What happens if I fall asleep with the TV on? Doctor’s grave warning stuns

Falling asleep with the TV on could be doing more damage than you realise, a doctor has warned.

Dr Joe Whittington explained how staying in front of a TV screen overnight could lead to diabetes, weight gain and high blood pressure.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Why you should never fall asleep with TV on.

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“Falling asleep with the TV on may actually shorten your life and negatively affect your health. Here’s why,” the American emergency doctor said.

To back up his statement, Dr Whittington referenced a 2022 study conducted by Chicago researchers from the Northwestern University School of Medicine.

More than 550 participants, aged between 63 and 84, wore watches to bed so researchers could measure the amount of ambient light they were exposed to at night to examine their health conditions.

Dr Joe Whittington says falling asleep with the TV on could be doing more damage than you realise. Credit: @drjoe_md

Light exposure at night means any light that you are exposed to during your least active hours of the night.

“The study found those that slept with even the slightest amount of ambient lighting in the room were more likely to suffer diabetes, obesity and hypertension,” Dr Whittington said.

“What they found was people who slept with dim lighting, such as from a TV or even a smartphone, the next morning had higher levels of insulin resistance, thereby affecting people’s ability to regulate glucose levels.

“The differences in obesity and diabetes in participants was quite staggering.”

He encouraged everyone to make a simple lifestyle change to “give yourself the best chance of a long and happy life”.

If you struggle to sleep in silence, Dr Whittington suggested using a white noise machine to serve as your ambient noise.

“Black out the lights, put on some white noise and live forever… or maybe just longer,” he said, urging: “Don’t fall asleep with the TV on.”

‘Scared now’

His video has been viewed more than 330,000 times, with many confessing the background noise from the TV actually helps put them to sleep.

“I’ve slept with my TV every night for seven years,” one said.

Another suggested: “OMG. I sleep with the TV on. Thank you for letting me know.”

One added: “I’m scared now — please tell me this isn’t real.”

Dr Samuel Choudhury weighed in on the alarming findings from the US study. Credit: Dr Samuel Choudhury

Some people explained how they found it difficult to sleep in silence because of the overthinking and ideas in their heads, keeping them wide awake.

The ambient noise coming from the screen can overlap their thoughts and cancel out the processing of the thoughts, which can help their brain be less active.

Alarming findings

Dr Samuel Choudhury, from Singapore, also weighed in on the US research, saying the alarming findings were “consistent” with another study by Japanese researchers.

“The Japanese study also found light at night increases your risk of obesity. The study found mice exposed to light at night were more likely to be obese and have diabetes,” he said.

“So why does that happen? There are several theories.”

Dr Choudhury said light can disrupt your circadian rhythm and metabolism, causing weight gain and insulin resistance.

“Light at night also lowers your melatonin levels which have been shown in some studies to increase your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes,” he said.

“Some of you may be asking, ‘Why is this killing me?’ Because diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure are the major risk factors for developing heart disease.

“Granted that better studies are needed (but) there is no harm in practising better sleep habits.”

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