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Is TV a good white noise for sleeping?

    Is watching a TV a good white noise for sleeping in bed pic

    Many people fall asleep with their TV playing or streaming a video on their laptop. But is this TV a good white noise for sleeping?

    Firstly what is white noise?

    White noise – also called “background noise” – is technically when all frequencies across the spectrum of audible sound are contained in the sound in equal measure.

    There have been a lot of studies about the effect of white noise and how it can improve our ability to sleep. But is the noise from your TV really white noise? And does the light emitted from it counteract any benefits from the noise?

    The main aim of white noise is that it hides any other disturbing background noises like people talking. But generally when they talk about TV white noise – they are referring to the static sound. This is the sound it used to make years ago when the channels ended for the night. Now they never end so you never get to hear that simple static sound.

    What does the research show about TV and sleep?

    One study1 of a Church going group showed that “TV watching for ≥2 hours/day was associated with a range of sleep problems.”

    Another study2 on children showed that “TV use in young children does impact sleep duration and quality as measured by actigraphy.” They also found that “daytime napping does not offset these negative impacts.”

    A third study3 showed “Adolescents who watched 3 or more hours of television per day during adolescence were at a significantly elevated risk for frequent sleep problems by early adulthood.” Also “Adolescents who reduced their television viewing from 1 hour or longer to less than 1 hour per day experienced a significant reduction in risk for subsequent sleep problems.”


    A lot of people think that as long as they watch calming nature shows before bed (or similar), it will actually help them fall asleep. But the research doesn’t support this conclusion. In fact anything more than an hour of TV a night seems to be associated with sleep issues. So TV is not a good white noise for sleeping.

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