Every hardcore gamer might be familiar with this problem: after an all night gaming session, it becomes very hard to get to sleep! Images of those headshots keep shooting through your head, and it may take quite some time before you finally catch some sleep.
David therefore asked for some kind of trick to calm down after a gaming session. Well David, here are the 7 best ways to do so!
1. Stop playing two hours before you go to sleep
First person shooters are more “involving” than other types of game, as you are directly “in” the game rather than controlling an object/person on the screen. This will tend to get you more excited, and therefore you’ll find it harder to get to sleep. So giving yourself time to relax again after the gaming session should help temper your excitement.
2. Try meditation
If just taking some time off from the screen isn’t enough: try meditation. The goal of meditation is to take your mind off of things, and that’s certainly what we’re aiming for in this case. Meditation techniques can be something deceptively simple. Take a long, hot shower and stay there until you’re no longer focusing on the game.
3. Read a book
Sleep will fall upon you naturally as you context switch to a more imaginative, relaxed state of mind. Reading a book is therefore the perfect choice! Especially since reading requires you to do all the work (as in making sense of the letters), it can also make you tired more quickly. But mind you, don’t go reading something scary or really exciting, because it might have the opposite effect!
4. Make sure you keep those Epinephrine levels down!
Epinephrine is one of those miracle drugs. It can restart your heart or give you super human strength. It’s also the drug designed to be triggered in that flight or fight circumstance; evolutionarily, that’s the one where you think you might die. It’s not really a stretch to see how a hormone like Epinephrine can cause your body to stay awake for prolonged periods of time. So stay away from any kind of immersive games before you have to go to bed.
5. Avoid consuming high-energy products
Not just excitement, but also eating some chocolate, or drinking too much Mountain Dew can make it harder to fall asleep. Not only will your body have a high surplus on sugar giving you a lot of energy, these products also contain caffeine! While it’s not as much as a cup of coffee, together with the sugar, it’s bound to keep you awake a little while longer. So you’ll just have to avoid these things around bedtime!
6. Make your screen less bright
The easiest trick to try is lowering the color temperature on your display which produces the light cues appropriate to sunset. Most monitors have a setting for this on the on-screen display, perhaps with settings like “cool” and “warm” (you want “warm” for gaming at night).
There are utilities to do this for you automatically (f.lux) but they may not work in DirectX games, so use the settings on your monitor. If you are console gaming on a TV, it should have similar settings.
Why does this work? Because displays produce light that signal your brain that it is noon. The default is 6500K, which is the color spectrum of high noon. At sunset, the sun produces light at color temperatures more like 4000K. Your brain pays close attention to these light cues in regulating your sleep.
If you can’t change the color temperature of the display, dimmed halogen bulbs and firelight also produce similar color temperatures, and you can have these lights around as you play.
7. Don’t go reading news or forums
I generally take 30 minutes after I stop playing to catch up on forums, browse humor sites, stuff like that. It’s probably even a good idea to stop looking for questions to answer on Stack Exchange! So don’t read the news, or any sort of forum where some troll is going to get you angry and wake you up. Even if you’re up late enough that you need to be going to bed, taking some time to settle your mind will get you to sleep faster.
So there you have it! If you follow these tips, there should be no reason you can’t fall asleep. Feel like something’s missing? Leave us a comment or add it to the original question.
Filed under Gamer Culture