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Posted by Athadam (701 posts) 6 months, 22 days ago

Poll: Being a gamer and getting healthy sleep (How many hours do you sleep a day?) (423 votes)

1-3 hours 1%
3-4 hours 3%
4-6 hours 23%
6-8 hours 60%
8-10 hours 11%
10+ hours 2%

The point of this thread is so that we can share tips and strategies to getting better sleep and being healthier.

It's almost common sense that getting an adequate amount of sleep everyday can improve your health. Sleep is really important - and it's not just about conserving energy or relaxing - when you sleep your body goes through many phases and there are a lot of internal changes inside your body. For example, testosterone production, melatonin production, and growth hormones are all more active when you sleep. Furthermore, the glial cells in our brain are literally syphoning out toxins that accumulate in neurons. Every time we sleep, we all get paralyzed, we all dream - 100% of the time whether we remember it or not. Sleeping is fundamentally physiologically different than just laying in bed and relaxing.

Yet many of us find that we have obligations that force us out of bed earlier than we want to everyday and that there aren't enough hours in a day to do everything. Many of us have a hard time adjusting to a normal sleeping pattern and some have a really hard time sleeping early. Some of us may even get 8 hours of sleep in and still not feel rested.

But what if I told you that you could get better sleep, that you could fall asleep faster, more easily, and feel more rested when you wake up by making a few simple changes?

If you're like me at all, you probably spend a lot of time around bright screens in the evening or late at night. At night is probably the time that I play the most video games or watch Giantbomb videos. But this is bad and it can ruin your sleep.

It turns out that most electronic screens (lcds, laptops, phones, ipad etc) emit more blue light than other types of light. Blue light suppresses melatonin production, which is critical to making you sleepy and controlling your circadian rhythm (natural sleep and body cycle). The human body naturally has surges of melatonin when there isn't light and artificial lighting can disrupt melatonin production.

What this means is that if you're staring at a screen at night, not only will it be harder for you to sleep but it'll also make your sleep less restful. Luckily, you can easily fix this by downloading apps that reduce the blue light emitted or wearing orange/yellow tinted glasses that block blue light.

You should also try to sleep without a night light - as this may also effect your melatonin production levels (even though your eyes may be closed, the light receptors that trigger melatonin production may receive light through your eyelids. These light receptors are even present in completely blind people.)

Now, what about sleep alarms and the infamous snooze button?

They're bad for you too. Getting woken up suddenly by an alarm will wake up certain parts of your brain first while other parts (the parts that govern higher thought processes - like the prefrontal cortex) slowly wake up later, hours later. But - even if you do need an alarm to wake up, the worst thing you can do is hit the snooze button and get woken up again later.

Why? Because when you sleep, your brain goes through cycles of sleep (the REM stage is only one of 5 stages). When you hit the snooze button and go back to sleep, your brain enters the first stage of sleep and getting woken up from the first stage of sleep when the alarm rings again induces heavy sleep inertia and results in you feeling groggy the whole day.

Also, I'd like to mention that even though many over-the-counter sleeping aids may say "non-habit forming" but dependency on sleeping aids is a serious problem, even to melatonin supplement pills. And by the way, none of this applies to you if you have real sleeping problems like narcolepsy or insomnia - and you should probably get those problems checked out.

TL;DR - Reduce the amount of blue-light you consume before you sleep and try not to use the snooze button.

#1 Posted by ViciousBearMauling (1196 posts) -

Sleep isn't a concrete thing at my house. 4 hours will leave me grumpy, but at this point I'm happy to get 6!

#2 Posted by JasonR86 (9762 posts) -

If I don't get at least 8 my body and brain fall apart.

#3 Posted by Itwongo (1230 posts) -

However long sleepbot tells me to.

So 7-8 hours

#4 Posted by overnow (269 posts) -

6-10, I chose the 8-10 option cause I probably get that the most frequently. As a university student my hours vary from night to night.

#5 Edited by wemibelec90 (1798 posts) -

I usually get 7-8 hours, but I also live at home, don't work, and take online classes. If I wanted to sleep more I could, but I hate wasting any more time on sleep then is necessary.

#6 Posted by StarFoxA (5162 posts) -

This semester I've been getting like 5 or 6 per night.

#7 Posted by pyromagnestir (4333 posts) -

#8 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -


#9 Posted by mlarrabee (3026 posts) -

Anywhere between 3.5 and 6. It varies pretty sporadically; some weeks will be nothing but 3.5 hour nights, and others will be consistently between 5 and 6. But this untenable sleep schedule is caused by work, not gaming.

Also: f.lux.

