07/10/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Sleeping With The (TV) Enemy

As someone who works in the economically-challenged television business, I'm naturally concerned about anything that might keep people from, you know, watching television. So I'm not happy to see this new academic study that came out today:

"According to new research presented at Sleep 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies,* television watching may be an important determinant of bedtime, and may contribute to chronic sleep debt."

Uh-oh. So it's not healthy to watch TV leading up to the time you turn in. What does that mean for people like me -- and maybe you -- who watch television after they go to bed? Or people -- like me -- who leave the TV on in the bedroom even after they go to sleep? What's to become of us, Associated Professional Sleep Societies members?

It really doesn't matter what the answer is to that, because I don't think I can change. I love watching TV in bed. My bedroom television -- my big beautiful HD bedroom television -- isn't my distraction as I finally get horizontal after a long day; it's my reward. I personally don't think it has a negative effect on my sleep. In fact, we have an arrangement: I watch the television, and after I get tired and conk out, the television watches me.

Sleep experts say it's a mistake to have a television in the bedroom at all. An article I read once said the bedroom should be used for only two things: sleep and sex. Well, I hate to tell you, but if there can only be two things going on in that bedroom, either sleep or sex is going to have to go, because there's no way I'm giving up the TV. Thank goodness my wife feels the same way. Who says it's difficult for couples to be fulfilled in bed after decades of marriage?

I guess the television has become our adult night-light. That's not such a bad thing. With all the troubles and worries in the world today, what would you rather wake up to in the middle of the night: an infomercial promising a new career in the exciting world of distressed real estate? Or darkness, utter total darkness? It's an easy choice.

You can read Jim's daily blog at WPIX.COM/JIMWATKINS