Man falls asleep watching battles on TV
November 15, 2020 1:16 PM   Subscribe

Why is my relative (not SO) falling asleep watching battle scenes on TV, and why is it irritating me so much?

I've already seen this question about a general theory of men and TV.

Why Do Women Hate TV-Watching Men

The battle and related violent scenes (think of the long battle scenes in Game of Thrones and the death of Ramsay Bolton at Winterfell, people getting torn apart by dogs, yech) seem to make him go to sleep! I get more and more irritated when I see this. It strikes me as like the spectators at the ancient Roman games. I do not think he is a psychopathic person overall.

My theory is that the crowd-noise in the background has an ASMR effect.

is this remotely normal behavior?
posted by bad grammar to Human Relations (48 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
They could have sleep apnea, and the lack of sleep at night is causing them to fall asleep any time they sit still.

As I recall, asking if I fell asleep on the couch watching TV was one of the first questions my doctor asked me as part of deciding whether I needed a sleep study (used to determine if I had sleep apnea). The fact that I answered "yes" was one of the reasons I ended up getting the sleep study, which led to my sleep apnea diagnosis.
posted by ralan at 1:22 PM on November 15, 2020 [12 favorites]

I fall asleep during battle scenes too! I'm a young woman, so I don't think this is a gender thing.

Over the years I've tried to introspect about why, and I think it's a combination of a few factors:

1. Sleep deprivation
2. Battle noise having kind of a lulling effect, similar to the murmur of being in a crowded room
3. I don't actually find most battle scenes that interesting, especially the ones in modern big-budget action movies. It's a lot of swords clashing and things blowing up and chaos and confusion and it's actually pretty hard to follow what's going on. So I get a feeling of "yawn, ok, wake me up when it's over and tell me who won."

I'm an extremely sensitive person so it's absolutely not anything psychopathic. (Honestly I think it's kinda weird to even make that connection.)

Maybe it bothers you because you see it as psychopathic behavior, and I would encourage you to try to stop seeing it that way.
posted by mekily at 1:33 PM on November 15, 2020 [71 favorites]

The simplest explanation could be that he is not interested in those scenes or movies, finds them boring, and tunes them out. That would be me, if I were there watching this stuff with you. The longer the battle or fight scene the harder it is for me to follow or stay interested. No medical or psychological explanations needed. Certainly not psychopathy.
posted by beagle at 1:33 PM on November 15, 2020 [37 favorites]

Anytime someone’s sleepiness has annoyed me, I’ve realized I sense a kind of emotional checking out on their behalf. There’s some aspect of avoidance, unwilling to show up in their own life experience but instead completely cut out. My two cents.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:35 PM on November 15, 2020 [17 favorites]

Some people also fall asleep when they're stressed. For example, I have a friend with a fear of heights, and if she's a passenger in a car going through mountain roads, she falls asleep. So it could just as easily be that on some level he finds those scenes to be too much.
posted by wintersweet at 1:38 PM on November 15, 2020 [5 favorites]

As for why it's irritating you so much, I've been a visitor in a home where the man living there had the TV blaring pretty much constantly, and it's driven me nuts. TVs are often located in a pretty central place in the home, so someone playing it constantly means that (depending on the home layout), they can be taking up a whole damn lot of space in terms both of noise and rendering the family room unusable for other things. Irrespective of his choice of subject matter, could there be something like that going on for you?
posted by DingoMutt at 1:48 PM on November 15, 2020 [5 favorites]

I am a person whose flight response (of fight/flight/freeze/fawn response), if the stakes are realistically low OR there's no other way out, is a brutal case of the nods or flat out falling asleep. I will also do it during scary movies when tension is building and somebody's about to commit some terrible decision-making. I don't have any major trauma that's a direct line to this, but I am conflict-averse and the older I get the less and less entertained I am by fictional intensity.

