Having trouble sleeping? Games are to blame, uni claims

Research from Flinders University in Australia have linked late-night game-playing to disturbed sleep.

MedicalXpress reports that 17 participants were asked tom play an unspecified newly released, fast-paced, violent video game” for either 50 or 150 minutes across two nights and then monitored as they slept in the university’s Sleep Lab.

It found that prolonged video gaming immediately before bed caused significant sleep disruptions in a group of teenage boys, even when they fell asleep at their usual bedtime”.

The findings suggested a 27 minute loss in total sleep time after 150 minutes and a 39 minute delay in sleep onset.

Those who played for just 50 minutes suffered no noticeable effects. No comparable measurements were taken of those who played non-violent games.

"While they went to bed at their regular bedtime, the adolescents’ still experienced significant sleep disruptions caused by frequent awakenings throughout the night," Flinders University child sleep psychologist Dr Michael Gradisar stated.

"Sleep is made up of many different stages and the REM sleep, also known as the dreaming sleep, was reduced by 12 minutes among the teens who played for over two hours.

"This may not seem like a significant reduction but REM plays an important part in helping us remember content we learnt that day so for adolescents in their final years of school who are revising for exams, winding down at night with a video game might not be the best idea."

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