Barely out of bed in the morning, do you already feel like the ghost of a stranger? You keep yawning, you pour toothpaste into your bowl of cereal, you put your Nintendo t-shirt on backwards, in short, nothing is right?
If you have already experienced these situations, or if you experience them daily, it is because you are not sleeping enough. Resting well means ensuring top-level physical and mental fitness .
If you want to know why and if you want advice on how to sleep better, you've come to the right place: we'll explain everything to you… between two yawns!
In this article :
- Why is sleep so important?
- Sleep duration: what you need to know
- Our tips for better sleep
The importance of sleep: boost your performance
We spend about a third of our lives sleeping (and another third playing video games – or almost!)
If this may surprise, it is mainly because our body needs it. Sleep is the only time and way for our body to regenerate and rebalance the forces that pass through us.
What is the role of sleep?
- Elimination of toxins
- Stimulation of immune defenses
- Production of hormones such as melatonin and growth hormone
- Renewal of energy stores of muscle and nerve cells
- Mood and stress regulation
- Stimulation of memorization and learning mechanisms
- Regulation of blood sugar levels (glycaemia)
- Maintaining concentration and alertness for the whole day
All these functions allow our body to function in the most optimal way possible and allow us to continue to be the best player on the planet every day.
How do I know if I haven't slept enough?
To answer this question, we would be tempted to say that if you play Fall Guys really badly, it's probably because you haven't slept enough. But... it may be more subtle than that.
Here is a list of the different situations that can be indicative of a lack of sleep:
- Your brain is running in slow motion – like it has a 200ms ping.
- You forget everything – your Xbox Live codes, The Sims money code, everything!
- You get angry for nothing – and not just because you're the last one in Mario Kart…
- You've run out of energy to train – and you're thinking about your weekend competition!
- You doze off all day – no, it's not because of some weird spell.
- You make bad decisions - and you lose your team on LOL, hey...
This list is not exhaustive. Lack of sleep can manifest itself in many other ways , such as the feeling of a pulsating eye, a symptom we've written a full article about – check it out here .
This can also manifest itself in the long term through other pathologies: obesity, depression, bruised face, chronic illnesses.
If you want to know more, we found a very interesting interview given by Dr Patrick Lemoine on RFI.
A little extra fun : There is a medical questionnaire to assess your level of daytime sleepiness using a standardized test, the Epworth test . Knowing you are curious, we thought you might like it!
1, 2, 3, sleep! What you need to know about rest time
When we fall asleep, we go very quickly from light sleep to deep sleep before moving on to a REM sleep phase. This is called a cycle. During a good night, our body goes through this cycle several times, allowing it to regenerate these life points , at different levels.
Slow sleep (light and deep)
Stage 1 – falling asleep phase : this is when our body relaxes , the pressure of the day fades, we forget that the PS5 is still sold-out and we slowly sink into a state half-sleep.
Stage 2 – light sleep phase : light sleep is a state of rest in which it is still easy to wake up. It accounts for 50% of total sleep time. It is in this phase that eye and muscle activity is reduced .
Stage 3 – deep sleep phase : it is in this phase that brain activity decreases and our body recovers the most from the fatigue accumulated during the day . This moment represents 20 to 25% of the total sleep time. This period of time will have a very important function on the reconstruction of the body's energy bricks, in addition to acting on cell regeneration and triggering a washing function of the neurons allowing the elimination of the proteins which accumulate. on these… I know, this all sounds like a scene from Ghost In The Shell, but it's the magic of the human body!
This is the phase of dreams, of our wildest dreams, like winning the ESWC as a team on Overwatch. And it is also the phase when our body is at the same time immersed in a very deep sleep (although it shows signs of awakening).
REM sleep has an essential function on the preparation of memory, the consolidation of learning and the renewal of cognitive functions - an essential moment, therefore, to become a gamer with flawless concentration after each night.
