Long ago, in what seems like a galaxy far away, it was common for families to have only one TV. I know, it sounds crazy, but it's true. In fact, it was the centerpiece of most homes. But today, since TVs are getting cheaper by the minute and technological advances have revolutionized the medium itself, it's no surprise to see a set in every room of the house. This goes for the bedroom as well. Lying in bed and watching some tube before turning in has become common practice for many households, and you're not alone: in recent surveys, almost 90% of Americans admitted to watching TV in bed.
A Cramp in Your Style
There has been talk about TVs being bad for sleep. But there's nothing that winds down the day like watching some news before you doze. Plus, it gives you options: if the wife is watching a fashion show in the family room, you can now retreat to the bedroom in order to catch the game. But it's true: watching TV in bed can be bad for your body. While lying down, you have to bend pillows, wrap yourself into pretzels, or crick your neck in every possible position in order to watch the television. It can be downright uncomfortable, which goes against the whole principle of rest and relaxation. So here are a few design ideas and the latest inventions to help you overcome the cramp.
Location, location, location. The angle of the TV is essential to comfort. Therefore, never place it on small furniture or in a corner of the room. Instead, put it on a tall dresser at the foot of the bed or mount it to the ceiling with specialized hanging brackets. Even if you have a handheld TV or a laptop, you should still prop them on an angled computer stand: it can be placed directly in front of you so you can work or watch a movie without crouching. If these options don't work, here are some other things that may help.
Support Pillow: Different from standard pillows, these stiff yet flexible pads can bend and sustain any position to support your neck and back while lying down.
Prop Chair: It looks like the top of a recliner without the seat, allowing you to sit up, lean back, and support the upper body. It can even come with armrests and cup holders.
Angled glasses: These specialty spectacles allow you to lie down and see images right in front of you. Due to mirrored technology, you'll never have to strain your neck again.
Adjustable Bed: Maybe buy a new bed that rises and falls with the touch of a remote. Instead of giving in to a flat mattress, force the bed to conform to your position of choice.
Built-in TV: You've probably seen them on shows about the rich and famous, but these devices have become quite popular. A pop-up TV literally rises out of the foot of the bed and can be concealed when not in use. There are also lifts available which automatically fold, slide, and store the TV underneath the bed at the touch of a button. Both provide perfect viewing angles, but they typically require a flat-panel for effective storage.
Need a little more comfort?Bedroom Remodel
The trouble with TVs in the bedroom is that you're put at a distance from the screen, which means you have to blast the sound in order to hear it across the room. Not only is it loud, but if you're sharing a bed, both of you are forced to stay up, which creates conflict in synchronized sleep schedules. Here's how to get around the sound problem:
Surround Sound: You may think it'd make things louder, but it actually creates more control. When the speaker is placed near your ear, you'll no longer have to crank it up. Also, put speakers on each night stand so both partners have complete volume control.
Cordless Headphones: Or buy wireless headphones to wear in bed. It may look silly, but your partner can sleep or read while you enjoy the news at a comfortable audio level.
When watching TV, most people prefer total darkness. This may work in a movie theater, but in the bedroom it can cause eye-strain. Plus, it hurts your sleep. When darkness descends, your body immediately gets ready for sleep, yet by watching TV you're forcing it to stay alert. Then, when the TV is turned off, you may feel wide awake from the induced stimulus. Therefore, always have a bit of light when you watch.
So, have a lamp nearby to create a low glow in the room. When turned off, the darkness will feel even darker (once again, install one on each side of the bed so each partner has complete access).
Plus, clamp a reading lamp on the headboard to provide a little illumination around your eyes in order to avoid strain (it also allows you the option of working or reading in bed).
Or, install a dimmer in order to control the level of light (this particular installation also creates an opportunity to spark some romantic mood-lighting when necessary).