The Number of People Who Use Netflix to Fall Asleep Has Doubled in the Last Two Years

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10.2% of the general population responded that they use Netflix to help them get to sleep

Two years ago, we took a survey, and found that just under 5% of the general population responded that they use Netflix to put them to sleep. Among the reasons cited, the most common seemed to be the soft noise and the comfort of something familiar on in the background. Many people stated that they love using reruns of their favorite shows to help them get to sleep.

We ran the same survey again this week, polling 1,191 people, and now 10.2% of the general population responded that they use Netflix (and now sometimes other streaming services) to help them get to sleep, nearly double the number from just two years ago.

So what is causing this spike in Netflix-lullabies? There seem to be two main reasons:

First, and most obvious is growth in Netflix subscriptions. Netflix continues to see healthy growth every quarter with more people subscribed to the service than ever. With that in mind, people who might once have simply just left the television on to help them fall asleep are now using a commercial-free option. One such response mentioned they like using Netflix to help them sleep because there aren’t any “loud and obnoxious commercial interruptions” when they’re in a half-daze drifting off.

Second, and perhaps more interesting, dozens of respondents said they need something to take their mind off of everything else at the end of the day while they’re in bed. Certainly more than the last time we took this survey, people replied suggesting that they need an anxiety reducer to help them sleep, and their favorite seasons of television shows are just the ticket they need to get to dreamland.

From one anonymous response: “My mind just races when I’m lying in bed, and I can’t get to sleep unless I have something to distract me. Netflix is great for this.”

Anxiety is in fact on the rise, especially in younger age demographics, who might be more keen on using services like Netflix as a sleep aid instead of standard television.

Now the question of course is whether or not watching television (or in most cases just listening to the noise of television) is bad for you right before bed. The science is still out on this, as no official study has been conducted to determine whether or not it has a negative (or positive!) effect in a statistically meaningful way. In fact, one scientist in the VICE article suggests that if television helps you fall asleep, it’s almost certainly better than the alternative of not getting enough sleep.

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