When working is taking too long, for instance, people will often turn to play video games, so they can pass the time.
Do people really sleep more if they play video games? And how does it compare to gaming?
According to a 2012 study, playing video games can help people get to sleep. Playing video games can help people get to sleep.
Even though the amount of sleep a person receives each night depends largely on the person, many people feel that they do not get enough sleep.
A 2016 report from the UK-based Children's Sleep Charity (CSC) states that children are sleep deprived because of the additional distractions of modern life.
Most children need between 8.5–9.5 hours of sleep per night.
With busy schedules and increasing use of technology, this minimum requirement of sleep for children has fallen by almost 1 hour per night over the past 20 years and is less than what is recommended.
Teenagers are also experiencing a lack of sleep
Although this is not a new issue, it has become worse as technology has become more popular.
Although they spend less time in their bedrooms, they use devices in their rooms, such as TVs and computers.
These often fall on a sofa, which could make it hard to fall asleep, as it is harder to adjust positions.
Gaming consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are being used less by parents and teachers, possibly due to the added distractions they can create.
This is also due to the reduced quality of gaming, as new games release less frequently than video games on traditional consoles.
Should gamers play to make themselves fall asleep?
Whether gaming can keep people awake varies from person to person. Some people do not fall asleep until the game is over.
A 2016 study found that playing video games could help people get to sleep, but only if they play the game before bedtime and did not do so continuously throughout the day.
Research published in 2016 found that people who take regular gaming breaks can have trouble staying asleep.
So, the main question is whether gaming can keep people awake while playing it or whether people would stay asleep if they stopped playing the game.
This depends on a person's individual sleep cycle. The majority of people fall into the REM cycle, which consists of a period of being fully awake and a period of sleep where the person is not fully awake.
To stay asleep, people need to go to REM sleep for at least 45 minutes, and usually sleep for between 90–180 minutes.
This is the reason why some people who take breaks between gaming sessions do not usually get to sleep and do not take breaks at the right time.
Some people do not respond well to gaming sleep deprivation. A 2016 study found that playing video games for less than 30 minutes a day can cause sleep deprivation.
The more time a person spends playing the game, the more tired they feel and less likely to fall asleep.
Another study found that an increase in the number of gaming hours a week leads to a greater risk of getting less than the recommended amount of sleep each night.
How gaming compares to sleep
The sleep deprivation associated with gaming has been proven to be detrimental to sleep quality.
However, gamers are unlikely to need as much sleep as people who are not gamers. The recommended amount of sleep per night is around seven and a half hours.
Games tend to be active. Video games tend to be active.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, game time for adults is about 2.5 hours per day.
When playing video games, a person is usually doing something active. Several studies have found that game time makes a person more active and leads to a higher level of physical activity than most other activities.
Additionally, the intensity of the gaming sessions are unlikely to be as intense as long periods of sitting down, such as watching TV or a movie.
Also, video games can help a person with other problems that contribute to poor sleep.
For example, some studies have found that people who play video games are more likely to report feeling tired in the morning than those who do not play video games.
However, other studies have found that playing video games can worsen sleep quality
People who play video games experience negative moods and may have trouble maintaining consistent sleep patterns.
Additionally, a study published in the International Journal of Sleep Research in 2014 found that playing video games for longer than 30 minutes in a short amount of time leads to reduced quality sleep.
The study noted that this is partly because there is a disconnect between the amount of gaming and the amount of sleep required.
Additionally, a 2016 study reported in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that people who play video games for a long time had a less deep sleep, which the study found is important for mental processing and memory consolidation.
The study concluded that the detrimental effects of playing video games are most likely due to the gaming-induced rebound effect, which occurs when the brain remains awake and active when it should be asleep.
Gaming sleep traps
One way that video games can affect sleep is by making the same routine difficult to follow.
For example, a gamer who typically falls asleep within 10 minutes may not be able to stay asleep after starting a video game.
This is because the brain uses the same processes to stay awake during the same hours of sleep that it does during the day.
In addition to this, gamers tend to have a lower sleep quality than non-gamers, and video games are more likely to interfere with sleep quality.
Another way that video games can affect sleep is by slowing it down. Games usually have a much longer playtime than traditional media, which can make the experience more difficult to remember.
Video games also take longer to start and stop, so they can disrupt an otherwise consistent sleep cycle.