Top 5 Reasons Why Gamers Sleep and Nap Less
Over the years, several studies have analyzed the influence of gaming on our lives, especially when it comes to sleeping and resting correctly. Nowadays, everybody agrees that spending a lot of time in front of any screen has consequences. Considering our busy lives, our office jobs and the amount of time we spend at computers, it should be a no-brainer why the quality of our repose diminishes rapidly. But this doesn’t mean we have to stop enjoying gaming and technology. Moderation is the word specialists use when talking about what we could do to prevent adverse outcomes from our activities involving screens.
I believe you’ve all wondered at some point “why can’t I take a long nap or sleep more?” There are a few reasons for which gamers sleep and nap less than other people, depicted by those studies I’ve mentioned.
Changes in our body
Staring at backlight screens (especially before bedtime) increases vigilance and decreases melatonin, a hormone which is supposed to boost sleep. A study conducted in 2003 shared this finding, stating that all exciting activities performed before going to bed could cause our body to produce less melatonin. Researchers concluded that this was probably due to the effect of the blue light emitted by all screens, which affects the production of the “sleep hormone.”
Our state of mind
According to the study mentioned above, even watching TV can have the same downside effects on our sleep. But there is a difference: watching TV is a passive activity, while gaming is a challenging activity, which explains why our brains stay wired even after the game is over and why we find it hard to go to bed. We are in an agitated state of mind, and we ache for more rush.
Alarms and snooze buttons
They are not our friends. When we wake up suddenly because of a loud alarm, certain parts of our brain will wake up at the same moment, but others will need hours to be functional (and I’m talking about those parts that govern higher cognitive processes). And the worst thing is hitting the snooze button in the hope of stealing five more minutes of sleep. When you do this, your brain enters the first stage of sleep again, and then you force it to wake up at the sound of the alarm. This action induces heavy sleep inertia and makes you feel woozy the whole day. But you won’t be able to take a nap or sleep, even though you feel tired.
Wrong sleeping positions
Even if the bed is not the primary cause of your sleep deprival, it can very well contribute to your comfort and help you get a good rest. If you have an old mattress or one that doesn’t help you find the best position to sleep, you should change it. Uncomfortable beds and wrong sleeping positions are another documented cause for not sleeping properly or not even being able to take a nap, according to trymattres.
Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems, like chronic insomnia. It’s a vicious circle: being in front of the screen makes you sleepless, and then you don’t get to sleep at all and spend the time in front of a screen. This kind of situation requires medical attention and treatment.
Nevertheless, psychologists have found that playing games can be useful for our brains. But to protect our health, energy and mental abilities, we should choose moderation.