Finally, and in general, the duration of sleep is very important for cardiac regulation in order to rest your little heart (not the DBZ character) and give it back the vitality it needs.
Recommendations by age group
The good quality of sleep depends on its quantity. Indeed, for each age group, there is a recommended sleep duration .
We have taken and adapted the data offered by the National Sleep Foundation to create the table below so that you have all the details on sleep times. We're cool, huh?
With this table, you will be better informed about the amount of sleep needed to recharge your body to the maximum. That said, nothing prevents you from sleeping more if you feel the need. These are above all durations recommended by scientific research dealing with sleep.
Better sleep: a matter of discipline
Whether in the world of esports or in everyday life, sleep experts recommend a number of ideas to make it easier to fall asleep and ensure a good quality of rest.
Lighter evening meal
You are not being asked here to go to bed on an empty stomach. No, we rather advise you to avoid too hearty dinners before slipping under the duvet . The little trick would be to eat two to three hours before sleeping so that digestion is not too brutal.
And also, before you forget, avoid drinking a bottle of water before going to bed , otherwise you'll spend the night in the bathroom – not necessarily the best place to sleep, we agree!
If you are looking for small ideas for balanced dishes, we recommend our article - to read on the blog .
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine
Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants, like energy drinks and sodas . You should know that caffeine acts on your body for an average of three to five hours, but the effects can be felt for more than ten hours. This can reduce the quality of your deep sleep but also your circadian cycle.
Regarding alcohol, it is known that its consumption reduces the process of physical and cerebral regeneration allowed during sleep . To be consumed in moderation, therefore.
Against stress, to have the physique of Ryu or Chun-Li from Street Fighter, but also to have a restful sleep, nothing beats a good physical activity.
The idea is to practice a sport on a regular basis so that your body can have a healthier and more regular rhythm .
Sport helps to get rid of everyday anxiety, to release the bad energy in us and to reconnect with a certain well-being which helps a lot to fall asleep.
There is debate: nap or no nap?
Sleep experts have found that daytime naps can improve many things : increase alertness, boost creativity, reduce stress, improve perception, stamina, motor skills and accuracy, improve your sex life, help lose weight, reduce the risk of heart attack, brighten your mood and boost memory.
A word of advice : The ideal time for a siesta is between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and its duration should not exceed more than 30 minutes.
An American study goes even further by confirming that the optimal duration would be 10 minutes to increase alertness, counter fatigue and improve cognitive performance for the rest of the day...
So, it can be a good thing for a gamer to use these 10 minutes to recharge before resuming training.
Rigor! The key word for the pro player, isn't it?
Seriously, our body has gone up like a Swiss clock . If you set yourself an hour of waking up every morning (even on weekends!), it will allow your body to find the right biological rhythm.
And if in the evening, you can't fall asleep, do a relaxing, stress-free activity, read a good comic or manga, but above all, keep the rhythm!
You will see, little by little, you will regulate yourself... like a pendulum.
Dim light and blue light
The blue light from our digital devices (telephones, computers, tablets) disturbs our sleep. For our body, blue light is equivalent to daylight.
Facing our screens, our organism thinks that it is sunny, even if it is dark outside. This is how our day/night cycle gets altered and loses track of time.
Before going to bed, it is strongly recommended to move away from this blue light of our screens and to favor a warm, subdued light, with a book, for example. This will allow our body to understand that it's the end of the day and instinctively help it release the sleep hormone, melatonin.
“The tiger also needs sleep”
Behind this thousand-year-old Chinese adage, we don't find what we want. Nevertheless, you should know that sleep is important and vital for the animal that hides in us .
A good quality sleep allows your body to regain its best physical and mental shape to face each day, each competition, each training like a feline.
Sleeping properly can be as complicated as performing in 4/4 against the best team in the championship , it requires discipline, respect for your body and also a little practice.
With our explanations and advice, we hope that your nights will be both sweeter and more qualitative, so that you no longer feel a single second of drowsiness in the middle of the game.