I also completely helplessly fall asleep during in-flight turbulence. Like a rag doll in my seat, stuff falling out of my hands, head swinging around. There's nothing I can do about it, so I just power down, and I can feel it coming but I can't really stop it unless I can get up and move around, which is obviously a bad idea in that case.

Your response is pretty unsympathetic and you seem to be looking for a "men be like this" answer. It's certainly true that a number of men carry around serious trauma about "masculine" pursuits like fighting, killing things, war, committing violence, and a lot of men are coerced into consuming and pretending to enjoy this content as a means of social connection from a very young age. It doesn't make them - or anybody - a psychopath to want to avoid those triggers. It also doesn't make them self-aware about the response or the underlying causes - I kinda figured mine out decades ago but didn't really start avoiding it explicitly (which is nearly unavoidable, especially if you're trying to be social or polite about someone else's problematic faves) until my 40s.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:49 PM on November 15, 2020 [12 favorites]

Normal? Not to me - I need silence and darkness to fall asleep. However, I realize there's a cohort out there who fall asleep while 'watching' TV. Fortunately (or by design) I don't live with such people, but I've known both women and men like this.
posted by Rash at 1:55 PM on November 15, 2020

On re-reading it sounds like you recognize your response is out of scale to the issue, so it's worth a) reframing this as something other than boredom, since normally bored people get restless and leave or do something else, not fall asleep b) interrogating if you think checking out of this content is "unmanly" in some way c) considering if you're over-identifying with violent or gory content in a way that it becomes an insult if someone doesn't like it as much as you do.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:55 PM on November 15, 2020

Your comment about this person not being a psychopath makes me wonder if it bothers you because you perceive the behavior as something like being desensitized or apathetic about violence, but I don't actually think this behavior is evidence of that.

I would suggest spending less time theorizing about why he does it and more time reflecting on why you care so much. I realize that probably sounds harsh but it's not intended to -- it's more that the fact that your irritation is increasing is something you can do something about, whereas this person carrying out a (rather innocuous) behavior that causes you to feel irritated isn't.
posted by sm1tten at 1:56 PM on November 15, 2020 [19 favorites]

I find action sequences boring to watch. If I'm going to fall asleep watching a movie, it will be during a battle scene. I fell asleep in the theater watching not one but two LOTR movies. I am not a person who naps, generally. It is just supremely boring to me.

I do not feel like I'm particularly special or unique.
posted by phunniemee at 1:57 PM on November 15, 2020 [28 favorites]

My theory is he's tired.
posted by mikek at 2:04 PM on November 15, 2020 [16 favorites]

Are you sure this isn’t confirmation bias? He could often fall asleep during all sorts of scenes, but once you noticed it during a battle scene a couple times you kept noticing this thing that strikes you as odd and now it’s gotten stuck in your craw enough to make an Askme about it. He could regularly fall asleep briefly while watching all kinds of things for a variety of tiredness or comfiness reasons but since you’re presumably also watching the show or otherwise engaged you simply haven’t noticed.

Other ideas could be that he has some trouble with audio or visual processing and the relative business of action scenes like that make him a little dizzy or disoriented, he briefly closes his eyes, he is tired for whatever reason and falls asleep. This totally happens to me, I have audio processing trouble and will often have subtitles turned on and when there is no dialogue to read I will just drift a bit, and there often isn’t any dialogue in big action scenes, or I will find it hard to focus visually and give my eyes a break and it is time for a micro-nap.

Growing up, my best friend had a tendency to fall asleep at the movies. It is a whole thing with her. We would tease her about it because like, her favorite movie was Jurassic park and we’d find her conked out on a couch cushion during the t-Rex chase scene. It would never occur to me to think of her as apathetic about violence or psychopathic or otherwise a bad person for this. Honestly it is more cute than anything. So from life experience I would classify it as perfectly normal, just a thing humans do sometimes.