#10 Edited by fisk0 (4395 posts) -

Varies quite a bit, a couple of times a week I tend to only sleep for 2-3 hours (two weeks in a row I've been unable to sleep at all during the night to wednesday), those days I try to go to sleep the moment I get home from work, usually for 6 hours, get up and eat dinner and then go to sleep for maybe 4 hours again, and then I sleep upwards of 12 hours during the weekends

#11 Edited by falserelic (5480 posts) -

I'll probably get around 4 or 6 hours of sleep mostly. I'll wake up in the mourning go to the gym, go home take a bath, get a quick bite to eat, then walk 3 miles to work. At work alot times weird random shit just happens.

-Like somebody throwing a bottle at me for no reason. (I probably would have snapped if it connected, but he missed the guy fucking sucks.)

- Dude in the bathroom cleaning his ass and body out in the open (Just so happen to walk in at the wrong time. Obviously no fucks was giving, and I walked right back out)

-Having a weirdo religious lady trying to get me to checkout a website called Joseph.org or something.( If I knew helping her trying to find a item would have lead to this shit, then I would have said ''I have no idea where to find the item'')

- Getting into it with customers about prices ( Alot of times I have no fucking idea what the sale prices are. The sale tags doesn't really explain itself clearly sometimes, which leads people to ask me questions. Hell even I don't no what the fuck is going on.)

- People getting pissed off at me over bullshit ( You never know what type of weirdo you'll run into, sometimes you can tell someone something, but they become oblivious, its like they hear you, but they're not listening. Which can lead to them taking anger out on you over things that's out of your control.)

I could go on forever about some of the stuff I've experience, but to wrapped this up I don't get much sleep. Hell alot times I have nightmares and don't want to go to sleep.

#12 Posted by slyspider (1325 posts) -

I go out of my way to get around 7 or 8 hours of sleep.

#13 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5897 posts) -

I usually have a weird sleeping pattern, but anywhere from 6-10.

#14 Posted by TooWalrus (13254 posts) -

I usually get 9-10. I sleep more than I probably should. I'm really good at waking up early and being a morning person if I have some commitment I have to get up for, but since I work a night job, that's rarely the case. Instead, I find it really difficult to pull myself out of bed when I could easily sleep for another couple of hours. I think my problem is that my bed is too damn comfortable.

#15 Edited by thebunnyhunter (1471 posts) -

Its usually 6 hours, 1am-7am. When i dont have to work it moves to 3am-12pm.

#16 Posted by big_jon (5770 posts) -

I've said I before and I'll say it again being a "gamer" it's an excuse for an unhealthy lifestyle. Be it exercise, sleep, or even a healthy social life, it's ridiculous to me that the fact that excepted by many that someone who identifies as a "gamer" (a term I despise in general) should be assumed to be a pale faced socially awkward energy drink addicted weirdo who lives in his mothers basement.

Now that that's over. I typically get about8 hours of sleep. I work 8 to 10 hour days at a physically demanding job, then hit the gym for a little over and hour 4 to 5 days a week. I simply don't have the energy to stay up past 9, and generally get up at 5:30. Lately I haven't been playing a ton of games, getting a couple hours in a week, right now mainly Titanfall.

#17 Posted by NegativeCero (3024 posts) -

Lately? 3-4 due to school. Can't wait until 3 weeks from now.

#18 Edited by Danteveli (1210 posts) -

I usually get around 3-4 hours of sleep plus the time I can get by sleeping in the bus (if closing eyes and hoping I can fall asleep counts). It has not much to do with gaming but rather managing the job plus studying. I guess I get a lot of blue light exposure or something because often I'm not sleepy at night.

#19 Edited by stryker1121 (1564 posts) -

I get about 6 to 7 hours a night. Like most of you I don't get a chance to play games til later at night, but I still try to quit playing at least an hour before I plan to hit the sack. Quiet the mind, read in bed, anything to get me into those normal circadian rhythms. I have occasional insomnia issues stemming from work-related stress and a broken foot suffered last fall, so I have no problem sacrificing gaming time if it gets me to pop off to sleep at a normal rate.

#20 Edited by captain_clayman (3326 posts) -

School nights? Bout 5 or 6 hours. Weekends? Probably 8, or probably 10 if i'm a-drinkin' and a-smokin

#21 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4730 posts) -


#22 Posted by Demoskinos (15086 posts) -

4-6 anymore and I'll be in bad shape. My body doesn't require a whole lot of sleep. And I seriously feel like if I get too much sleep I'm way more groggy.

#23 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11432 posts) -

I'm in the 6-8 range. I know I get enough to function, because I usually wake up for a few minutes a couple hours before I normally do and then fall back asleep. Or maybe that doesn't mean that, I don't know. I'm not a sleep-ologist.

