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Posted by Athadam (704 posts) 7 months, 18 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.

#51 Posted by crithon (3441 posts) -

back in college I did a week without sleep..... it was awesome. GOT SO MUCH WORK DONE! AND GOT INTO THE HONOR ROLL, THE DEAN GAVE ME AN AWARD. I wish I was kidding. But yeah, sleep sucks, I can't find time to do everything I want.

#52 Posted by darksouls2 (22 posts) -

6-8 Average.

#53 Posted by preheatedbibby (48 posts) -

4-6 Hours, no naps, lots of stimulants though, unfortunately.

#54 Posted by Crembaw (513 posts) -

I find if I get to sleep at about 1 or 2, I can get in a good 7 or 8 hours while still waking up at Normal Human Times.

#55 Posted by CaLe (4052 posts) -

3AM - 10AM but I'm usually woken by something so it's never an uninterrupted sleeping period.

Online
#56 Posted by Scrawnto (2466 posts) -

I recommend not having narcolepsy.

I get around 6-7 hours of sleep a night, 8-12 on the weekends, but I am almost always somewhere between kind of tired and dozing off. Narcolepsy basically means you never go into deep sleep, which makes the sleep you do get much less restful. Oddly enough, narcolepsy also often causes insomnia.

#57 Posted by Fattony12000 (7559 posts) -

6-8 hours.

#58 Edited by Zevvion (2361 posts) -

Somewhere between 7 and 10 depending on the day. Usually a bit over 8. Aren't you guys tired from only sleeping 6-7 hours or even less? I know it's a personal thing, but man. If I slept that little consistently I wouldn't be able to perform for sure.

#59 Posted by Gamerguy3 (14 posts) -

I sleep between 5-7 hours.

Some time even 4 hours.

#60 Posted by Pr1mus (3946 posts) -

4-6 hours most days because i have terrible sleep where i just keep turning in my bed followed by one night of 10 hours straight not waking up after which i feel... terrible. Go figure.

#61 Edited by xyzygy (10077 posts) -

I sleep around 8 hours and can always sleep. My advice is pretty shitty though - I'm on a medication and one of the side effects basically conks me out 20 minutes after I take it. I've been sleeping amazingly ever since I started it 3 years ago. But even before that I could sleep whenever. I feel bad for people with sleeping problems.

#62 Posted by redefaulted (2826 posts) -

Right now? 3-4. I just had a son, so sleep is never a guarantee. I usually get 5-6 normally, though. Too much sleep leaves me with a headache.

#63 Posted by Zevvion (2361 posts) -

I honestly have to say this thread is worrying me a little bit. I think I can count the number of people that sleep sufficiently on one hand. You guys know that insufficient sleep prohibits optimal performance and worse: can cause any number of awful illness? Get on your health bro's.

#64 Posted by cyberbloke (57 posts) -

I only get about 4 hours, 2 on a bad night. I have suffered like this for decades now. I feel shattered during the day, and wired at night.

Having a wife with sleep apnea, a five-year-old and two two-year-olds to listen out for all night does not help!

#65 Edited by Tom_omb (426 posts) -

The time between going to bed and getting out of bed is probably around 7-9 hours, but some nights I don't feel like I'm getting much sleep.

My days of playing MMOs until 3am are long gone. Games don't impact my sleep schedule.

#66 Edited by militantfreudian (136 posts) -

On average, I get 4 to 5 hours of sleep. Video games actually do chip away from my sleeping time. I don't have a lot of time to play, so sometimes, I wake up at dawn to play for a couple of hours or so. Thankfully though, I don't drink coffee/tea very often, and I never have energy drinks or anything like that. Also, thanks Athadam for posting this.