Sleep is invaluable to our overall wellbeing. The majority of us tend to take it for granted. I should know because I was once that person. There are times we get sucked in by the activities around us that we make sleep the least of our priority. I learned of its value the hard way. Whether you’re watching movies, working or playing video games, you need sleep just as much. There’s a pretty valid reason why it’s recommended that we get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Research has shown that there’s a strong relationship between our health and the quality of sleep we get. Therefore, there’s a great need to minimize distractions and ensure we get good sleep all night long.
As mentioned, video games are among the reasons why many people fail to get a good night’s rest, especially among teenagers and other young adults. Considering how the gaming industry has seen significant growth in recent years and the number of professional gamers is on the rise, the problem is only getting worse. Here’s an in-depth look at how gaming can affect your sleep.
1. Video Games Cause Changes in Sleep
Quite frankly, it’s safe to conclude that the past century has seen significant advancements in the various sectors – it’s all thanks to technological developments. Although, the impact of tech on the quality of our lives has been immense. it’s not without drawbacks. Video games are an excellent example. Yes, they keep us busy and entertained but then scientific research has shown that there are dark sides to this pleasure among them the negative impact it has on sleep.
Note that, it’s when we overdo it that we get to experience the adverse side effects. Our sleep gets compromised in the following ways:
- Sleep Latency
If you’re an avid gamer then you’ve probably experienced or are currently experiencing sleep-onset latency. A lot of research done on teenagers has proven that the more you play, especially before bedtime, the longer one takes to shut off. So, among the side effects of gaming on sleep is sleep-onset latency which basically means you’ll take longer than normal to doze off.
- REM Sleep
REM is an acronym for Rapid Eye Movement. REM Sleep is a state of sleep characterized by rapid eye movements. It occurs at intervals lasting up to 90 minutes. During this state, we experience what can be described as deep sleep. It’s a slow wave or restorative sleep. Gaming excessively interferes with the amount of time we spend enjoying restorative sleep. That negatively affects our brain health and emotional well-being.
It’s worth noting that the various researches done on gaming and sleep have been short-term and no one really knows what the long-term effects could be. Therefore, if you’re a fan of gaming, take the time to ensure that you have excellent bedding by visiting this website. There are other ergonomic aspects to consider such the impact on spine/ back and neck which a good mattress can help ease.
2. Sleep and Artificial Lighting
The majority of sleep experts and articles all echo one common advice for those seeking to improve their sleep quality. They all agree that electronic devices before bed are a No! No! That’s because, in recent times, studies have shown that our favorite devices, tablets, smartphones, TV sets, and laptops among others all emit blue light. It should worry you because it’s on a wavelength that inhibits production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm. It’s basically impacting our overall existence by altering our everyday biological cycles. It’s been argued that gaming is even worse when compared to watching because of the interaction we have when playing.
3. Video Games Affect Sleep Patterns
“Let me play just one more, I know I can pass this level. I just need…..”
That’s how we find ourselves glued to the screen in the dead of the night. As expected, gaming eventually affects our sleep patterns because we tend to stay up late. Changes in sleep patterns or inadequate sleep are bad for our health. If we must play, do so a couple of hours before bedtime.
Gaming isn’t a bad pleasure; the right timing is what’s crucial. Video games are bad for our sleep when not done at the right time. It causes changes in sleep patterns, quality, and circadian rhythm.