Are You Sleeping Enough?

It’s the hallmark of the gamer – hours upon hours spent late into the night and even early into the next morning, all in the name of progress in our favorite games. But a lot of gamers will also talk about being constantly drowsy during the day, or feeling under the weather more often than people who go to sleep earlier. Unsurprisingly, these two are connected. 

I was just as guilty of this in college as the next guy, and I certainly felt the effects (as did my GPA). We already know that getting a good night’s rest is important for staying sharp the next day, but what ELSE can a lack of sleep do to your body?

This article from Men’s Health serves as a sort of self-quiz to see if you’re getting sufficient sleep (hint – if you’re under the age of 30, you’re probably not), as well as a list of symptoms of not logging enough sack time.

A chronic lack of sleep can lead to some pretty serious health problems:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Obesity
  • Weak Immune System
  • Depression

While not serious health threats, these are some other symptoms of not getting enough rest:

  • Constant hunger OR lack of appetite altogether
  • Lack of focus
  • Lapses in memory
  • Constant drowsiness

Sleep deficiency is so common among younger generations that many of us view things like mid-day drowsiness as perfectly normal and according to this article, many people view seven to eight hours of sleep as a waste of time, or a sign of laziness. It’s not that surprising, since we’re constantly online and have so much entertainment right at our fingertips. But a lack of sleep is really starting to take its toll, and the CDC has even declared insufficient sleep a public health epidemic. You might think it can’t be that widespread but, according a study cited by them, more than 40 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds reported accidentally falling asleep at least once a day over the previous month.

“There is a relatively small percentage of people getting what sleep experts feel is an adequate amount of rest and sleep” – Dr. Bruce Nolan

So what do we do about this? Well, the answer is pretty simple, but it’s something that a lot of gamers including myself don’t enjoy hearing – turn off the console a little earlier. One thing the CDC lists to help build better sleep habits is to spend the last hour or so before you go to bed away from your electronics. Some of their other sleep hygiene tips include:

  • Avoiding large meals before bedtime.
  • Avoiding caffeine or alcohol before bedtime.
  • Avoiding nicotine altogether.

Us gamers are a little more likely than most to stay awake with our eyes glued to the screen, so it’s not surprising that this has become such a problem. So what about you? Answer the poll below and let me know how much sleep you get on an average night.

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