How Bad is Playing Video Games Before Sleep?
Do you spend a lot of time gaming? Do you find it hard to turn off your gaming system or ever hear yourself saying "just one more game"? Playing video games before sleep is becoming a big problem and is adding to our sleepless society.
Having an adequate amount of sleep is vital for a solid gaming session. It's pretty much common sense that the right amount of sleep will improve your health. Without sleep we will have a hard time with concentration, energy, and focus. Sleep deprivation is one of the biggest problems that gamers face today.
If you're anything like me, you probably spend most of your evenings and night around a bright screen filled with gaming goodness, checking the occasional text message, etc. The bad news is, that this is terrible for your sleep. Most electronic screens emit blue light more than any other light source. Blue light has been known to suppress melatonin, which is very important because it controls natural body sleep cycle and gives you that tired feeling that everyone dreads.
What does the research say?
A team of researchers at Flinders University discovered that prolonged gaming before bed is disruptive to getting a good nights sleep. They found that those who played video games before sleep lost an average of 27 minutes of sleep and took 39 minutes more to actually fall asleep.
They learned that those who went to bed at their regular bedtime still experienced significant sleep disruptions and frequently woke up through the night. During the REM Cycle the participants lost an average of 12 minutes for those whole played 2+ hours of video games before sleep. That's pretty significant being that the REM cycle is usually 70-90 minutes.
Should you stop playing video games before sleep?
Does this mean you should give up on playing video games before sleep? In fact, gaming has shown to be very beneficial to your brain and has other numerous benefits whether they be educational or social.
At the very most you should probably stop playing video games 30 minutes before your bedtime. This will give you enough time for your brain to calm down and allow your body to produce the much needed melatonin to get a good nights rest.