments. These feelings include positive memories, nostalgia, and a sense of connection to the characters onscreen.
Additionally, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, people who watch television series regularly tend to be less sad and more optimistic as time goes on.