That you are seeking some kind of diagnosis and getting increasingly irritated about your relative’s behavior says more about you than him. Stress is at wildly high levels for everyone these days and people can zero in on the most innocuous things. One time years ago I started noticing how loudly a roommate chewed his food and even though he was an incredibly kind and generous and forgiving guy once I noticed I couldn’t stop noticing and I pushed him out of my life systematically - of course I also that year had extreme anxiety and an episode of suicidal ideation for a few months and later that year moved across the entire country. Related? Almost definitely. I try hard to forgive myself when I do stuff like that, pushing people away is part of a bad coping mechanism I have. For me it is often about things I can’t control that I care deeply about anyway - I think being upset about a perceived apathy towards violence in a family member is a totally logical progression from current events in the world that we can’t directly control. But that doesn’t mean there is anything to do about it or that there is even anything for you to bring up.
posted by Mizu at 2:09 PM on November 15, 2020 [10 favorites]

Yeah it's normal. I don't think it's necessarily normative, I think most people are agitated or otherwise kind of activated by fight scenes or other tense and/or negative interactions on screen or in real life. But some aren't. I've dated people in the past who were made super tired by conflict or high stress. Which meant having an argument with them was super aggravating because they would beg off because they were suddenly SO TIRED. But, eh, some people are like that. So I guess I'd be picking apart why you find it so enraging. Do you want someone to share that intensity of experience? Do you think this person may have some sort of maladaptive reactions to violence? It seems like you think they are not sufficiently caring about... fictional people in a made up place? So I guess I'd maybe think on it a little. It's not like how most people behave, I don't think, but I think it's a normal behavior.
posted by jessamyn at 2:15 PM on November 15, 2020

My husband falls asleep during Hitler documentaries. To be fair, we do get a lot of them, at times one per month, he turns om because he finds the topic interesting but then drops off. (He tends to fall asleep watching tv in general. We later found out his mom used to turn on the tv to get him to sleep as a toddler.)

It seems bizarre and insensitive given the topic material and the footage. But I've long since stopped applying a value statement to his sleeping.
posted by Omnomnom at 2:19 PM on November 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm a lady and I fall asleep during all action movies, because they are effing boring to my adhd brain. No dialogue to keep my attention, sound is either music or just noise, and the storytelling is muddled/limited. I usually need another distraction during purely visual scenes or I will drift away... Hope I'm not a psychopath!
posted by Freyja at 2:25 PM on November 15, 2020 [5 favorites]

Battle scenes are boring. The shows that contain them are often boring. How do you engage with a battle scene?
posted by mani at 2:31 PM on November 15, 2020 [7 favorites]

I'm a woman who rarely falls asleep at movies/watching tv, but the vast majority of those times it has been at action/battle/explode-y type movies. It seems you are looking at it as a "brutality is so relaxing" response but for me it's a "violence is not really entertaining or engaging, I've mentally checked out" response.
posted by gennessee at 3:01 PM on November 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

My father has sleep apnea (and is in denial about it) and falls asleep almost instantaneously when he sits down to watch any TV show or movie. Pre-COVID, he would even fall asleep in movie theaters (the dimmed lights do NOT help). This happens during sitcoms, dramas, James Bond films, Pixar movies, Bollywood movies... everything. Literally everything. It is aggravating as hell and I basically refuse to watch anything with him anymore because it's so frustrating to have to listen to loud snoring when I'm trying to really take in what I'm watching. IANAD, YMMV, etc... but perhaps this is what is going on.
posted by nayantara at 3:05 PM on November 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

It may not apply across the board, but a lot of action scenes are at the climax of TV episodes or movies and that tends to be when I'm getting sleepy watching things. It's less about what's happening on screen and just that I'm all comfy on the couch reclining and it's been a long day and maybe that glass of wine I had (if I had one) is making its effects known.

