Saturday, April 16, 2022

Do Video Games Put You To Sleep?

NOTICE: This post was originally posted on Medium but has later been moved to the official World Of Card Games blog to consolidate all posts.

I used to play cards at World of Card Games all the time. These days, I don’t have much time for it, because I’ve got a regular job. But I find that playing card games online is a good way to unwind at the end of a day, or even in the middle of the day, when I’m on a break from dealing with some intractable work problem.

Are video games relaxing? In fact, I heard something interesting the other day. I was listening to the Timothy Ferriss podcast where he interviews Jane McGonigal, a futurist and games researcher. She claimed that playing video games before bedtime is a good way to help you get to sleep! Tetris was mentioned specifically in the interview. Tetris is very different from a physical, in-person card game. But the card games at World of Card Games are video games. I wonder if the research would apply to the types of games at the site, as well.

It’s hard to imagine any game making me sleepy. My adrenaline usually surges when I play a video game, and that’s not ideal for sleeping. However, apparently there really is some research that shows video games can have a relaxing effect that helps you more easily fall asleep. Perhaps this is because you can’t focus on the intricacies of playing a game without getting a bit detached from other problems in your life. It helps to distance you from things which may not be that important, after all. Kind of like meditation, in that respect.

I can’t speak for card games as a sleeping aid. I think that if anything, they kind of perk me up when I’m feeling a bit sleepy. But they do seem like a good distraction from worries. If something’s bugging me at work, I can play a game or two, and find that the problem was just not so important after all.

One funny thing that I’ve noticed is that if I play card games just before bedtime, I’ll often see the images of cards being played in my mind as I’m falling asleep! That was mentioned in the Timothy Ferriss interview, too — that people who play a game will see the game images as they fall asleep.

I’m curious to know if other people at the site have used games to get to sleep. Leave a comment if you’ve tried it, and let us know what happened!

Start of a fun game of Spades with the bots!