Sweet Dreams: A Gamer’s Guide to Good Sleep
TEMPUR® sleep specialist & sleep counsellor shares expert sleep tips inspired by the Starfield™ x TEMPUR® Dream Chair created by Xbox and TEMPUR®.
Following the recent launch of the Starfield™ x TEMPUR® Dream Chair – a one-of-a-kind gaming chair born from a partnership between premium mattress brand, TEMPUR®, and international gaming giant, Xbox – TEMPUR® delves further into the world of gamers to explore the relationship between gaming and sleep.
“The making of the Starfield™ x TEMPUR® Dream Chair is an innovative way to celebrate both TEMPUR®’s space heritage and the launch of the long-awaited Starfield™ game – a Sci-Fi role-playing adventure set amongst the stars,” says TEMPUR® sleep specialist & sleep counsellor, Thomas Høegh Reisenhus.
“Gaming is a hugely popular and ever-growing pastime for Brits, with a reported 39.1 million gamers in the UK spending an average of 4 hours 57 minutes gaming per week. Gaming sessions tend to happen once the daily grind is complete – so after work and other day-to-day commitments – and often run until late at night or into the early hours of the morning.
“The benefits of playing video games are well reported – it can support creativity, focus and visual memory, help with strategic thinking and leadership skills, encourage teamwork, and boost response times – but there are several important considerations to ensure gamers maintain a consistent sleep pattern.
“From the comfort levels of our gaming and sleep set ups, to what is consumed throughout the day and during the session, and how best to transition mind and body to rest mode, an understanding of the importance of environment and behaviours on the impact of sleep can help gamers enjoy healthy sleep, and may also even improve performance whilst in game mode.”
Whether you’re a pro gamer, dabble in a bit of Forza Motorsport or Party Animals here and there, or have kids that are getting into gaming, read on for Thomas’s guide to combining a gaming lifestyle with quality sleep…
It may be tempting to get lost in a late gaming session every night, but this will likely result in waking up tired the next day and could even impact your results in the game.
Sleep (or a lack of it) can affect which part of our brain is in control on any given day. The prefrontal cortex plays a central role in cognitive control functions and influences areas including attention and impulse inhibition – crucial for making good decisions during gameplay. Good quality sleep will boost the strength and functional connectivity in this area of the brain, meaning the more quality sleep we get, the more in control we are of our rational thought process and decision making.
Set a timer on your phone so when the alarm sounds you know it’s time to log off, get some quality shut-eye, and come back refreshed the next day. 7-9 hours of sleep a night is recommended for adults and 8-10 hours for tweens and teens, so make sure you factor this into your schedule.
Late night nutrition
If you’re staying up to play your favourite video game, you may be tempted to consume all your favourite snacks and drinks – the most convenient of which are typically the most unhealthy. What we eat during the day, as well as the times we eat it, has a direct impact on how well we sleep each night, so we need to make sure it is balanced.
Eating too close to bedtime will keep your body busy trying to digest the food you’ve consumed and will keep you in the REM (rapid eye movement) state of sleep for longer, compromising how long you spend in deep sleep during the non-REM phase, which is key to ensuring a quality night’s rest.
Stimulants should also be avoided before sleep. Although alcohol may make you feel sleepy or help you to drift off quicker, it actually has stimulant as well as sedating effects. Disrupting natural sleep cycles, the consumption of alcohol has continually been linked to poor sleep quality and quantity.
For obvious reasons, caffeine is another major contributor to disturbed sleep patterns. Essentially, it highjacks the nervous system, taking up to ten hours to completely leave the body. As a rule, try to avoid caffeine after 2pm to ensure you drift off more easily and sleep deeper.
This doesn’t mean you have to push on through your gaming session with no snacks at all though. Good options for late-night nibbles are cherries, bananas, almonds or pistachios, which all contain naturally occurring chemicals, melatonin and magnesium, promoting sleep and muscle relaxation.
So, whip up a fruit smoothie or snack on some nuts to give you the energy you need to power through your game whilst also ensuring you sleep well once you log off.
Wind down time
It’s unlikely that after an action-packed gaming session you will immediately fall into a restful slumber as soon as your head hits the pillow. You’ll likely have high levels of adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones) in the body and your brain will be wired from play, so it can be useful to make time for a pre-bed wind down routine.
Depending on what game you are playing, you could try to enter a slower area or chapter of gameplay in the last ten minutes before you power down to help with the transition between gaming and sleep. Return to homebase, organise your supplies, or simply chat to other players. If the game doesn’t allow for slowing down, perhaps switch to another, more gentle game to slow the energy before logging off.
Once off-screen, spend ten minutes relaxing your body and mind, either with a calming bath or shower, reading, journaling, listening to restful music, or gentle stretching. There is no one way to decompress, so do what feels right and enjoy transitioning into a blissful state of relaxation before bed.
Know your chronotype
We’ve all heard of early birds and night owls, but knowing which category you fall into and working with that rather than against it will help you maintain a consistent sleep pattern, which will increase energy and focus when heading into a gaming session or going about your day-to-day activities.
A person’s chronotype depends on factors like age, genetics and potentially even location, as daylight hours greatly affect our sleep . Different chronotypes dictate when a person will naturally want to wake up, feel sleepy, and when they will be most productive.
