Although staying up the whole night long might not feel like the most destructive thing you can do, there are definitely some effects that action can have on you. While there may be some positive effects, such as high scores or….good gaming fun, really most of the effects that come from staying up all night are negative. Here are a few of the reasons most health nuts would caution against such a choice of playing video games instead of getting a good night’s rest.
- Fatigue. Particularly if you have a job or schoolwork which needs to be done the following day, staying up all night staring at a screen is clearly not going to get your body the rest in needs. Ultimately, deprivation of sleep leads to a diminished ability to perform even simple tasks, and decreases alertness, both of which are important for being able to play video games well. Eventually, the staying up all night will catch up to you and cause you to play less effectively than if you were able to sleep for some of that time.
- Weight Gain. Sitting in front of a screen often comes with other habits which are detrimental to the health. This includes chronic snacking, a docile lifestyle instead of an active one, and the sleep deprivation which can be its own contributor to weight gain. So if you are thinking that staying up all night might help you to become a big player in the gaming world, there’s a chance that you might just become, well…big.
- Gamer Head. Gamer headsets might be an excellent way to keep the game going, but they also have a really negative effect on the hair! Whether you have long, flowing locks or a short, spiky ‘do, the way your hair looks afterward might be scary. The friction and static electricity can cause some really funky frizzy hair! Luckily, there are resources which will help you find – which will help to put your tresses back into good working order!
- Looking Older. Sure, spending too much time in the sun can make the skin appear blotchy and aged. But also, spending too much time playing video games instead of sleeping can give a person the appearance of being significantly older. Without sleep, it’s difficult for the skin to repair itself and the persons face begins to look lackluster with the appearance of dark circles under the eyes and fine lines.
- Depression. Another result of sleep deprivation is often the inability to be aware enough to be present in social situations and conversations. This can lead to numbness of feelings, negative relationship effects, and lack of memory all things which can contribute to sadness and even lead to depression if too much of a habit of this is created. Also, a person who stays inside too much can be lacking in the healthy Vitamin D which comes from sun exposure, another factor which could lead to depression.
- Impaired Judgment and Accidents. A person who is sleep deprived cannot think as clearly as a person who is well rested. Making poor decisions, even being clumsy and causing accidents is much more likely for a person who has been staring at a screen all night instead of staring at the inside of his or her eyelids. A poor night’s sleep can lead to impaired driving (similar to driving under the influence) and other types of accidents which would not normally be a problem for a person.
- Health Problems. Although this isn’t likely to happen with sporadic nights without sleep, eventually chronic sleep loss may raise the risk for health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Just like with anything, too much of playing video games all night can be detrimental to the health. In general, all health professionals caution against this type of behavior.
There are certainly reasons that video games can be useful when preparing for life. Hand-eye coordination, learning to think quickly, developing strategy and planning skills, and situational awareness are all benefits of video game playing. However, the detrimental effects of losing sleep can begin to lead to an unhealthy lifestyle, unattractive appearance, and a negative emotional disposition. In general, playing video games can be fun in small doses but when it causes an interruption in lifestyle, it may be time to re-evaluate playing habits.