Do you love gaming? If so, then I’m sure that you find it hard switching off that PlayStation, Xbox, or your console of choice before going to bed. Well, you shouldn’t worry as this is a common problem. I’m a passionate gamer too, but sadly, I feel like this is making our country a sleepless society.
Therefore, I decided to do some research on why gaming before bedtime is ruining our sleep. One of the first places I visited was trymattress.com and learned a few tips which I’ll share with you today. These are just guidelines meant to keep you gaming while knowing the harmful impacts that it causes on your sleeping patterns.
The Relationship between Video Games and Sleep
First, we’ll try to look at the connection between rest and gaming. Here, I came across studies which monitored the sleeping routines of teenagers and children who are more likely to switch on their gaming machines before bed.
Interestingly, these reports showed that those who kept playing for more than 150 minutes found it harder to sleep. As I went deeper into the research, I discovered some shocking numbers. Apparently, they delay their sleep by close to 39 minutes and end up losing 27 minutes of their total average night’s sleep!
Other than that, the report also showed that playing video games caused a decrease in the time that they spend in the REM stage. To be more precise, this is close to 12 minutes for those who spend more than two hours gaming.
It Keeps Your Brain Active When It Should Be Resting
Do you fall asleep watching a good movie at night or chatting with friends on Facebook? Well, these are only passive experiences that don’t engage your body too much other than just requiring you to use the remote while changing channels. However, when it comes to modern gaming devices, this is an entirely different experience. These games come with heavily built-in interactive features.
For instance, while playing the highly exciting multiplayer shooter game Call of Duty, you’ll have to talk to other gamers using the headset feature. As you can see, such creates more reason for you to continue gaming when you should be giving your brain the rest that it deserves.
Is There a Connection Between Video Games and Lucid Dreaming?
I recently talked with Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist and sleep expert. In our conversation, we discussed the various ways on how gaming affects dreams. We went through multiple studies on video games and how they affect our dreaming patterns. Here, Jayne also reminded me that dreams and video games are part of our alternate reality. Together, we found that continuous gamers can control their thoughts quickly as compared to non-gamers. Although we couldn’t tell if such lucid dreaming capabilities affect hinder or help their sleep experience, they are a silver lining in the sleeping life of ‘addicted’ gamers.
Well, it’s not easy to tell if gaming is the reason behind your lack of sleep. In any case, you should know that putting your brain through over-simulating activities, especially before going to bed, means that you won’t get enough rest.
I should also remind you that exposing your eyes to the bright light of screens at night has a lot of physiological effects. The most crucial effect is that it prevents the production of the melatonin hormone which helps you fall asleep. All in all, it’s better to stop gaming before going to sleep as it will consume a lot of your energy, affect your health and mental capabilities.