But how, exactly, does caffeine do this? In a nutshell, the psychoactive ingredient works by inhibiting receptors of adenosine, which is a chemical that promotes sleep. The longer you’re awake, the more adenosine naturally builds up, and caffeine stops that from happening, according to research.
Caffeine can remain in effect for as long as six hours. This means that if you drink an energy drink – or coffee – six hours before bed, it could still keep you up. Worse still, individuals who drink caffeine a long time before bed can be completely unaware that their sleep was affected. They may falsely believe that they got good sleep, but scans and tests would reveal otherwise, as they do in research! Caffeine also affects sleep in the following ways.
· It Makes Sleep Bad
When you drink caffeine, you can find yourself struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep. You’re also likely to feel less satisfied with your nighttime rest when the morning breaks, says research. This is because caffeine disrupts crucial restorative slow-wave sleep, preventing you from reaping the usual benefits of such rest.
· It Doesn’t Counteract Sleep Loss
Some people believe that drinking caffeine will more than offset the lack of sleep from last night. This isn’t true at all. No amount of caffeine will “make up” for lost sleep, say studies. In fact, nothing at all can give you back the hours of snooze time you didn’t get. That’s why ignoring your sleep needs is just so not worth it!
· It Traps You In A Sleepy Cycle
People often drink caffeine so they feel more awake, but that doesn’t always happen, say studies. With the excessive sleep problems that can come from the overuse of caffeine, you’re also likely to feel more tired. This means that you’ll crave more caffeine the next day, which will worsen sleep problems further, which will make you sleepier… and it goes on! This dangerous cycle is how many gamers get addicted to energy beverages.
· It Causes Insomnia
To some degree, caffeine use can be alright, especially if you need to pull a rare all-nighter. But with caffeine overuse, as often seen with energy drinks in the gaming world, the effects are less positive. Studies show that too much caffeine can lead to the manifestation of insomnia symptoms. If you already have insomnia, it can worsen your condition!
Final Thoughts On The Importance Of Sleep For Avid Gamers
Gaming is an exciting way to pass the time, but be smart about it. Make sure you’re not sacrificing your health and sleep for the sake of this hobby, no matter how fun it seems!