Under the Hood

Binge-Watching TV Shows Negatively Affects Your Brain

With the rise of streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu and the steady decline of cable television, it’s no surprise how binge-watching shows caught the world by storm. No longer do you need to watch a single episode (with commercial breaks) everyday and wait for the conclusion next week. With streaming, all of the episodes from all of the available seasons are at your fingertips. So, why not just watch them in one sitting? It also didn’t help that we’re always pressed for time these days. It’s not a wonder anymore how much content we want to consume whenever we do get the chance.

And so binge-watching TV shows became a thing, and for a second here, it looks like we can only move forward from here. That is however, if you don’t care much about your brain.  An expert recently warned that binge-watching several episodes all in one go isn’t doing your old gray matter any favor.

"It's important to recognize that the brain is not an isolated organ -- it responds to its environment. When we binge-watch, we create an unhealthy environment for the brain because we're sitting for long periods of time, isolating ourselves from social activities and eating large amounts of unhealthy food,” Dr. Randall Wright, a  neurologist  at Houston Methodist in Texas, said. 

In a recent release, Wright likened binge-watching to continuing gambling, even after you’ve already won. According to him, this could create a vicious cycle of instant gratification and not being content ever, which can then lead to brain and body changes that can be really harmful.

So, how do you combat this? Wright has some few tips:

  1. Exercise – Nothing bad comes from exercise, so make sure you have your dose all the time. Your brain and neurogenesis will thank you.
  2. Watch with friends – Watching alone can lead to social isolation. It is best to share with loved ones and spend time with them.
  3. Eat healthy snacks – If you’re going to snack on something, make sure it’s healthy and not junk food.
  4. Sleep – Have enough sleep. Set a minimum number and commit to it every night.

Watching TV Watching horror films has been found effective to help reduce weight due to release of adrenaline, which triggers burning of more calories. Pixabay

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