People ask me, “Oh, so what does D20 do?” and I’ll often reply, “We make wellness products for gamers.”
“Like what?” they say.
“Well, we make like a sleep aid an-”
“Oh!” like clockwork, the light bulb goes off.
People get it: Sleep! Yes! And your last name is Sleeper?! Eureka!
To be honest, the idea isn’t a hard sell. Everyone understands, at least vaguely, that there’s something, someway, somehow bad about having screens and technology present in your room before you go to bed. The understanding is very similar to sugar, or carbs to some extent; everyone says, “Hey, those things are bad!” but not everyone is going to start dropping knowledge bombs about how your body processes what kinds of sugar, or throw the weighty word gluconeogenesis at you and link their sources.
We won’t. Well, we might. In the future - but today is about what my ancestors knew best: sleeping.
90% of people in the U.S. admit that they use some sort of tech an hour before sleeping, so don’t feel like you’re alone. Anything with a screen is messing up your circadian rhythm, which is the internal clock that regulates when we feel sleepy or wakeful throughout the day. What’s important is that our circadian rhythm is constantly operating, and will dip and rise as it cycles. Usually the dip happens around 2-4am and 1-3pm. The strength of sleepiness we experience during those dips is dictated by how much sleep we’ve gotten: if you’ve slept enough, they’ll be less intense; if you’re sleep deprived, uh…RIP.
Maintaining the rhythm is important- some people refer to the concept of “sleep hygiene” - and sleeping/waking at regular hours will establish consistency that will improve the quality of your sleep and shield you from those inconvenient circadian dips.
Many gamers don’t realize the damage that they’re doing by playing late at night. Most things with a screen are emitting artificial blue light. Blue light has a short wavelength, and our eyes aren’t particularly good at filtering blue light, like they are at filtering UV rays (which isn’t to say stop wearing sunglasses - our cornea/lens are so good at blocking UV rays that less than 1% of UV radiation reaches our sensitive retina, but that less-than-1% is still enough to damage your eyes). Virtually all the blue light your eyes encounter are going to hit your all-important retina, and too much of it can increase the rate of macular degeneration and lead to early vision loss. Fun.
There are a couple methods to decrease the amount of blue light you encounter: a couple of software programs, screen shields, blue-blocking glasses. Those might help protect your eyes and might even curb the effects of late night screen time, but it does nothing to reduce the mental and physical stimulation that comes with late night gaming.
Gaming late at night, or just general device usage, is going to increase your alertness at a time when you oughta be prepping for sleep. Delaying your bodies’ prep for sleep is going to delay when you actually sleep; that’s going to disrupt your circadian cycle, mess with your sleep hygiene, and can lead to chronic sleep deficiency. Which is bad.
There are a couple of ways to combat these effects. Well, a lot of ways, but only a couple feasible ways - because we aren’t here to say “Stop Gaming!”
- The Sleep Foundation encourages setting a “digital curfew”. This is a good habit, and a lot like flossing: for your best hygiene, you should do it. If you want to go to the dentist more often, don’t. They recommend setting the curfew for two hours before bed (or one hour or even 30 minutes - earlier the better, but being realistic with yourself). The importance is, again, consistency. If you don’t know how to survive for two hours (or one or 30 minutes), I recommend grabbing a book or counting sheep.
- Take your devices out of your room. In removing the temptation to be on your phone or your computer late at night, you facilitate a more reasonable chance of falling asleep without checking your social media or getting tempted into another game. “But my alarm clock!” you scream. Ok, cool: get a normal one, they’re like ten bucks. I got a simple clock for Christmas once and it’s kind of a miracle, because I still wake up wanting to read my phone but now I have to get up and go into the other room for it and, wow!, wouldn’t you know, my body wakes up when I start moving.
- And, hey, if you need to go the dentist, we’re right here. Pick up some Reboot and, you know. Reboot yourself. Reboot is a super-sleeper; I’ve personally used it to replace my old rx of Ambien. It’s a great band-aid for those nights when you want to game late but know you need to sleep. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of your body experiencing rest late at night - the dulcet murmur of your body sinking into your sheets lower and lower and lower and…. Mmmm, sleep.
If you want to try it out, here are some shameless samples of both our products. I promise you, it'll be an incredible experience. In the mean time, work on the consistency of your sleep schedule and setting your space up for sleepy success.