But this is assuming the sleeping is happening around when sleep usually happens -- at night. If your relative is falling alseep at like 1 p.m., I don't know, but many of the same things apply.
posted by edencosmic at 3:05 PM on November 15, 2020

(sorry, lest I sound insensitive to someone with a health issue, but my father has been like this for years and also displays other symptoms of sleep apnea and refuses to speak with a doctor about it, even when I have offered to make the appointment and drive him there and sit in the exam room with him. I accepted that I cannot change his feelings about this and I cannot control him, I hope for his safety and that he won't nod off driving or suffocate in the night, but the only thing I can do to control my frustration at the effect of watching something with an ostensibly interested but sleeping person is to just not put myself in a situation where I am around it.)
posted by nayantara at 3:12 PM on November 15, 2020

My girlfriend often falls asleep during the big exciting scene at the ends of movies. She likes action movies, but whether it's like a Terminator movie or like Howl's Moving Castle, she just often zonks out during the big thing. I think some of it is that there's no dialog or much character development going on, and some of it is that in the evening, after dinner & a drink,70 minutes is about how long she can sit somewhere cozy without falling asleep.

This used to bug the heck out of me, because she wanted to watch this movie and then she didn't even stay awake for the whole thing, and there I am not really able to talk about the ending of the movie afterwards, but then I realized I was being a bit of a jerk about it, and tried to take it easy. Now sometimes I'll stop the movie after she falls asleep so we can watch the ending together, or I'll watch it through and then rewatch it with her later, or one of the other options, but either way, that's not actually a problem.
posted by aubilenon at 3:16 PM on November 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

Another datapoint as a woman who will reliably fall asleep during battle scenes. All the CGI boom-boom stuff is deeply boring to me. This doesn't happen with suspense/cat-and-mouse type violence, or older movie battle scenes (All Quiet on the Western Front, Branagh's Henry V).

At least for me, it is a sort of desensitization to all the boom-boom coupled with a total lack of narrative/emotional arc to those scenes. It's like the filmmakers just want to show off their shiny new CGI technique. I haven't watched enough Game of Thrones to know what the scenes you describe are about, but in the episodes I did watch, there was a lot of show-off violence, which ... yeah.
posted by basalganglia at 3:19 PM on November 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Does this person stay awake during any other kind of scenes? It may be worth double-checking this to make sure that there isn't any kind of confirmation bias going on - as in, you may just notice it more because it seems so unlikely to you that someone could sleep through that, but they may actually just be falling asleep through everything.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:47 PM on November 15, 2020

You're reading into their behavior your own assumptions of that person, it sounds like. Maybe they do other things for you to think of psycopathy.

Of itself, no, falling asleep during battle scenes is not abnormal. For some people TV, any TV, is like a sleeping pill. I have to say, I find such scenes so violent and so long-drawn, generally, that I would rather do almost anything else than watch them. Sleeping seems as good a way to tune them out as any.
posted by Armed Only With Hubris at 3:49 PM on November 15, 2020

I get pretty comfy when I'm snuggled up on the couch watching a movie, and battle scenes often happen about two thirds of the way in. My auditory processing isn't great and without any subtitles to guide me along I don't really know who's doing what. There's too much motion on the screen for me, and lots of repetitive noise. It's a prime time for me to fall asleep. I also definitely am more prone to falling asleep when watching a movie when I'm really stressed out, or after I've eaten something yummy while watching the movie, so those factors may also be at play.

In any case, I would suggest that if you ever going to talk to him about it to tread lightly. I had a partner who would get very angry with me for falling asleep during all kinds of movies--said it was disrespectful both to them and the filmmakers--and that was actually very damaging. It was not really about me, it was about them and their overall feelings about me as a human. Is this emblematic of a larger feeling that you're struggling with related to this guy? Just something for you to think about. Working through those feelings might help this be less irritating to you.
posted by k8lin at 4:19 PM on November 15, 2020

