For the hardcore gaming crowd, something as easy as getting a decent night of sleep can be tough for a number of reasons — and the results on their health can be serious.
From basic over-exhaustion to distorted Circadian rhythms to digital eye strain, gamers are finding it increasingly difficult to get the recommended amount of sleep they need to function. Here’s a look at how gamers struggle with insomnia and the tools and techniques they can use to win the battle.
What is insomnia and what are its symptoms?
WebMD defines insomnia as a sleep disorder that makes falling and/or staying asleep difficult in those who suffer from the condition. Acute insomnia can last anywhere from 1 night to a few weeks, whereas chronic insomnia can last up to 3 months or more.
Insomnia is also categorized as primary and secondary conditions, each with its own specific triggers and symptoms.
- Primary insomnia. Difficulties falling or staying asleep stand alone and are not related to any other life event
- Secondary insomnia. Sleep inconsistency is related to a life event such as stress from a job, the loss of a loved one, or other trying life conditions or events.
Insomnia is also associated with mental health disorders, medications taken for relief of sickness, other sleep disorders, and excessive exposure to blue light emanating from digital devices — the latter a common condition associated with gamers.
Is there a connection between gaming and insomnia?
The connection between gaming and insomnia is not as apparent as it may seem, until you understand the blue light component and dangers of digital eye strain.
Sleepless nights. Headaches and migraines. Macular degeneration and eye strain. These are the health problems that gamers are most likely experiencing.
The primary cause? Disruptive light — aka “blue light” — emitted from flat-screen TVs.
For the serious gamers who can stare at a screen for hours on end, exposure to disruptive lighting for this extended length of time can cause serious, cumulative health risks.
According to PC Gamer magazine, a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, “explains that blue light exposure can actually poison eyeballs”...as, ”blue light exposure” causes retinal reactions “that generate poisonous chemical molecules in those all-important photoreceptor cells.”
The worst part? The eye damage may be permanent.
PC Gamer cites Kasun Ratnayake, a PhD student researcher who contributed to the study, as he reveals, "Photoreceptor cells do not regenerate in the eye. When they're dead, they're dead for good."
However, there are tools and techniques that gamers can implement to help them win the battle against insomnia.
What tools and techniques can help gamers battle insomnia?
The first suggestion by experts in sleep disorders to help reduce the risks to gamers is to focus on self-care. This means taking frequent breaks between gaming sessions, healthy eating and drinking regularly, and getting the right amount of sleep for the individual — 8 hours in most cases.
Also, frequent visits to both traditional and holistic physicians — particularly reputable opticians or optometrists — can help monitor potential health problems and coordinate preventative care.
With respect to gaming gear, glasses that are FDA-compliant, ANSI-certified technology tools worn during gaming sessions can help sharply reduce these health risks. Gamers should look for the following features in the glasses they select:
- Lenses that absorb dangerous blue light — as opposed to simply reflecting — so that healing green light is also allowed in to soothe the eyes
- Clear to slightly amber lenses can provide an additional defense against the negative effects of blue light exposure while allowing natural colors to be seen
- Super-durable, super-flexible frames made especially for the gaming lifestyle that fit comfortably under the gaming headsets
It’s important to emphasize the proactive approach to eye care goes a long way in preventing problems before they become serious issues.
Are you thinking healthcare beyond better vision?
If you’re a gamer — or you know a gamer you care about — equipping them with a pair of blue light-absorbing gaming glasses with the most advanced lens technology is the first step to preventing insomnia and related conditions.
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