How Binge-Watching Netflix Shows Affects Your Mental Health

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin looking concerned on an episode of Grace and Frankie
Grace and Frankie via Netflix

Are you still watching?

After a long day, sometimes coming home, putting on some comfy clothes, and turning on Netflix feels like just thing you need to unwind.

No doubt, watching TV shows and movies can help you settle down from a hectic day, but binge-watching is another story.

It's hard to not click on the next episode, especially if you see the countdown already in progress. Well, we are here to tell you that giving yourself a limit of episodes per day might be a good idea for the sake of your mental health.

Scroll below to discover all the negative impacts binge-watching has on your mental health:

Grace and Frankie via Netflix

It Causes Higher Stress Levels

We have all experienced that one cliff hanger episode, the sudden death, and the ultimate break up episode and the truth is, it has us at the edge of our seats (or bed).

In an interview with the New York Post, psychologist Ali Hill says, "Neurochemically, what this does is increase our levels of adrenaline and cortisol, which if they stay in our system, can increase our stress levels."

Tuning in and out is normal, but what binge-watching does is never allow you to fully tune out. You are constantly creating this adrenaline, especially if you're watching a more action-packed or thriller-based series. These shows are meant to get you hooked, but you need to remind yourself that the purpose of watching Netflix is to unwind and not to wind yourself up more.

Give yourself an episode limit and stick to it!

It Can Trigger Anxiety Attacks

TV shows on Netflix like The Punisher, Narcos, or even The Sinner are very intense and can be graphic. Although there is nothing wrong with watching any of these shows, it's important to remind yourself to give time between Netflix watching and bedtime.

Remind yourself not to binge-watch shows in one night that can be more graphically violent. Shows that have more gore or violent scenes can build tension and could possibly cause anxiety or anxiety attacks. People who might be dealing with anxiety might experience this more.

Some shows come off as more "realistic," which then makes the violence and graphic scenes more real to your consciousness. It's always important to have a healthy balance and this includes giving yourself time between your Narcos episodes and going to sleep.

Also, give yourself enough time between going to bed and watching the more scary or suspenseful shows. Jump scares might not be a big deal for one sitting, but watching several episodes before bed might not let you sleep.

It Affects Your Sleep

Once you are five or six episodes deep, it's kinda of hard to stop, but staying up late to binge watch more episodes isn't a good idea. Sleep can affect your immune system and stress levels, and not having enough sleep can throw off your overall health.

This is a bad habit to create for yourself, because a lack of sleep also affects your health in the long run. Sleep deprivation can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Putting a stop to binge-watching and a limit to episodes is really important to have a healthy sleeping pattern.

If you must binge-watch, don't do it so close to when you should be going to sleep.

Before You Binge Watch

Remember that it's okay to unwind to Netflix shows but a healthy balance of episodes is key. Give yourself enough time before going to sleep and watching your more violent Netflix shows or have a Netflix viewing party to help with any onset anxiety that might come with Netflix watching.

Keep the Conversation Going

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