Thanks, all. I did not expect so many responses.
I admit that I'm projecting (maybe I am the psychopathic one lol), as I am indeed under a lot of stress, trying to finish a book manuscript while holding (for COVID work from home values of holding) a day job. I am annoyed that he is falling asleep to TV when he has a (less urgent) project of his own to work on.
I agree that many of these battle scenes are boring; I mentioned GoT battles as an example of this kind of interminable poorly edited battle scene. I myself get all tense during battle or violent scenes and it's interesting that the emotional response can also go the other way.
posted by bad grammar at 4:23 PM on November 15, 2020

Please don't conflate being desensitized to tv violence with being desensitized to real violence. While I generally don't fall asleep watching anything (so I won't comment on that aspect) I can certainly be bored during violent, gruesome scenes depending on how it's shot and whether or not I care about the characters. If I've seen the show/movie before, that also has a huge effect on whether or not I'm tuned in. I love horror and action movies. However, if I'm seeing violence in real life or from footage in documentaries/news, I assure you I am extremely upset and disturbed.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 4:24 PM on November 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

It's not at all unusual. My guess would be you're more emotionally engaged in the scene and he's just...not. So it's boring for him. This could be for all kinds of reasons - he watches enough action-y stuff to get desensitized to it. Or maybe it's too hard to follow - the Ramsay Bolton scene isn't just like, metaphorically dark. It's physically hard to see it's so dimly lit. Or in a lot of action it's so loud and fast that it's hard to tell what's going on. Or there's no emotional connection to the characters -- I can only think of one or two movies with a fight scene in the last 5-8 years where I was genuinely on the edge of my seat - either I could barely tell what was going on, or I didn't really have a lot of emotional investment in the characters or the stakes.

But like -- why do you care? It's not a reflection on you or the media you think is good or important if someone else doesn't connect with it.
posted by Caravantea at 4:28 PM on November 15, 2020

Are you watching the show with him? If so, maybe you feel like you were having a shared experience and then he just left.

Also, some people are just annoying tv watchers. There are all kinds. The high-pitched cacklers. The compulsive wrong guessers of what's going to happen next. And, for me, the most annoying category of all, the slack-jawed, dead-eyed lump of inertia. Maybe your relative just falls asleep in an annoying way?

Or maybe life is just on your nerves. None of us are at our best these days.
posted by HotToddy at 4:29 PM on November 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Another person here who falls asleep during battle scenes. I am a woman and not, as far as I can tell, a psychopath. I don't feel like I'm insensitive to violence. I cringe and look away whenever there's anything a little gory. But if I haven't had enough sleep I may get drowsy while I'm watching a movie and if I fall asleep it's very often during a battle scene. They just aren't particularly interesting parts of the movie to me. No dialog, no character development, no interesting plot developments. I often find it hard to follow what's happening. You usually know who's going to win, so you're basically just waiting for that to happen so the plot can move forward. Sitting there watching all that time-filling movement - the back and forth parrying or the chases or the explosions or whatever - and waiting for it to come to a conclusion is the kind of thing that puts me to sleep.
posted by Redstart at 4:47 PM on November 15, 2020

[Quick note: terms like psychopath have real medical meanings and if people are referring to things that are not clinical it may be worth finding other less-specific terms. Thank you.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:58 PM on November 15, 2020 [9 favorites]

It's the same reason people often skip extended battle scenes in books... all too often, they're BORING.
posted by stormyteal at 5:12 PM on November 15, 2020

watching TV is a thing I do at the end of the day when my work is done. As a result I am always tired when I sit down "to watch"; and in fact "to watch" really means "to occupy the outer layer of brain that otherwise would fasten on worrisome personal stuff, so that I can relax." A boring battle scene (and they're all boring) is just about guaranteed to make me fall asleep under these conditions. And a genuinely tense scene is likely to make me check out because I simply don't like them.

