4
$\begingroup$

I read this and some other articles stating that you should not do anything in bed except sleep. This includes studying, eating, and watching T.V, because your brain will have a difficult time associating what exactly your bed is for, which can lead to insomnia when trying to sleep.

So my question is, can I do these other things on a bed on which I do not sleep in (in another room)? Contrary to what the article says, I just don't want to study on a desk, I find it very hard to focus (eg. in school) because my body position from sitting on a desk is not ideal/comfortable for me. I prefer to lay down as this helps me relax and thus keeps me concentrated. Would it hurt my sleep if I switched to studying on a bed that I don't sleep on?

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

“Mixing sleep and study in the same location sends mixed signals to the brain,” Carter wrote in an email. “It does not know which it is supposed to be focusing on. This leads to less effective studying (and) learning, and it makes it harder to fall asleep when you want to.”

This may have to do in the context of Pavlovian Conditioning.

Pahlov found he could trigger a dog's salivating reflex to the ring of a bell by ringing a bell whenever the dog was fed (over a period of time). (McLeod, S. A. (2018, Oct 08). Pavlov's dogs. Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/pavlov.html)

The theory proposed in the article is suggesting something similar: to condition your body to associate the bed with sleeping. So that, just as the sound of a bell makes the dog salivate reflexively, a bed where you regularly sleep in can also make you automatically feel sleepy when you lie down on it and thus help you fall asleep more easily.

But this can only happen if sleeping is the only activity that you do on a bed.

If you do other activities, and your brain find these more stimulating, then the bed can become associated with that feeling / stimulation / action and trigger it.

So for example, if you play video games in your bed repeatedly over a period of time, lying on the bed may automatically remind you of video games and get you all stimulated. Obviously a stimulated brain will find it difficult to fall asleep. And you may then go on to do some other activity instead of sleeping, without realising why you couldn't sleep. Over a period of time, this kind of cycle (not being able to sleep and doing something else till you feel sleepy) could develop into a sleep order.

So my question is, can I do these other things on a bed on which I do not sleep in (in another room)?

Theoretically, you can. In effect, you can try to condition yourself to associate one environment with your sleeping activity and another for studying. You just have to ensure that the environment has enough differences (maybe use a different mattress on the bed, a bed sheet with a different texture, a bed placed in a different direction, a light source at a very different location etc. etc.).

Once you've differentiated between the two environments, try to keep both unchanged as it is for a period of time.

Contrary to what the article says, I just don't want to study on a desk, I find it very hard to focus (eg. in school) because my body position from sitting on a desk is not ideal/comfortable for me.

Your body is telling you something when it protests (through aches and pains) when you sit for long hours on a desk. It is because you are not taking the right amount of breaks and hydrating and fueling yourself at regular interval.

And make sure your chair and desk are ergonomically designed.

In general, follow the guidelines as in using a computer. And if you use a computer install a software like Workrave (Windows) or TimeOut (Mac) that will force you to take a break regularly. The difference to the body on taking these micro-breaks and short-breaks can really be surprising.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Best to just be able to wind down and turn off your mind (as much as possible). For example, according to the study below, just watching TV will not affect your sleep but binge watching TV can. A person needs to ‘cool down’ before going to sleep. Besides, if we are just supposed to sleep in bed, how is it that people regularly have sex in bed yet rarely complain that sex leads to insomnia?

binge watching tv

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.