GAME. SLEEP. REPEAT.
In Germany alone, over 34 million people regularly play video games. Every 6th gamer then goes to sleep later than planned - yet sleep is important for our physical and mental performance and thus crucial for gaming performance.
Table of contents
Positive effects of gaming
Gaming and eSports have long been part of our everyday lives and are now much more than a simple leisure activity. Numerous studies have already proven that playing video games regularly can have a positive effect on body and mind. Among other things, the following have been proven
' improvement of cognitive and motor skills .
Researchers at the University of Iowa tested the impact of a game focused on pacing and strategic decision-making in people over 50, and the surprising result was that just 2 hours of play a day can improve cognitive abilities by up to 70% in the long term and slow age-related decline. Another study also showed that video games could improve so-called hand-eye coordination in children and boost responsiveness.
' Improving visual perception
Back in 2007, a study by scientists at a New York university found that just 30 hours of playing a first-person shooter led to significantly improved spatial perception . Test subjects were able to clearly see small objects placed close together. Fine differences in contrast can be perceived by gamers more than 50 percent better than their non-gaming peers, according to a study.
› Increased sensitivity
Researchers at the University of Rochester found that gamers develop a heightened sensitivity to events around them. This is noticeable in a wide variety of everyday things, such as driving a car or finding your way around unfamiliar areas.
So, as we can see, there seem to be some positive effects of gaming on various skills, brain function and brain structure. But: this only happens if we don't overdo it and can also "switch off" once in a while - this is exactly where sleep comes into play! The brain needs breaks to recover and improve, and the most effective time-out for us humans is and remains sleep. Getting enough sleep is therefore an important factor in gaming power and performance.
Gaming & Sleep
A study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that gamers are more likely to forgo sleep than to continue gaming. Computer gamers* sleep less compared to other peers. Studies have shown that average sleep time decreases by 15 minutes when gaming after 20:00. Especially those who play too exciting games with a high thrill factor have an increased activation of the nervous system (arousal) and can therefore have problems falling asleep.
So why you should pay attention to a healthy sleep pattern especially as a gamer?
Fact #1: Our brain recovers and improves primarily during sleep.
Especially in deep sleep, the brain processes new impressions and anchors learned structures and processes in memory during the day - you can find out exactly how here. Intensive training to improve your gaming skills will only be successful if you also pay attention to your sleep.
Fact #2: Our sleep is the central recovery period for our body.
During sleep, energy stores in the brain and muscles are replenished, the immune system is strengthened and body cells are built. Skin regeneration and the regulation of the metabolism also take place. In short: your body recovers and gathers new energy for the next day. If we sleep too little, our metabolism and skin appearance change, our concentration and learning ability decrease and the immune system is weakened. Thus, both physical and mental performance are affected - exactly the qualities that play a crucial role in gaming!
Sleep tips for gamers: The Gamer Sleep Guide
No matter if you are a professional athlete or a hobby gamer - the most important tips to improve your sleeping habits are listed in our Gamer Sleep Guide. You can download the Gamer Sleep Guide as well as further information about our engagement in eSports and the topics Gaming & Sleep ➥ here on our website.
The Gamer Sleep Guide at a glance:
- Sleep routine
Make sure you have a healthy sleep-wake rhythm, it's best to keep regular bedtimes.
- Sleep environment
Important: The bed is only for sleeping. The bedroom itself should also be quiet and dark and have a cool temperature of around 18°C.
- Shutting down
The body and mind also need to shut down and rest. Excitement and stress in the evening hinder falling asleep, so take a break and relax between game time and bedtime.
Excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol and heavy meals in the evening should be avoided so that the nervous system and digestion are not over stimulated and have a negative effect on sleep.
In this sense: Good luck and have fun, but don't forget to sleep ;)
Best wishes and see you soon!