Working on a Puzzle vs Watching TV: Which One is Better for You?

Plopping down in front of the TV after a long day may feel like a relaxing activity, but it is actually too stimulating to let you truly rest. Everyone could use more time away from screens, which is why we think that working on a puzzle is a better way to relax. Keep reading for all the jigsaw puzzle benefits and how working on a puzzle holds up to watching TV.

Top Jigsaw Puzzle Benefits

Jigsaw puzzles are a great brain activity that can sharpen your short-term memory, improve productivity levels, and boost problem-solving skills. With all of these brain-powering jigsaw puzzle benefits, how is puzzling also a relaxing activity? We’re glad you asked!

Working on a puzzle engages your brain; however, it also allows your brain to decompress. It’s one of those activities that require your full attention. If you find yourself stuck on the same anxious thoughts that roll around in your head at the end of the day, working on a jigsaw puzzle is one way to give yourself a break.

When you are fully engaged in your puzzle, your mind can also wander to new thoughts. It’s similar to how you get your best ideas in the shower because you aren’t busy doing other things. For creative people, like writers or painters, working on a puzzle can help unlock your creative brain when you feel stuck.

When your mind is at rest, you’re better at solving problems. There are tons of jigsaw puzzle benefits, but one of the best ones is that it allows your mind to get to a place of being fully at rest.

Working on a Jigsaw Puzzle vs Watching TV to Relax

If you feel overworked and exhausted most of the time, chances are that you aren’t letting your mind and body fully rest at the end of the day. Watching TV might feel restful, but staring at a screen actually makes your brain more active.

Screen time can also inhibit your sleep patterns. Devices with screens, like your TV, iPad, phone, and computer, emit blue light. At night, taking in too much blue light suppresses your body’s natural melatonin production. This is why scrolling social media in bed wakes you up instead of making you feel sleepy.

An ideal nighttime routine would include shutting down all screens an hour before you want to go to sleep. That way you can trigger your body that bedtime is soon, and it will pump out the melatonin you need to fall asleep easily. 

If you work an office job and stare at a computer or phone screen all day, giving yourself screen-free time at night will give your eyes a break, help you relax, and prepare you for sleep.

Another helpful tip: overhead lights also emit blue light. Keeping your home dimly lit with lamps in the evenings will help you sleep better too.

TV and the Brain

Recent studies show that watching too much TV every day can contribute to memory loss down the line. We aren’t saying that you should never watch your favorite shows, but putting limits on your TV time is a good idea.

Instead of watching three hours of TV a night after work, try watching one episode of a show and then moving on to a more relaxing screen-free activity, like working on a jigsaw puzzle or reading. 

Jigsaw Puzzle Benefits vs TV Time for Kids

Choosing a puzzle instead of watching TV at night isn’t just a healthy choice for adults; kids can experience jigsaw puzzle benefits too. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than one hour of screen time per day isn’t healthy for children in pre-school or younger. At age five, kids can start handling more screen time, but it should still be limited and monitored.

Just like with adults, too much screen time can impact your child’s sleep patterns. Activities like playing outside, reading, and working on a jigsaw puzzle can engage their brain and help them become a critical thinker.

What About Working on a Puzzle and Watching TV at the Same Time?

Many puzzle fans put on a show in the background while they work on their puzzle. This is definitely one way to make your TV time more engaging instead of vegging out, and you can get some of the relaxation benefits of working on a puzzle.

However, you don’t get all the jigsaw puzzle benefits because your brain is still engaged in your TV show. Your mind doesn’t have a chance to wander and decompress while you’re tuning into the TV. Plus, it can distract you and slow down your progress on your puzzle.

Once again, we recommend keeping your nightly TV time to one episode and then working on a puzzle. If you try this for a few weeks, we’d love to hear how it changes your evening routine and overall relaxation.

Enhance Your Puzzle Time with a Completing the Puzzle Membership

Are you ready to incorporate jigsaw puzzle benefits into your evening routine? The best way to do that is to stay stocked up on great puzzles that you’re excited to put together. With a Completing the Puzzle membership, you always have your next puzzle on the way.

Our memberships unlock the first-ever puzzle rental service. You choose your difficulty level and craft a wishlist, and then we send you a puzzle. When you finish it, simply ship it back to us with the prepaid label, and we’ll ship off your next one from our curated list.

Unwind and decompress with a puzzle today. Sign up for a Completing the Puzzle membership today and get 20% off your first month when you use code SPECIAL20.