Many people play through until late hours. Is that wise? And how much influence does that have on your night sleep?
Do you disturb your night’s rest?
In this article, I want to emphasize the influence of playing computer games in the evening, and the effect that this has on night sleep. I believe that the gaming itself (when it happens during the day and in moderation) probably even has a positive influence on brain development. You train and develop things like alertness, concentration, analytical ability, laying relationships, thinking ahead, making choices, solving problems, setting priorities, etc!
Research on the influence of gamen
In Australia, two small studies have been conducted on the influence of gamen. I do not go deep into the research (which has already been done on other websites) but the conclusion of the story is that gaming has a negative impact on night’s sleep when more than an hour is spent in the evening. The surveyors who had played for an hour had much less sleep problems than the subjects who played for 2 hours before sleep. The differences were both in sleep time and a shorter duration of REM sleep .
Different games and watching TV
In one of these studies, the main difference was the difference between the influence of gaming and watching television (among teenagers).The result was that the difference between 50 minutes or 50 minutes watching television was not terrifyingly high, but there was a negative (re) effect on sleep. The sleep quality was the same, it only took less than 10m to fall asleep.
Unfortunately, both studies were far too small (17 and 14 subjects) to be really reliable. I find the results very realistic, so I suspect that it represents more or less the reality. Because of the small scale, nothing can be said about the influence of gamen on people who already have sleep problems, perhaps the impact is extraordinary. Furthermore, there is nothing to say about the different impacts of different types of games (there will be a clear difference between a puzzle and a war game).
The influence of screens on sleep
In addition, a large-scale survey of the National Sleep Federation (1500+ surveyed) revealed that 63% of Americans would have sleep problems by using screens in the evening (such as TV, tablets, mobiles or gaming). Almost everybody, 95% of the investigators, indicated that in the last hour before going to bed, use an electronic device (I’m assuming that the electric toothbrush is not included here).
I also think that the biggest negative effect is him especially in the light of monitors, so not specifically the gaming. This bright light influences the production of melatonin (sleep hormone). Normally your body starts with the production of this sleep hormone when it gets dark. By staring at night in a bright screen, melatonin production is blocked, which means that we are not “naturally” tired of it. ( you can read all about this sleep watchdog ). When you’re in the computer or gaming, you’re often closer to the screen (compared to watching TV), which makes this negative effect even bigger.
A computer game will make your brain work much harder than watching TV or being busy with your cellphone . It often takes a lot of concentration and alertness. In addition, the thrill of gameplay causes adrenaline production to keep us awake again.
In addition, this is not even so much for gaming, if I’m very concentrated and seriously busy all night. Such as the development of new ideas for this website. I forget about the time and fly my bed straight away. Then I can not really fall asleep properly. Then my mind is just too active and busy with all the ideas I’ve been working on.
Disturbed sleep pattern
Real hardcore gamers sometimes want to keep a bad sleep pattern by keeping irregular sleep times . It is then (or not because of the somewhat addictive effect that gaming may have on some) not passed on to a predetermined reasonable end time, but simply until one has no sense, reached a level or goal, or simply can not do anymore ! One night goes to bed at 23:00 and the next day at 3:00. A disturbed rhythm is indeed a major cause for many sleep problems!
Chronic sleep problem
In active gamers, and of course game addicts, it’s also not crazy when falling asleep becomes a chronic problem, just like with other addictions, it’s always going to work out. And when one is not relaxed and a kind of “stressed” goes to sleep, sleeping is often a problem!
If you like it, an hour can not really hurt any day, but rather do not do it in the evening. And at least no more than an hour in the evening.When you can only play and you really can not do it, limit it to up to an hour to reduce the negative impact on your night’s rest.
Limit the negative impact of gamen
When you gamble in the evening, you can reduce the impact by going further from your screen and reducing the contrast of your screen. And try to stop at least half an hour before bedtime and do nothing more active. Take a moment to relax by reading a book or taking a shower!