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How a Pro Gamer Gets to Sleep After Staring at a Screen for Hours

Michael "Flamesword" Chaves shares his top tips for snoozing post-play.

When I first started gaming, I had trouble falling asleep. I’d been given all sorts of advice—one Silicon Valley guy told me that he sleeps six hours a night, then takes an hour-long nap during the day.

But naps make me groggy, so I developed a ritual: I attack my body during the day, working out in the morning and pushing to tire myself out. Then I set a deadline to fall asleep exactly two hours later. So if my team finishes our practice session at 10 p.m., I’m in bed by 12. In those two hours I relax and try to slow my thoughts. By the time I get to the end of the day, my body’s exhausted and needs to sleep.

Once in bed, I shut everything down—including screens. [Studies show LED screens’ blue light can interfere with sleep.] I set my bedroom temperature to 67 to 69°, which I’ve read is optimal for recharging one’s brain. I’ve been doing this for a year now, and it works.

Michael "Flamesword" Chaves is OpTic Gaming's Halo master and resident gym rat, and a columnist for Men's Fitness. Follow him on Twitter

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