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Thread: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

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    Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    Hello
    Recently acquired a Gear VR to go with a Note 8 and am blown away as to now much better this setup is than my previous Xperia Z3 and a Google cardboard headset.
    Got carried away last night - I didn't even take it off to watch the replay when Brighton scored their second against Stoke.
    Couldn't sleep until 3am - normally I'm asleep by 11:30ish.
    I play games on my phone/tablet as I'm drifting off to sleep and I know that the blue light can stop you getting to sleep - am now wondering whether playing on VR has a much more marked affect - anyone else notice anything after VR immersion late evening?
    There's been a few rare nights recently where I've got to sleep later than normal and I think that I was using VR on those days.
    I'll make sure that I don't use the VR after 7pm tonight and see what happens.
    Cheers

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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    It wouldnt surprise me - I would suggest that brain activity is higher processing the information from a VR headset tan just watching something as a peripheral item simply because that is all you are concentrating on.

    So if your brain is stimulated late in the evening, it might might make relaxing and going into sleep mode that much harder.

    (Disclaimer - I am not a medic or a sleep specialist - although I do do quite a lot of it )
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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    I think any activity that requires concentration is a bad idea before bed.

    I was playing VR Elite until 9:30 last night, that is about my limit if I have to get up and go to work the next day.

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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    I play until about 2am most nights, with no problem.

    Get a nice medium-sized dog with soft fur, bring them up on the bed (lay a cover on, if needs be) and spend a few minutes just slowly stroking them.
    Even during the day, that sends me off to sleep without fail every sing....ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......

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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    I dont even drink coffee after 3pm..... such is my insomnia

    You have my empathy !

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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    I play until about 2am most nights, with no problem.
    Some would argue that playing until 2am most nights *is* a problem But hey, if it isn't causing harm then I'm jealous

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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Some would argue that playing until 2am most nights *is* a problem But hey, if it isn't causing harm then I'm jealous
    Only a problem if I'm grinding for lootcrates..

    I also start work at 10am, though, so more an offset lifestyle.

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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    It wouldnt surprise me - I would suggest that brain activity is higher processing the information from a VR headset tan just watching something as a peripheral item simply because that is all you are concentrating on.

    So if your brain is stimulated late in the evening, it might might make relaxing and going into sleep mode that much harder.

    (Disclaimer - I am not a medic or a sleep specialist - although I do do quite a lot of it )
    That may well all be true, but I think there's more to it than even that. There was a TV prog recently that, IIRC, suggested some research showing that certain light frequencies, such as those from active screens, mess with some very primitive brain functions and naff up your body clock. I think it was something to do with frequencies we used to, in pre-tech days, only get from sunlight. So it screws up melatonin and ... hell, whatever the 'wake-up' hormone was called.
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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    Yesterday, restricted my VR immersion to 20 minutes, then went off to a meeting at 4pm - noticed during the meeting that I was incredibly switched on and was able to formulate and articulate some very "sensible" thoughts/ideas. I also seemed much more awake then I should have been from 2.5 hours sleep - bit worried that I'm robbing the energy from somewhere/sometime else - but I may have discovered something that personally gives me a massive boost over my usual self.

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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    There was a TV prog recently that, IIRC, suggested some research showing that certain light frequencies, such as those from active screens, mess with some very primitive brain functions and naff up your body clock.
    Been hearing this for a few years, now. Mainly around phone screens. Something to do with blue tinted lights?

    I sometimes spend an inordinate amount of time at work watching CCTV footage of the inside of pipes, on my computer screen... can't say it makes me any more switched on and in fact it's often a struggle to stay awake. Similarly, if I'm tired I can start dropping off while watching pretty interesting YouTube vids.
    So I'd say there's a high degree of interaction required as well, in order to impact your sleep...

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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Been hearing this for a few years, now. Mainly around phone screens. Something to do with blue tinted lights?

    I sometimes spend an inordinate amount of time at work watching CCTV footage of the inside of pipes, on my computer screen... can't say it makes me any more switched on and in fact it's often a struggle to stay awake. Similarly, if I'm tired I can start dropping off while watching pretty interesting YouTube vids.
    So I'd say there's a high degree of interaction required as well, in order to impact your sleep...
    It wasn't what the program intimated BUT .... theory was that watching screens when your normal biorhythms would be preparing for sleep causes some gland in the brain to fire off the "wake up" hormone at the same time as other glands are firing off melatonin to sleep. This all occurs very much at the "lizard brain" level, i.e. entirely autonomic and subconscious.

    Both the effects mentioned by you and snedger, i.e. over-concentration causing tiredness, and a burst of intense visual stimulation giving a 'brain boost' are (IMHO) absolutely right too. I've experienced both.

    For the drowsiness of over-concentration, I recommend two things. One, ensure a supply of frash, cool air. i.e. open a window. Second, and I've applied this since thesis all-nighters at uni, and especially for 30 years of work-from-home self-employment ..... set a timer and take breaks. Seriously.

    I found 5-10 minutes is enough, and every hour to, at MOST, 90 minutes.

    I don't need to do much. Make a cuppa. Go outside for 5 mins. Get butt out of chair and walk about. I can even carry on working, but at something different. My favourite trick was .... headset on, make some scheduled calls, walk about while doing it. Typically, I'd have a few necessary calks each day, be it to editors, PR agencies, whatever, so I listed the days calls, and worked through them in my "concentration breaks".

    Measuring one's own productivity objectively is hard, but I found I could easily put in 10 or even 12 hours of "concentrstion" if and only if I enforced my break regime.

    It seems a change is very nearly as good as a rest.

    But all that, while I have no doubt it is valid and probably has sound a physiological basis probably involving brain chemistry too, it's a completely different effect from the "sunlight/blue light" effect of screens messing with sleep hormones.
    Noli nothis permittere te terere.


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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    I think a lot of bright light before bed, can mess up your sleep. In particular blue light frequencies.
    We know that night-time exposure to blue light makes people more alert and also affects their circadian timing.

    The science that explains these new systems has accelerated over the last 20 years, with the discovery of a new photopigment in the eye, called Melanopsin, in 1998. Many are familiar with the "rods and cones" that provide our visual capabilities, but the retinal ganglion cells containing melanopsin are sensitive to a wide range of "blue-green" frequencies around 480nm.

    A wide range of lights appear to be able to stimulate the circadian system in humans, and so while we refer to "blue light" in order to distinguish it from the light our visual system sees, it includes lights that appear green, blue, cyan, and even orange.

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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    I have an Oculcs Rift, and when I first got it, I was using my prescription glasses and putting the VR headset over them.
    I found this setup quite uncomfortable, and was suffering with headaches and sleep issues as well.

    Not wanting to give up on VR, I decided to invest in some prescription lenses specifically designed for the Rift from a company called VR Lens Lab. I opted for their Blueguard treatment on the lenses, which is supposed to reduce eye strain, and protect your eyes from blue light radiation etc.

    This has made a huge difference for me, VR no longer causes me headaches and I can play for a good couple of hours without needing a break. I think my sleep is also unaffected now, but I always come off VR a good hour or two before bed anyway.

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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    VR doesn't affect my sleep though too much use of it makes me dizzy a bit.

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    Re: Late in the evening VR use affecting sleep?

    I am ok gaming with VR on elite dangerous, no sleep or eyes problem

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