Binge watching can hurt your sleep, mental health

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DALLAS-- Whether it's an episode or two of “Game of Thrones" or a whole season of “Stranger Things," binge watching can be addictive.

But too much of a good thing can negatively affect your health. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says binge-watching can make you feel lonely and depressed.

“Certainly when you watch a television show you’re feeling and experiencing everything that the character is, and there are surges of dopamine that go through your system,” Dr. David Henderson said. ”The problem is that over the long term it has a negative impact on your ability to live and experience challenges on your own.”

Psychiatrist Dr. David Henderson says are a lot of chemical elements go into watching your favorite show. but when you’re using it as an escape from everyday life it could lead you deeper into depression.

“Entertainment is a good thing, it`s important to find outlets for fun and excitement. The challenge is when you`re getting inundated with all of that entertainment and it is so rewarding it makes it difficult to want to pursue lesser pleasures,” said Dr. Henderson

Dr. Henderson recommends asking your friends and family if your binge-watching is affecting your relationships. If it is, try to shift that time to something more productive.

“A lot of people hate to exercise, but the rewards associated with it are so much greater than the time you’ve been binge-watching TV, if you can engage in those activities and make those a part of your daily routine.”

Dr. Henderson says it’s important to remember if you’re suffering through depression, you might need to speak to someone. Because mental health is not something you can turn off.