Maybe you watch TV with your relative hoping to experience bonding time with them, and are disappointed when they check out? Or it annoys you that they wind up sleeping on the couch? Or you find them annoying to the point of bitch eating crackers for other reasons? Because otherwise your reaction to your relative's entirely normal, innocuous and common use of TV time is really weird.
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:18 PM on November 15, 2020

I'm a dude who finds the background noise of something on TV/my laptop to be helpful going to sleep. For me personally, dramas (or dramatic narration) tend to keep me awake, but documentaries will put me right out if I'm the slightest bit tired. It's not that I'm disinterested -- I got through my last semester of grad school by watching multi-hour PBS documentaries on subjects I was very interested in, in snippets. I fell asleep to it, and just fast-forwarded to the last thing I remembered the next night. For me, it's something distracting from all the other noise in my brain, and that allows my brain to shut off better for sleep.

My wife was annoyed with me the other week for falling asleep while we were watching something together. I hear her critique, which was along the lines of what HotToddy proposed (and, on preview, fingersandtoes), and I'm going to try to do better about that specific thing, but for me, "A long, ridiculous work day is over, I'm next to my wife, and I feel safe and content and suitably distracted from everything I'm worried about" was a really good mind-state for going to sleep right then. I want to assure you (as I assured her) that me feeling relaxed and falling asleep with her is a good thing, from my perspective. She gets to say "hey, please don't do that that way" because she's my wife and that's a fair ask -- I'm not sure if your relationship with a more distant relative earns you that privilege, though.

I'm not sure if your male relative is having the same experience -- I'm not sure I've fallen asleep to battle scenes, but I think I can imagine if there was a lot of indistinct clatter and not much talking-about-things, I could maybe end up in the same place?
posted by Alterscape at 5:22 PM on November 15, 2020

Does this person fall asleep at other times when you’d reasonably expect them to be awake/when you’re not expecting to be sharing space with a sleeping person? Or is it only that he falls asleep during these scenes and it annoys you?

Something I know about myself is that I’m uneasy being around people who are sleeping when I’m not trying to fall asleep myself. I’ve felt this even with hearing housemates snoring with their bedroom doors open. I can’t necessarily point to a rational reason for it, it’s just a quirk of mine that I have to manage (often by going to a different room or by closing my own door.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:57 PM on November 15, 2020

Wouldn't the more obvious sign of disturbing sociopathy be somebody who is absolutely enthralled by violence and wants to revel in watching it as intensely as possible? Not that there's anything wrong with that -- just that somebody who is so uninterested in violence that it puts them to sleep doesn't scream "secret axe murderer" to me.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:22 PM on November 15, 2020

I can't say I've done this particular thing (and I've never watched any of Game of Thrones), but as someone who has the super-fun combination of insomnia + tinnitus + some form of ADD, I often find it much easier to fall asleep to instrumental stoner/doom metal or classical music that most people would find jarring even in their waking moments. Dialogue will keep me awake, but repetitive clashing sounds are oddly soothing to me in a way that white noise or the like have never been. Just a theory on his end.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:21 PM on November 15, 2020

My mother dozed off in front of the TV often, watching shows she said she liked. I gave her a hard time in my teen years. I'm now in my 50s and I do it too.

And nthing that battle scenes are generally boring, predictable and too long. Great time to catch up on sleep; the brave fight heroically, cowards cringe, and the plot movement can generally be summed up as "who won?" It's only slightly hyperbolic to say that the last surprising thing that happened in a battle scene was when Luke Skywalker learned something about his paternity.

(Also, I don't know if this is medically a thing, but I personally feel the visually busy screens of battles contribute to eye fatigue and sleepiness, especially as my eyesight has worsened.)
posted by mark k at 9:55 PM on November 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

If it upsets you so much, why are you watching TV with this person? Perhaps stop doing that?
posted by koahiatamadl at 10:56 PM on November 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

It's not at all unusual. My guess would be you're more emotionally engaged in the scene and he's just...not. So it's boring for him.

