In what may be the frontrunner for least shocking sleep-related news of the year, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that video gamers have a habit of regularly postponing their bedtimes when battling orcs, racing cars or whatever the hell it is they control with their joysticks these days.
The news comes courtesy of researchers from the University of North Texas Health Science Center, who surveyed 963 gamers, the average age of whom was 28.7 years old. Those surveyed said they spent an average of 4.6 nights a week playing games and postponed their bedtime 36 percent of that time.
While this study abstract doesn’t exactly send seismic shocks throughout the world of sleep science, it did have one surprising statistic: the average delay in was 101 minutes. That means that gamers sacrificed nearly two hours of sleep to continue playing. That's considerable.
In addition to providing researchers more insight into the degrees to which a group of people will delay sleep, survey authors say this study confirms what many have been saying for years: video games are a drug.
“The reasons provided by gamers for their choice to delay their bedtime strongly supports the inclusion of video gaming as an addictive behavior,” Brandy M. Roane PhD, lead author of the survey and an assistant professor at University of North Texas Health Science Center, said in a release.
That statistic is certainly disconcerting. Video games have long been associated with not only less but also lower quality sleep: all those hours spent bathing in blue light doesn’t bode well for a gamer’s natural rhythms. Interestingly, video games are a good proving ground for one area of sleep: dreaming. Researchers have found a correlation between the playing of first person video games and lucid dreaming, as the former’s perspective and degree of control is very similar to that which is experienced in the latter.
Too bad most players aren't sleeping enough to capitalize on the video game of their dreams
Note: This information is based on an abstract. When more is provided, we will update as necessary.