Medical Group Offers Tips on How to Safely Binge Shows on Netflix

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When a new TV season hits Netflix, as the fifth installment of House of Cards did today, many fans will stay up and try to power through the entire thing. Often times that means watching 8-13 episodes of TV, straight through. No breaks, and no sleep.

If you're wondering, that isn't exactly the healthiest way to watch your favorite shows. In fact, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine said most folks could be doing themselves harm by binging the way that they do.

The group said that binge-watchers who fail to get the sleep they need are in danger of suffering deteriorating "mood and cognitive abilities," and that a worst-case scenario could endanger the lives of others. Sleep-deprivation could lead to "a workplace accident or drowsy-driving crash."

According to Variety, these statements came as a response to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who claimed that the company's biggest competitor was sleep.

MORE: Here's Everything Coming to Netflix in June

Urging Netflix subscribers - as well as those who watch other streaming services like HBO, Hulu, Amazon, and others - AASM president Dr. Ronald Chervin released this statement:

"You can stream your favorite shows and movies without sacrificing the sleep you need each night. Responsible binge-watching is the way to balance your personal entertainment with your health and well-being."

The group also released a list of tips for safe binge-watching, so that subscribers can enjoy their favorite shows more responsibly.

  • Set an episode limit each night before you begin watching
  • Take a break between each episode to get out of the "auto-play" loop
  • Download episodes on your smartphone to control how many you watch at once
  • Schedule time on the weekend to catch up on your favorite shows
  • To minimize the effects of brightly lit screens at night, use screen settings that filter blue light after sunset
  • Stream videos to your TV instead of your mobile device at night to reduce exposure to brightly lit, handheld screens
  • Avoid using mobile devices while in bed
  • Turn off all screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime

To learn more about the American Academy of Sleep medicine, or for more information regarding sleep and sleep disorders, head to


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