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Study Says Gamers Get Less Sleep Than Others

| 10 Jun 2009 18:25
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New research from the University of Arkansas says that self-identified "excessive" gamers get less sleep and suffer from poor sleep hygiene compared to non or "casual" gamers.

It doesn't take the kind of person who has ever passed out in the middle of the day thanks to a marathon Diablo II session the night before to know that gamers sometimes get less sleep than other, "normal" people. Because really, when you just have a feeling that Andariel is totally going to drop a Stone of Jordan, who needs to sleep?

Well it might not just be a difference between people who play games and people who don't. A new study from the University of Arkansas argues that people who specifically identify themselves as "excessive" gamers get less sleep than so-called casual and non-gamers alike.

So what constitutes being an "excessive gamer?" Well, by the study's standards, anyone who plays more than seven hours a week and who identify themselves as addicted to games (people are admitting to this without qualms, apparently) could be considered excessive gamers.

"Our statistics revealed that those who admitted addiction scored higher on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (sleepiness)," said Amanda Woolems, who conducted the research. "It surprised us, however, that of the people who admitted being addicted to gaming, only about a third of them recognized an interference with their sleep."

The people who admitted that gaming gets in the way of their snooze time slept 1.6 hours less than others, while people who identified themselves as addicts slept one hour less on weekdays. "Excessive" gamers spend less time in bed, have "longer sleep latency and shorter REM latency," which measures how long it takes for you to reach a certain state of sleep. Reaching REM too quickly is apparently a sign of sleep disorders like narcolepsy.

That doesn't sound too healthy, but I doubt that anything will stop dedicated gamers from getting their game on at the expense of their bodily health. At least in Diablo II I could always just turn my bots on and go to sleep. Yeah, I cheated, but it was for the sake of my health.

[Via Destructoid]

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