In an ideal world, we’d all practice good sleep hygiene and set our phones aside at least an hour before bed — especially those of us prone to anxiety. Anxiety can mean we spend more time on our devices, leading to worse sleep, which may in turn contribute to anxiety.
So if you can, it’s best to sleep without a phone nearby. You’re likely to sleep better, have fewer interruptions in the night, and wake more comfortably when you aren’t immediately confronted with a pile of notifications. If not, features like Night Mode or Night Shift promise to minimize the harm by shifting away from wakeful, disruptive blue light, and most devices also have Do Not Disturb modes to keep notifications and texts from waking you up while you sleep.
But maybe you already know about sleep hygiene and you still don’t like going to bed without a few minutes on your phone first. If so, you’re not alone — and one game development studio is trying to find a good compromise for you. Mingle Games has created Calming Lia, a game designed to help you sleep, or, perhaps more realistically, to disrupt your sleep as little as possible.
GamesBeat looked at Calming Lia and found that along with a night mode reminder, the game also has a few other tricks for sleep promotion:
The three important features of night gaming featured in Calming Lia include soothing music, played at about 60 beats per minute. That pace has a proven impact on the body, mind, and a person’s emotions. It slows down the brain’s overactive thought process, enabling the player to relax and get rid of tensions.
And the game features distraction. A busy mind is a well-known enemy of sleep. Minds don’t know such things as a perfect time for worries or imagination, the company says. Wandering imaginations or minds occupied with worries just before bedtime are quite common due to more time to think. Sleep experts recommend doing something that will distract the mind from stress and overactive thought processes. Solving challenging puzzles, such as the ones in Calming Lia, can be one of them.
Many studies have found that soothing music played at 60 to 80 beats per minute can help with sleep disorders. As for challenging puzzles, sleep experts generally recommend soothing activities over ones that tax you — but match 3 games aren’t likely to cause most gamers much mental strain.
If games are part of your bedtime routine but Calming Lia doesn’t work for you, it may still be on the right track. Next time you settle in, try turning on night mode and playing some good tracks that come in around 60 beats per minute. That might just help sleep come a little easier.