Mama Mayhem

Binge-watching is becoming a nightmare

By Ivy Jensen

AS MOST working single mums out there would understand, I cherish those days off.

You know, the days when the kids are at their dad’s and you don’t have to worry about madly rushing home to make dinner, clean up, help with homework, pack lunches, put on the washing and nag about iPads, showers and teeth brushing before tucking them in bed by 8.30pm.

When you can leisurely wander into the house, fall onto the couch, put your feet up and do absolutely nothing.

However, I am starting to find my precious ‘‘week off’’ is becoming bad for my mental health.

With nothing ‘pressing’ to do (thanks to my excellent procrastination skills), I have taken to binge-watching the latest drama and thriller series on Netflix and Foxtel.

I just can’t help myself and I am ashamed to say it’s become my dirty little addiction.

You know how it starts. Just one episode becomes two and then before you know it you’ve been on the couch for half the day and you haven’t even showered.

And by then, you’re so tired you need a serious nap and then your entire day is wasted.

I feel so dirty, literally and metaphorically speaking.

And the genres I have been watching have become a serious problem.

Thriller, crime, drama. Shows like Mindhunter, True Detective, Unabomber, The Spy and The Handmaid’s Tale just to name a few. Not exactly happy viewing.

And they have started affecting my sleep - or lack thereof.

The other night, I had five nightmares in a row.

I woke up screaming twice.

My dreams were so terrifying, it impacted me on a physical level. My muscles had been clenched so tight overnight, I felt like I’d run a marathon the next day.

I guess that’s what happens when you’re running away from psychopaths, monsters, serial killers and dinosaurs and fighting a religious war.

Now I’m pretty certain I know where four of my night terrors came from, but I’m not quite sure about the dinosaurs.

So I took to the internet to find out.

According to Google, dreaming of a dinosaur ‘‘signifies it is time to put things behind you and move on in a situation that has been holding you back’’, while to dream of many dinosaurs means ‘‘you should probably give up your past habits and ways of thinking’’.

Google may just be onto something here.