According to a study from 2017, binge watching is correlated with various sleep problems:

The people who reported binge-watching were 98 percent more likely to report poor sleep quality compared with those who watched one episode per sitting, according to the findings.

However, the study only showed a correlation and did not touch on causal inference:

The study authors did clarify that there were limitations to the study since they saw only correlation between binge-watching, and not evidence of causation, or that binge-watching definitively causes poor sleep.

Is there a study that investigated whether or not there is a causal relationship between binge watching and sleep problems?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 1. Science cannot prove. That's neither the purpose of science nor is it a possibility. 2. You will not typically see causation discussed in scientific literature. Instead, we tend to discuss correlation,so a paper showing strong correlation is a good starting point. Keep your eye out for more papers demonstrating corraborative data/analysis to increase your confidence of this linkage (but always remain open/dynamic in your thinking as alternative trends may be later demonstrated). $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2023 at 3:14
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Can’t causation be demonstrated by randomized controlled trials? $\endgroup$
    – Riemann
    Jul 9, 2023 at 6:22
  • $\begingroup$ According to the national library of medicine: ‘Although no study is likely on its own to prove causality, randomization reduces bias and provides a rigorous tool to examine cause-effect relationships between an intervention and outcome.’ Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6235704/…. $\endgroup$
    – Riemann
    Jul 9, 2023 at 8:50
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    $\begingroup$ I have to partially disagree with theforestecologist on their comment. It's true that Proof is generally the stuff of philosophers and mathematicians. But there is plenty of scientific literature seeking to establish and describe causal relationships, especially in medical research. Kochs postulates are one such approach that's been widely utilized for nearly 140 years for infectious disease research and frequently adapted to provide similar frameworks for different biological systems. Hill's criteria for causation are another example that's probably more relevant to this topic. $\endgroup$
    – MikeyC
    Jul 18, 2023 at 14:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The question if somethings that are correlated are causally related is definitely a valid question and prospective studies, for instance, increase the chances of deducing causation. So I also do not share all of the views expressed by others here in the comments. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Jul 22, 2023 at 11:59


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