University of North Texas Health Science Center researchers have found that video gaming can interfere with adequate sleep in a recent study. The study looked at how often the participants engaged in video gaming, when they went to bed on gaming nights, and when they went to bed on non gaming nights. Participants in the study on average played video games for 4.6 nights every week, and on video gaming nights the participants got roughly 36% less sleep. The average bedtime delay for participants on nights when they gamed was almost 2 hours at approximately 101 minutes. Almost 1,000 participants took part in the study which included answering online surveys, and the participants had an average age of 28.7 years.
Brandy M. Roane, Ph.D. was the prinicpal investigator as well as the lead author for the study. Dr. Roane explained that “These finding provide further insight into factors that influence individuals’ decision making when determining if they should get sufficient sleep. Our data shows that video gaming is quite an important factor that frequently leads to missed sleep for 67 percent of gamers. Additionally, the reasons provided by gamers for their choice to delay their bedtime strongly supports the inclusion of video gaming as an addictive behavior.” The online surveys had questions that covered the frequency and duration of video gaming, adequate sleep habits, various genres of gaming, gaming consoles, and even a variety of demographics. The research abstract and study conclusions were presented at the 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS) and SLEEP 2016 in Denver, Colorado.