How to Switch Your TV Habits for Better Sleep | MOBE

How to Switch Your TV Habits for Better Sleep

Are you like millions who enjoy hours of television each day, or unwinding with an extra episode of the latest TV craze? If so, it’s possible you’re not getting the quality sleep your body (and mind) needs. Especially if you’re watching right before bed. If TV is part of your bedtime routine, it might be time to screen your screen time to help you get better sleep.

The impact of TV before bed.

The more TV we watch, the less we move—and that can be harmful to our bodies. Leaving the television on can also impact your circadian rhythm,1 or the natural sleep pattern that your body follows with sunrise and sunset. TV gives off blue light, which tells your body to stay awake and alert. That makes it harder to fall (and stay) asleep. Switching a few habits can go a long way toward a longer period of much needed shut-eye.

Try changing a few habits, not the channel.

It’s easy to get into a routine of taking in a movie or binge watching before bed. Limiting screen time at night can help you maintain a consistent bedtime routine, which helps you get better sleep. If you rely on the TV to fall asleep (and stay asleep), consider a few simple changes:

  • Turn TV time into active time. Stand or march in place while you watch TV so you’re getting some movement, but not too close to bedtime. Too much activity can be stimulating.
  • Limit TV time. Try eliminating even 10 minutes of your normal wind-down routine to see if you notice changes in sleep.
  • Pick your shows and stick to them. Try not to waste time browsing your favorite app or the TV guide. Make your selection ahead of time and stick to it.
  • Separate TV time from meal and snack time. If you like a bedtime snack, try eating that before you watch any TV. That way you won’t be tempted to snack at the same time, and you can enjoy the food you’re eating.
  • Try the 2/30 rule. For every two hours of TV you watch, commit to an activity for 30 minutes. If you know you’ll watch a movie after work or before bed, be sure to get in 30 minutes of movement before you start it.

All things in moderation.

Watching TV in moderation can be fun and relaxing. Just remember to be aware of the amount of time you watch and how often. That way you can enjoy it while minimizing any effects on your sleep—and your health. A MOBE Guide can provide you with ideas to help improve your bedtime habits, so you can meet your well-being goals, which often include a good night of sleep. Get started today.


1. "Circadian Rhythms," National Institute of General Medical Science, National Institutes of Health, May 4, 2022, accessed April 13, 2023,