OK, who's idea was it to put a super stressful, must-watch TV show on Sunday night when you have to get up and go to work the next day? Of course I'm talking about Game of Thrones, which airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and lasts more than an hour. And it turns out, science says that watching Game of Thrones can have some surprising effects on your body the next day (and same goes for any other super-stressful TV show).
Unless you have nerves of steel, tuning in likely makes you feel so bajiggity that after it's over you have to text all of your friends and read Twitter for eleventy-million hours to decompress before bed. While last night's whole GoT Starbucks coffee-cup gaffe was definitely good for a laugh, it probably didn't lead to an earlier bedtime.
Seriously, by the time you lie down it could be well after midnight, and that doesn't make for a pretty Monday morning. In fact, your body the morning after Game of Thrones is similar to a night of insomnia brought on by stress. While it's unlikely that television can cause stress and anxiety, the Calm Clinic reported that it can exacerbate stress and anxiety in some people. And the end of GoT is hands down the most stressful television event since the series finale of The Sopranos.
"People tend to almost always watch stressful programming, and stress is stress. It's not just horror movies — reality TV shows, dramas, thrillers, even documentaries can be stressful in many ways. When you have anxiety, you need as many positive emotions as you can. Very rarely do any of those types of shows cause positive emotions, and that can be a problem," Micah Abraham, a mental health writer and editor, explained on the Calm Clinic's blog.
With death, destruction, and heaps of heartache, the most recent episode of GoT was certainly a recipe for stress. So much so that HuffPost reported that GoT fans are seeking out CBD to calm their frayed nerves. Lord Jones, a company that specializes in CBD products, reportedly noticed a trend of increased hashtags related to their products on Sunday nights.
"We are all huge GoT fans and were delighted when we saw a bumper crop of social media posts from our fans last Sunday showcasing their favorite Lord Jones products they used to get through the epic Battle for Winterfell," Robert Rosenheck, founder of Lord Jones, told HuffPost. Fans are also taking to Twitter to express their need for CBD to manage their GoT emotions. One fan even declared, "CBD stands for Game of Thrones."
Perhaps you should just request these next few Mondays off of work now because GoT can most def lead to sleep deprivation, which in turn can cause anxiety. Good grief.
"Television can also lead to a lack of sleep. Many people stay up later than they need to either watching television or 'winding down' after television (television appears to make it harder to sleep), and a lack of sleep can lead to the development of further anxiety or an anxiety disorder," Abraham explained. Basically the only way to combat this phenomenon is to watch lighthearted shows before bed. But let's face it, there is no way you're going to wait a day to watch GoT. Aside from the fact that you'll be exposed to spoilers, who among us has that kind of self-control?
The good news is that there are only two episodes left, which means you can restore your Sunday sleep schedule before summer arrives. Until then, look at pictures of kittens on Instagram post GoT viewing, breathe, stretch, do some meditations, and make sure you have an extra cup of coffee the morning after watching GoT. For better or worse, it will all be over soon.
Readers should note that the regulations and data surrounding marijuana, CBD, and other related products are still developing. As such, the information contained in this post should not be construed as medical or legal advice. Always consult with your doctor before trying any substance or supplement.