Research from wellness brand Love Hemp has revealed how binge-watching is stealing our sleep. According to a survey commissioned by Love Hemp, almost two-thirds of Brits (64%) have prioritised streaming their favourite TV shows oversleeping.
In the survey, nearly half of Brits (47.2%) admit they lost 2-3 hours of sleep in the past week compared to their regular sleeping habits because they wanted to continue watching a TV show or a series on a streaming platform. More than 100 hours of sleep are lost per year due to binge-watching.
Is your autoplay still on?
The survey also revealed that only a quarter of people (24.4%) have turned off the autoplay function on their streaming service, which is thought to promote binge-watching TV shows.
Plus, 16% of people were unaware that the autoplay feature could even be turned off. The damaging effects of autoplay have already been an issue on the radar. US Republican Senator Josh Hawley tried to ban addictive autoplay in 2009.
‘Big Tech has embraced addiction as a business model,’ Hawley had tweeted. ‘Their ‘innovation’ isn’t designed to create better products, but to capture attention by using psychological tricks that make it impossible to look away.’
According to Love Hemp’s research into autoplay, the number of time people has to consider whether it’s time to stop watching and go to bed before the next episode of a series autoplay differs across streaming services.
Channel 4’s streaming platform, All 4+, gives people a healthy 32 seconds on average to decide. Meanwhile, Netflix and Prime Video hook subscribers onto the next episode the fastest, with an average duration between episodes of 8 seconds and 5 seconds, respectively.
How binge-watching affects sleep
According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, ‘When you watch a show from Netflix and get addicted to it, you stay up late. On the margin, ‘We’re competing with sleep, a 2017 study by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine ‘provides initial evidence that modern viewing styles such as binge viewing may negatively affect overall sleep quality.’
‘The results? Higher binge-viewing frequency was associated with poorer sleep quality, increased fatigue, and more insomnia symptoms, whereas regular television viewing was not’.
‘We already know that too much screen time can affect our sleep quality,’ Love Hemp founder Tony Calamita agrees, following a Love Hemp study into how the clock change can give us jet lag and affect our sleep. ‘Not only are we losing sleep to watch ‘just one more episode’ – our body then has to contend with the blue light from the screens affecting our circadian rhythm and the quality of our sleep too.’
To discover how to combat the effects of binge-watching, head to Love Hemp’s website. In addition to a full survey breakdown, readers can find further research and learn about the stark difference of autoplay timings between streaming platforms and tips to improve your sleep from the Love Hemp team.