#24 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

6.5 on work days about 11 per night on weekend to recover.

I don't usually play games during the work week. I am too old to be pulling random late nights for no other reason than a game needed playing.

#25 Posted by afabs515 (1256 posts) -

I'm a college student. On weekdays, I'm lucky to get 6 full hours. On weekends, I'm lucky to get out of bed before 2pm.

#26 Posted by pinner458 (819 posts) -

Due to untreatable chronic neck pain (painkillers don't work) mixed with an over-active mind and being a light sleeper I'm lucky if I get 3 hours in. My gaming habits don't really have anything to do it. Although about once a month I'll find I sat down to play a game at 8pm and ended up playing straight for 12 or more hours, which is weird because sometimes I go days without playing games, even if I'm at home for most of the day...

#27 Posted by sarcasimo (4 posts) -

I generally get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. What I find helps to ensure that I actually get a decent night of sleep is to get away from my electronic devices about a half hour before I want to be sleeping. I usually lay in bed and listen to an audiobook for that half hour or so of downtime. (It also helps that I have no electronic devices in my bedroom besides a clock) The biggest thing is discipline, if I'm up playing Diablo 3 and I need to work the next day I know damn well that I need stop playing by X:XX or I will have a rough day tomorrow. The game can wait until I have less pressing responsibilities to tend to.

#28 Posted by awesomeusername (4230 posts) -

4-6 because if I fall asleep before 1 a.m., I'll wake up in 3 hours and can't fall back asleep. I bring my nephew to school so I have to wake up at 7:30, if I have class, I wake up at 6:30. I usually fall asleep at 2:30-3:30 though. I really need to fix my sleeping habits.

#29 Edited by Nightriff (5238 posts) -

I've found that my sweet spot is around 7 hours, although I can easily sleep 12+ but I can't anymore

#30 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

I have random insomnia, sometimes i can't sleep for days, sometimes i sleep forever. It's super inconsistent

#31 Edited by ZolRoyce (762 posts) -

I feel like one of the luckiest bastards here, I fall asleep with my monitor on, if not also my t.v. and lap top and lamp on nightly (I'm killing the planet I know) and usually with some sort of audio in my ears and sleep like a baby.

I only get a shit sleep when I have a plan to go somewhere the next day, then my body wakes me up hourly in preparation. I'm drowning in blue light I suppose and seem to be doing fiiiiine with about 8-10 hours a night.

#32 Posted by hanktherapper (383 posts) -

I don't do late night gaming sessions. Once I'm done, I let my mind wind down with a movie. I also takes lots of pills. Sleeping is the best part of the day.See the screen is floating while I type this. I'm A HIppie!

#33 Posted by j0lter (262 posts) -

Between school, work, homework, and gaming I stay up until late hours of the night even when I shouldn't. Only get about 5 hours of sleep a night. Monster is my friend

#34 Edited by AbsolutelyAlmost (31 posts) -

Saw this topic and thought I would share some wisdom.

To anyone here that suffers from sleep paralysis, do NOT play games before you sleep. I used to practise fighting games before going to sleep and it always led to bad dreams or sleep paralysis problems. It's called the tetris effect and is basically related to any repetitive video gamyy activities (like in my case, practising combos). I've started listening to podcasts or reading books before sleeping now. Helps a lot. And to anyone that gets insomnia, try doing as many push ups as you can before going to bed. It worked wonders for me! :D

I find 6 hours to be perfect for me.

#35 Posted by Veektarius (4968 posts) -

If I adhere to my schedule, I get 7. Rare that I get less than 5.

#36 Posted by believer258 (12075 posts) -

I'm in my last few weeks of college so I've been running on fumes for a little while now. Doesn't help that it's allergy season and I'm severely allergic to pollen, so Benadryl every night is not optional.

In normal times, though, I sleep best if I lay down between 11:30 and 1:30 and wake up between 8 and 10, but the world doesn't work on those hours so I usually find myself getting a few hours short of sleep. I have tried so many different methods of getting myself to sleep before 10, but it doesn't work. It's never worked. I wind up laying there, awake, long past a time when I would have slept if I had laid down at 12 or so. Needless to say, I'm grumpy by the end of the day, though a few hours to myself and some food usually cheers me up to make it to the end of the night.

When I finish college, getting a more routine and more proper night's rest every night is going to become a priority. If I can make the rest of my family get into a routine and get in bed on time, I might actually be able to reach that "in bed at ten, asleep by eleven" goal that I need to hit in order to wake up well at 6AM, but I'm only really hoping for regularity.

Short answer: My sleep schedule is unhealthy and there isn't much I can do about it right now.

