Study: Hardcore gamers get less sleep

A study released by the University of Arkansas shows that excessive gamers, defined as those who spend seven hours or more per week playing games, sleep 1.6 hours less, on average, than casual gamers.

Amanda Woolems, the principal researcher stated that prior research shows not only do gamers spend less time in bed, they have longer latency and shorter REM periods.

Woolems stated that those who took the EPworth Sleepiness Scale, and admitted addiction scored higher (meaning they are more sleepy).

In her study 137 students were examined with a mean age of 22. They took a questionnaire and the results showed that 10.81 percent agreed that gaming impacted their sleeping routines, while 12.6 percent admitted to having a 'gaming addiction'.

If not a deterrent in itself for hardcore gamers, perhaps the suggestion that those who are well rested perform better in virtual envrionments will be enough for many to tuck in early.

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27 Comments

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I think the problem lies with gaming at night. It's easy for us to stay awake when we're playing a game, despite being tired from a day's work. If I remember correctly, I once read an article that talked about the link between light exposure and sleep. I believe it made a connection with light exposure from TVs and histamine production in the brain. Histamine is a neurotransmitter that controls wakefulness. More histamine equals increased wakefulness.

7 hours, I won't exactly call that hardcore. Nor would I call that casual either. Casual gamers may play more than 1 hour at a time, but it is unlikely they would play close to everyday.

In a way though, I could relate to that. Most of my video game time is done at night, if a particular level is lasting a while or Im on a hot streak, I just won't stop. 3am, so be it.

Such research is important, sleep is after all, something we do in a third of our lives and has a lot of health implications. The research may be looking at gamers, but the big picture is sleep.

If I get more than 5 hours of sleep I'm a zombie all day. Its like i enter a point after 5 hours that shuts down my awake switch. 4 hours is perfect..that leaves me 20 hours of gaming. Yea!1

rm20010 said,
Hardcore is 1 hour per day? Seriously?

I'm not sure who used the term excessive - it may not have been termed that way in the research paper. So that could be tilting at windmills.

However, if true, I agree - more than 1 hour a day is neither hardcore nor excessive.

When I first glanced at this news story from the sidebar, it said "seven hours or"... I thought it meant "seven hours or more per day." Now that would be hardcore and excessive in my opinion. :P

Defiantly said,
Tax dollars hard at work. Duh.

Who says this was tax dollars?

"The annual SLEEP meeting brings together an international body of 6,000 leading researchers and clinicians in the field of sleep medicine to present and discuss new findings and medical developments related to sleep and sleep disorders."

"The three-and-a-half-day scientific meeting will bring to light new findings that enhance the understanding of the processes of sleep and aid the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea."

This was no random study, done for no reason.

Seven hours is excessive? Are you serious?

Simple math here. That is only one hour a day. I think most people watch TV at least three times that.

necrosis said,
Seven hours is excessive? Are you serious?

Simple math here. That is only one hour a day. I think most people watch TV at least three times that.

I thought that ^^ Hell I play eve online for more than an hour a day at work, let alone when I'm at home with real computers laying about.

C_Guy said,
Maybe next week they will conduct a study to see if the sky is indeed blue.

Such studies exist, and are not trivial.

That playing more reduces the amount of sleep you get does not have to follow. You could play games at different times to sleeping. However, this study suggests that gaming eats into sleeping time more than other activities might.

C_Guy said,
Maybe next week they will conduct a study to see if the sky is indeed blue.

only for them to find out that it's actually a clear gas which reflects the blue of the light spectrum

C_Guy said,
Maybe next week they will conduct a study to see if the sky is indeed blue.

No, next week they'll do a study to see if the sun's hot. Not how hot, but is it hot.

Kirkburn said,
However, this study suggests that gaming eats into sleeping time more than other activities might.

Only suggests though. It may well be a link more than a cause.

Kreuger said,
So basically if you play for an hour everyday, you lose that hour to sleep. Makes sense to me.

Not really - watching TV or gaming in the afternoon isn't going to impact your sleep pattern.

However, the study appears to suggest that gaming often occurs instead of sleep, which I can believe. You can fall asleep in front of a TV - not quite as easy with something interactive like gaming.