Competitive gaming requires combinations of anticipation, lightening-fast decision making and being able to read situations in-game under pressure. It’s these attributes that set apart the elite from the masses. These skills however are not something we can’t learn. Professional gamers have sharpened these skills through thousands of hours of practice.
Yes, there are professional esports players who don’t appear to look like top athletes. But it’s not only about physical exercise, mental exercise is equally as important. The two increasingly overlap and esports coaches and psychologists are now understanding the importance of a healthier lifestyle outside the game.
Enough sleep and regular sleeping habits are one such way gamers can make a small adjustment to their lifestyle, and receive some of the largest benefits. The NHS recommends most of us require 8 hours of sleep a night, with some needing more or less.
Sleeping has many health benefits of which, almost all will help you improve your game. Some of the benefits include:
This sounds obvious; staying well will help you perform at your best by reducing the risk of becoming ill.
Sleep deprivation reduces the chemical your brain creates that makes you feel full (leptin) and increases the levels of the hunger-stimulating hormone (ghrelin). Therefore your impulse to snack will increase while your gaming, and depending on what you’re eating, this may inhibit your desire to eat a full meal and choose regular snacking instead.
There are many people who suffer from a lack of mental wellbeing. Mental disorders don’t discriminate against gender or age. The NHS website reports that “when people with anxiety depression were surveyed to calculate their sleeping habits, it turned out that most of them slept for less than 6 hours a night.”
We all know when we’re tired we miss those one-taps and react slower than normal to information on the screen. Reducing tiredness and fatigue through positive sleep patterns will help reduce fatigue and improve your overall alertness. Work done by NASA demonstrated improvements in performance of about 34% and alertness by 54% following an in-shift power nap. It’s important to understand that power naps are a skill that’s improved over time and most effective when you have good sleeping habits, allowing you to fall asleep quickly. If you take longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep then this is a sign your sleeping habits need improvement.