#37 Posted by UitDeToekomst (728 posts) -

To quote the great Coach Bobby Finstock:

"Never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards against a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never go near a lady that has a tattoo of a dagger on her body."

#38 Posted by Herk (197 posts) -

Wow, thanks guys! I'm gonna try out all these apps now and feel less shitty in the mornings

#39 Posted by TobbRobb (4814 posts) -

I usually sleep 5-6. And then every once in a while exhaustion catches up and I sleep for 13.

#40 Edited by Budwyzer (620 posts) -


If I'm up late playing FTL and listening to that devil on my shoulder, while promising the angel, to just do one more sector, then it could be 5 or less. Fuckin' FTL

#41 Posted by callsignneptune (27 posts) -

6-8 hours when I'm working and 8-10 hours on weekends. God, I love those weekend naps too.

#42 Posted by Stackboy (509 posts) -

I need about 6-7 hours a night of rest. During the work week it happens usually between 10pm and 6am, then on weekends all bets are off. If I go to bed at 2am on the weekend, i'll generally sleep till say 8-9am, then maybe nap it in the afternoon.

But the funny thing is, I can go back to my work sleep habit really easily. Plus I really like watching video on my ipad before I go to bed and that doesn't affect my sleep at all. I usually sleep soundly the whole way through.

My fiance is another story completely. She has really bad interrupted sleep.

#43 Posted by peritus (1060 posts) -

4-6 because if I fall asleep before 1 a.m., I'll wake up in 3 hours and can't fall back asleep. I bring my nephew to school so I have to wake up at 7:30, if I have class, I wake up at 6:30. I usually fall asleep at 2:30-3:30 though. I really need to fix my sleeping habits.

You take naps then? Because i dont think i could get through the day on that schedule. Once or twice maybe. But thats it.

#44 Edited by Humanity (9824 posts) -

This snooze button thing may be a revelation. As part of my daily wake up routine for work I hit the snooze on my alarm, then go back to sleep, wait for the next snooze, hit that and go back to sleep again only to start getting up at the third snooze ring.

I know it's asinine, because why not just wake up 20 minutes later instead of snoozing through it, but it's a habit I've formed over the years.

If it's really this destructive I think I'll start making an effort to simply get up on the first go. I guess I'll just put the alarm away from the bed forcing me to physically get up and turn it off.

#45 Posted by awesomeusername (4230 posts) -

@peritus said:

@awesomeusername said:

4-6 because if I fall asleep before 1 a.m., I'll wake up in 3 hours and can't fall back asleep. I bring my nephew to school so I have to wake up at 7:30, if I have class, I wake up at 6:30. I usually fall asleep at 2:30-3:30 though. I really need to fix my sleeping habits.

You take naps then? Because i dont think i could get through the day on that schedule. Once or twice maybe. But thats it.

Depends really. On Tuesday & Thursday, I don't have classes so I go back to sleep once I bring my nephew to school until like 1. Monday & Wednesday I have class so I don't get sleep until, as I said, 2:30-3:30 a.m that night, unless I nap after picking my nephew up from school, but I rarely nap. Unless you count me sleeping 30 minutes on the train to and from my college. So my sleep is basically 4 hours Sunday to Monday, then 8 hours with an hour in between awake on Tuesday, rinse-repeat until Sat-Sunday where I sleep ~9 hours. I should start taking benadryl or nyquil to sleep so I could start being an adult.

#46 Posted by MightyDuck (1524 posts) -

In bed around 10:45 and up by 6:45.

#47 Posted by TheRealMoot (412 posts) -

I'm lucky to get 4 hours of sleep a night, not because of my gaming habits; But because my neighborhood is noisy as all hell and my neighbors need to learn to shut the hell up. I miss sleep...

#48 Edited by development (2557 posts) -

I don't sleep

#49 Posted by Chop (1999 posts) -

On a normal night, I tend to get around 3 or 4 with waking up every hour or so included as a nice bonus. Of course, shitty sleeping like that isn't sustainable, so I run on coffee until my body says "yeah, no" and I crash and become completely useless for a whole day.

I wouldn't call myself healthy.

#50 Edited by ThatOneDudeNick (708 posts) -

I sleep about 4 hours per day on average. Not because of gaming. I do find myself playing games when I can't sleep, but I'm not losing sleep to play games. I've always had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.

I function well, but I can't help but think my mind would be a bit sharper with a full 8 hours. Once a week, I'll... self-medicate... and knock out for 6 or 7 hours. Relying on chemicals (natural or otherwise) to sleep seems just as bad as not sleeping, so I try to avoid that. My job lets me do a lot of work from home, and I can come in at any time to work on things. That helps a lot. Sometimes I drive into the office at 2am to work in peace.