Heck I fall asleep watching things I AM interested in because just being alive is fucking obliteratingly exhausting lately. When I'm engaged in a show I'll fight like hell to stay awake but if there's a long stretch with no breaks, that's typically when I lose the fight. Battle scene, chase scene, that fight scene in They Live that goes on for like 45 minutes inexplicably--anything where there's little variation in the pacing or action to jolt me awake.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:13 PM on November 15, 2020

Even when I am emotionally engaged in something I risk falling asleep during car chases, battle scenes, one on one fight scenes, and any other kind of scene where it requires a sort of visual/spatial awareness to track where characters (or cars, or spaceships) actually are in relation to each other. Especially when the scenes are shot in darkness as many of them are. And the longer these battle scenes are the harder it is for me to maintain focus and stay awake. I don't find fictional violence enjoyable at all, so I don't really want to focus after a point.

Game of Thrones was such a slog for me, speaking as someone who was emotionally invested. My brain finds these kinds of scenes really hard to parse. So it zones out. And then I'm out for the count.

I'm a sensitive and empathetic person, but I do this all the time. It's strange to read disturbing personality disorders being mooted as a reason for this sort of thing. Surely the more obvious reason for such behaviour is boredom or tiredness?
posted by unicorn chaser at 2:23 AM on November 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

My theory is he's tired.


I fall asleep like clockwork around 9:15 each night no matter what is on the telly. I don't watch violent programming but I bet I'd fall asleep during that too. And it can happen suddenly. I can feel wide awake and then suddenly my wife is asking if I am sleeping. I do NOT do the "I'm just resting my eyes" bit. I say "likely" and then follow up with "but please keep watching" because I never prioritise television, and don't care if I miss anything.

If he's not just tired then I think the sound thing is a good guess. I can't nap, but when I try I do so by putting sports on low so I only hear the droning of the crowd. Then I am out like a light.

But the jump to psychopath? That seems a stretch, and makes me wonder if you have other reasons to think this about him or just don't like them.
posted by terrapin at 5:57 AM on November 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

My wife always falls asleep when we watch TV in the evening. Doesn't matter what it is, how exciting or interesting it is. She is just tired and sitting still with the flickering lights and jibber-jabber of the tv lulls her to sleep.

It doesn't happen as often to me, but I find the same thing when I am tired ... my mind just drifts off and I can fall asleep through anything on the screen.

A lot of action stuff is really boring to watch.
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:48 AM on November 16, 2020

I do this. Battle scenes are boring, confusing, and hard to follow. Any plot development that takes place in them can be hard to spot amidst the chaos. Any dialogue is lost in the noise. I would be happy to have 9/10 of the battles happen off-screen with a synopsis of them by the surviving characters.
See also: car chases.
posted by SLC Mom at 11:20 AM on November 16, 2020

He's falling asleep because battle scenes are boring and hard to follow. It bothers you because battle scenes are loud and nobody is watching this loud thing that's on.
posted by potrzebie at 11:53 PM on November 16, 2020

why is it irritating me so much?

Do you live in the same place? When visiting someone who leaves the TV on all the time, I've found that shows with cheering/screaming noises are really annoying to hear in the background, even if you are in another room with the door closed and other tv sounds aren't as annoying.

It's especially annoying if you are trying to go to sleep.

It's even more annoying if you are so irritated that you can't get to sleep that you get up and go turn off the tv, and lie down in bed thinking you can finally sleep, and then the person turns the tv back on because they "need it on to sleep".

But even if you are just trying to focus on something in another room, part of your brain is on alert for threats with the screaming sounds in the background, even if you know it's "just the tv".
posted by yohko at 11:16 AM on November 18, 2020

I fall asleep during episodes of Law & Order. It's not because I'm desensitized to murder and rape. it's because the show is so formulaic that I don't really pay attention to the details. A lot of battle scenes are like that too, lots of hitting and shooting and explosions, but the plot isn't actually moving forward in a way that requires a lot of detailed attention. I could absolutely see myself nodding off during them.
posted by decathecting at 1:28 PM on December 24, 2020

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