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If you haven’t been living under a rock this summer, you’ve no doubt heard about the new reality TV show that’s taking over our lives. Whether you’re screaming “I’ve got a text!”, or describing someone as being “100% your type on paper”, Love Island is a must-see for many of us. However, what if Love Island was actually damaging our health, and we’re not just talking about the anxiety caused by Chis and Olivia’s turbulent relationship.

Silentnight sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan has warned that although we might enjoy TV shows like Love Island, the fact that they are on every night just before we go to bed means that they can be detrimental to our health.

Love Island is known for its shocks, twists and brutal dumpings – which, true, makes it so very entertaining for us to watch – but it’s this excitement that gets us excited, raising our heartbeats. Which is not exactly good if we plan on sleeping just after. Likelihood is, we’d just be too excited to fall asleep easily.

LIDr Ramlakhan spoke on the matter: “Programmes like Love Island, that are on every night, are understandably addictive, especially when everyone is talking about the latest developments straight afterwards and at work the next day.”

Love Island airs at 9pm on ITV2 every night – bar Saturday, which is just a catch-up – and at 10pm on plus 1. And many of us will be loath to miss a single show, because our friends and co-workers are watching too and will want to speak about it the next day. So, if you miss just one night you’ll be totally out of the loop. Indeed, a lot of people even have their own WhatsApp message groups specifically for discussing the latest gossip. So even if the show finishes at 10pm, many of us will be up for another hour discussing the show before we’re even thinking about going to sleep.

Dr Ramlakhan went on to say: “It’s all too easy to stay up until 10pm watching the show and then get straight on to WhatsApp to discuss who’s coupled up with who or who’s voted been voted off. But it’s important to recognise what impact this is having on your sleep, 10pm or even 11pm might seem too early to go to sleep, but if you are up watching a programme until this time seven days a week you won’t be leaving yourself enough time to wind down and prepare for bed.” 

For most of us, this means we spend around an hour to two hours on our phones and tablets right before we go to bed, on screens that emit a blue light that can seriously impact our melatonin levels. This hormone disturbance tricks our brains into thinking that it’s morning rather than bedtime, so our bodies struggle to fall asleep.

Every night we should take the time to ‘wind down’ in order to promote an easy and restful sleep. This relaxing time should be spent doing activities such as having a bath or reading a book. Watching dramatic television shows, films, work or even browsing social media – which can arouse strong feelings – should all be avoided for at least 60 minutes before we switch our bedroom lights off. This means no phones!

Thankfully, Love Island is nearly over for this season so we will all be able to get back to our normal sleeping patterns. And, in future, perhaps get into the habit of watching shows like Love Island on catch up with your dinner the next night. Your body will thank you for it!

Images courtesy of ITV2

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