Habit is powerful. Many of us have lived with television and electronics as an unconscious constant in our lives. The absence of these sounds and perceived "company" they offer can even make us uneasy. As a result, some people mistakenly believe that television helps them go to sleep. This is far from the truth. Our brains are prompted to alertness by sound and light. We can simply not get optimal sleep if our environment is not dark and the noise consistent. Television assaults our brains on both fronts:
Well, what if you are clever and put the television on a sleep timer? Is this the best of both worlds? No. It takes your brain 45-60 minutes of dark and silence to rid itself of the effects of television.
If you continually get inadequate sleep you'll suffer fatigue, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and bigger health problems down the road.
If you currently rely on light and sound to put you at ease, try this: 1. Reduce the amount of light you need and the intensity by first switching from a television to a dim lamp, and then possibly a night-light; and 2. Find a pleasant constant "white noise" sound that can replace television's erratic sounds.
In just a couple of weeks you might begin to crave dark and quiet, at which point you can purchase black-out curtains and/or ear plugs. Better sleep is guaranteed . . . well, if your mattress is up to the task.