Sleep is very important for our physical and mental health. How much sleep an individual need varies from person to person, ranging from 8 to 10 hours sleep per night if you’re between 12–17 years old and 7 to 9 hours if you’re between 18–25 years old. Video gaming or eSports can be positive and enjoyable activities, although it can be very challenging as well because you get to be in the middle of having to choose whether to rest and sleep or to keep staying awake, focused, and be in an important game, not knowing that the single most important thing that you can do to improve your concentration and performance, on the contrary, is sleep.
Healthy gaming provides organization and standard in your life as well as provide some beneficial time out and relaxation, which are both good for your mental health. However, for some people, gaming and screen time can often prevent them from having a good quality sleep, which can result in poor mental and physical performance, as well as complicated health issues. Sleep hygiene has become a problem in the gaming population. In a recent study, about 50 percent of gamers across all the countries surveyed reported missing sleep. Singapore led the tally board having 59.7% of their gamers missed sleep, France at 59.2%, and UK and US both at 59%.
THE BAD EFFECTS OF LACK OF SLEEP ON VIDEO GAMERS: IMPACT ON GAME STRATEGY, TACTICS, AND CONCENTRATION
Not having quality and enough sleep can be a cause for many problems. If you’re a gamer and you’re depriving yourself of not having enough sleep, it is harder for you to manage the stresses that come along with the hobby or the sport. You'll have less energy, irritable, and may become unfit and unhealthy for the demands of the sport. Sleep provides our brain the time to process all information and experiences that we have done and learned during the day. Even missing one night of sleep can prevent your brain from absorbing new information, which can lead to some major cognition issues. Brain functions such as memory, decision-making process, reasoning, and problem-solving skills, as well as reaction time and alertness, are all affected and extremely weakened. Imagine how these would affect your strategies in a game.
Sleep allows the body and mind to recuperate from the stresses and strains of a day. For a competitive gamer who spends countless hours into a game, this can be critical. Without quality sleep, gamers are unable to fully play at their optimum. Here are three important benefits of recovery through sleep:
Sleep improves attention for efficient learning and allows consolidation of memory for new learning experiences and information.
Acquisition and recall of information and experience occur during waking hours while consolidation of newly acquired information takes place during sleep. Without adequate sleep, the brain cells cannot coordinate information properly, thereby losing the ability to retrieve previously learned information. Gaming requires continuous learning of strategies and refinement of skills, and a good grip on these elements can be effectively accomplished through sleep.
The Brain Cleanse Itself During Sleep
When we sleep, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid increases to clear out waste protein buildup during the waking hours. This waste product is considered toxic and explains why we can’t think clearly when we’re sleep-deprived. Also during sleep, another waste product, beta amyloid, decreases in concentration. Beta amyloid is a substance associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and is usually increased during times when we’re awake. With quality sleep, we’re assured that our brain will be clear of toxins and will have the energy that we need for improved gaming performance.
Sleep Improves Performance
People who get enough sleep have faster reaction times and respond well to problem-solving and decision making. Our brain can both learn and retain information through memory consolidation during sleep. Sleep also enables our body to recover from the strains of physical activities. When we don’t get enough sleep, we’re more likely to have a longer recovery period, decreased tolerance to stress, and poor overall performance.
Sleep Lowers Your Chances of Injuries
Injuries in eSports have been becoming prevalent in the last years, mostly due to the physical stresses of the game. Many of these injuries are the result of overuse, which can be prevented with good recovery from quality sleep. Recovery is important for all athletes, even for video gamers. Although various recovery methods are readily available, sleep is still the best and the most important of all the recovery strategies out there.
THE TAKEAWAY: If you’re still up and wide awake in front of your device or computer when you should be sleeping, you’ll find yourself in a pit of so many performance issues. You may not only lose a game but also let go of your potential to go farther into your sport. A healthy sleep is critical for both physical and mental health, improving productivity and overall quality of life. Every gamer can benefit from better sleep, and better sleep habits can play a key part in achieving that goal…
A reminder from Recovapro… Enjoy the game but stay fit and healthy… Sleep when you need to.