An adequate good quality sleep is very essential for us to stay mentally and physically healthy. The amount of sleep required varies from person to person and changes as you grow older. Children aged 12–17 years require 8 to 10 hours of sleep daily and adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily. Everybody, irrespective of you being a child or an adult is living a busy life in their respective ways and need to wind down. People have their ways of winding down, some like listening to music, or some watch TV, so some focus on their hobby or some like to play video games, etc.
Playing video games can have both positive and negative impacts on your sleep.
Some of these activities close to bedtime are not good for getting a good quality sleep. Gaming can have an adverse impact on the quality of your sleep and some may suffer from sleep-related health problems.
1. Blue Light From the Screen can Keep you Awake
The screens on which you play video games emit blue light which is bad for your sleep. Our sleep cycle synchronizes with the natural light of day and night to set our Circadian rhythm. The artificial blue light emitted from the screen fools our brain and spoils our circadian rhythm and impacts the quality of our sleep.
2. Sounds Increase Your Stress Level
Sound from the video games can be an insidious factor. You may not realize the impact of sound on your brain but it does perk up your brain. The sounds of a video game put your brain on alert and increase your stress levels.
3. “Surprise” Factor Increases Your Anxiety
If you are used to playing a new game more often or even moving to a new level may result in increasing your anxiety because of the surprise it brings. The factor of “unknown” forces you to stay awake because of anxiety.
However, gaming in a healthy way can help in providing you with good downtime, make you fall into a routine, help in relaxing and having fun.
Here are some of the reasons how playing video games may help people.
- Children who play sports video games may become better at playing sports
- May improve problem-solving ability
- May help in improving your creativity
- May help some people to relax
- May help some people in feeling better and help in triggering positive emotional responses
How to Play Video Games Without Affecting Your Sleep?
Here are some of the ways that can help you in playing video games without affecting your sleep.
1. Play a Familiar Game
You should play a game that you are familiar with so that there are no surprises or unknown sequences that may increase your stress level and anxiety. It is like watching a rerun of your favorite TV show or a movie that you may have watched so many times earlier but give you an equal amount of thrill every time you watch it. Playing a familiar video game may even be a better option than reading a new book, the factor of not knowing what is on the next page may force you to go on reading one page after another. Unpredictability is going to keep you awake but predictability may help you relax and help you wind up comfortably.
2. Play a Mini-Game
You should play a mini-game that requires minimal engagement, steps are repetitive and doesn’t add to your stress levels. Playing such video games may make you tired sooner and help you fall asleep faster and easier.
3. Keep The Big Screens Out of Your Bedroom
You should play video games that involve small screens and not big ones when it is close to your bedtime. You should move big screens out of your bedroom, it will force you to only play games on smaller screens which comparatively emit less blue light. Blue light from screens keeps you awake as it is bad for your sleep cycle.
4. Lower the Brightness
You should play video games on the device that supports lowering the brightness or switching to “night mode”. You should lower the brightness of your device to reduce the amount of blue light being emitted from the screen by shifting the output color scheme to the “warmer” end of the color spectrum.
5. Lower the Volume
You should either switch off the sounds or lower the volume level if playing video games close to bedtime as high volume may stimulate you more. Also, unexpected sounds are going to increase your stress level and anxiety.
Playing video games can have a good and bad impact on your quality of life. You should follow these tips to avoid playing video games that affect the quality of your sleep. Poor sleep is going to be bad for your mental and physical health and may also become a reason for other life-threatening diseases in the future. For more sleep tips, advice, and mattress reviews, have a look at this post from Sleepstandards.com for more interesting information.