Livin' on the MDedge

Sleep vs. Netflix, and grape juice BPAP


Sleep vs. Netflix: the eternal struggle

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Livin’ on the MDedge World Championship Boxing! Tonight, we bring you a classic match-up in the endless battle for your valuable time.

A man sleeps in upright position on his couch. jackscoldsweat/Getty Images

In the red corner, weighing in at a muscular 8 hours, is the defending champion: a good night’s sleep! And now for the challenger in the blue corner, coming in at a strong “just one more episode, I promise,” it’s binge watching!

Oh, sleep opens the match strong: According to a survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, U.S. adults rank sleep as their second-most important priority, with only family beating it out. My goodness, that is a strong opening offensive.

But wait, binge watching is countering! According to the very same survey, 88% of Americans have admitted that they’d lost sleep because they’d stayed up late to watch extra episodes of a TV show or streaming series, a rate that rises to 95% in people aged 18-44 years. Oh dear, sleep looks like it’s in trouble.

Hang on, what’s binge watching doing? It’s unleashing a quick barrage of attacks: 72% of men aged 18-34 reported delaying sleep for video games, two-thirds of U.S. adults reported losing sleep to read a book, and nearly 60% of adults delayed sleep to watch sports. We feel slightly conflicted about our metaphor choice now.

And with a final haymaker from “guess I’ll watch ‘The Office’ for a sixth time,” binge watching has defeated the defending champion! Be sure to tune in next week, when alcohol takes on common sense. A true fight for the ages there.

Lead us not into temptation

Can anyone resist the temptation of binge watching? Can no one swim against the sleep-depriving, show-streaming current? Is resistance to an “Orange Is the New Black” bender futile?

A chocolate doughnut with sprinkles spaxiax/Getty Images

University of Wyoming researchers say there’s hope. Those who would sleep svelte and sound in a world of streaming services and Krispy Kreme must plan ahead to tame temptation.

Proactive temptation management begins long before those chocolate iced glazed with sprinkles appear at the nurses’ station. Planning your response ahead of time increases the odds that the first episode of “Stranger Things” is also the evening’s last episode.

Using psychology’s human lab mice – undergraduate students – the researchers tested five temptation-proofing self-control strategies.

The first strategy: situation selection. If “Game of Thrones” is on in the den, avoid the room as if it were an unmucked House Lannister horse stall. Second: situation modification. Is your spouse hotboxing GoT on an iPad next to you in the bed? Politely suggest that GoT is even better when viewed on the living room sofa.

The third strategy: distraction. Enjoy the wholesome snap of a Finn Crisp while your coworkers destroy those Krispy Kremes like Daenerys leveling King’s Landing. Fourth: reappraisal. Tell yourself that season 2 of “Ozark” can’t surpass season 1, and will simply swindle you of your precious time. And fifth, the Nancy-Reagan, temptation-resistance classic: response inhibition. When offered the narcotic that is “Breaking Bad,” just say no!

Which temptation strategies worked best?

Planning ahead with one through four led fewer Cowboy State undergrads into temptation.

As for responding in the moment? Well, the Krispy Kremes would’ve never lasted past season 2 of “The Great British Baking Show.”


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