If you know your body always gets a burst of energy in the evening no matter how early you woke up, then you could be a Wolf chronotype – i.e., a typical night owl. This could work well for traditional gaming times as your body likely won’t be ready for sleep until a bit later in the evening, but whatever time you do make it to bed, be sure to always get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep.
If you’re a gamer that will be wide awake at 6am no matter what, then you are likely a Lion chronotype – aka, the early bird. Late afternoon and early evening – or even morning – are the best times for you to enjoy gaming, allowing you plenty of time to wind down before an early night.
The important thing is to keep your natural rhythms in mind and plan your gaming and sleep around them to ensure you feel as energised as possible during the day.
Ideally you should enjoy gaming in a room or space away from your bedroom, with your bedroom kept separate for its primary purpose – sleep. Associating stimulating and potentially stressful gameplay with your sleep environment could make it harder to switch off and wind down once it’s time to go to bed.
Be sure to consider room temperature during an evening gaming session and when turning your attention to sleep. Even though being warm and cosy may feel good as you play into the night, our body’s internal temperature needs to drop slightly, up to 1 C°, to help us settle into and maintain consistent sleep throughout the night. The ideal room temperature for sleep is around 18 degrees Celsius.
Resist the urge to turn the heating up to the max or throw on a fleecy hoodie, which may be difficult to remove should you start to feel too warm when immersed in play. When in bed ensure pyjamas, sheets and bedding are made with natural, breathable materials such as cotton, to enable your body to regulate its temperature throughout the night and to avoid being woken by overheating.
When gaming, especially in the evening hours – and when going to bed too – it is important to have an ergonomic set up that keeps your body supported and comfortable so as to avoid aches and pains.
Of course, with the pressure relieving qualities of TEMPUR® Material, the Starfield™ x TEMPUR® Dream Chair is the ideal gaming set up, but as a one-of-a-kind creation, is sadly not available to upgrade your gaming space. However, the pressure relieving properties and ergonomic design of the chair can be replicated at home with lumbar support cushions, neck support, and a footrest. It’s also important to make sure your screen is positioned at eye level to avoid any neck, back or shoulder pain.
Just as important is your body’s alignment when sleeping, with your mattress and pillow needing to fully support your head, neck and spine. An unsupportive mattress or pillow can cause aches and pains in the joints as the pressure is focused onto specific parts of the body and not distributed evenly across the mattress, leading to discomfort and a disrupted night’s sleep.
Experience the Starfield™ x TEMPUR® Dream Chair
Gaming enthusiasts can experience the out-of-this-world comfort of the Starfield™ x TEMPUR® Dream Chair IRL this month, until 29 October at the TEMPUR® store in Westfield Stratford.
The Dream Chair will then be heading across the channel to France for Paris Games Week, 1-5 November, before heading back to the UK for another residency at a gaming lounge.
Come December, Xbox and TEMPUR® will run a charity raffle offering Brits – whether gamers, collectors, or those seeking a unique statement piece for their homes or workplaces – the opportunity to win the exclusive Starfield™ x TEMPUR® Dream Chair.
Notes to editors:
- For more information on the partnership, on the Starfield™ x TEMPUR® Dream Chair, the chair’s journey over the coming months, or to speak with Tobin James, TEMPUR® UK Managing Director, please contact TEMPUR®’s PR team using the below info
- The Starfield™ x TEMPUR® Dream Chair is available to see & experience at the TEMPUR® store in Westfield Stratford from 9 – 29 October 2023. Please let us know if you’d like to book an appointment to trial or review
- The Starfield™ x TEMPUR® Dream Chair is not for sale
- For more information on TEMPUR®, visit www.tempur.co.uk
TEMPUR® researches, develops, manufactures and distributes mattresses, pillows and other sleep products to improve the sleep experience worldwide.
TEMPUR® Material is the original pressure relieving mattress product made up of viscoelastic – billions of ultra-sensitive open cells that exist between a solid and a liquid state. TEMPUR® products provide the ultimate comfort and support, helping you to get a great night’s sleep night after night.
Each TEMPUR® product undergoes sixty-seven different quality checks, ensuring superior quality and durability.
TEMPUR® products can be purchased from retail partners Dreams, John Lewis, Bensons for Beds, Furniture Village, or from leading independent retailers.
TEMPUR® is a subsidiary of TEMPUR® Sealy International Inc.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. For more than 20 years, Xbox has been on a mission to bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone on the planet, making gaming a place for fun, inspiration and social connection. Microsoft´s goal is to be a key connector between today’s game creators and billions of gamers around the world.
About Bethesda Game Studios
Bethesda Game Studios is the award-winning development team known around the world for its ground-breaking work on The Elder Scrolls series and the Fallout series. Creators of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®, the 2006 ‘Game of the Year’; Fallout® 3, the 2008 ‘Game of the Year’; The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim®, the 2011 ‘Game of the Year’; Fallout® 4, the winner of more than 200 “Best Of” awards including the 2016 BAFTA and 2016 D.I.C.E. Game of the Year; and Fallout Shelter™, the award-winning mobile game with more than 100 million users. Bethesda Game Studios has earned its reputation as one of the industry’s most respected and accomplished game development studios. For more information on Bethesda Game Studios, visit www.bethesdagamestudios.com.