Video Gaming Teens Sleep Less
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2011 May 18
Teens who play a lot of video games are likely to sleep less than the eight to nine hours a night recommended for the age group, researchers said.
Researchers said that an analysis of data on 16,000 teens also found that youths who reported sleeping less than seven hours a night did not get enough exercise, which could also impact their health.
And not getting enough sleep is detrimental for all -- and has a particularly negative effect on teens, added Caris Fitzgerald, a psychiatry resident at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences who led the study.
For teens, a poor night's sleep can bring on a slew of ill effects, including low energy, poor concentration, moodiness, a greater tendency to act on impulse and more suicidal thoughts.
The researchers were unable to conclude there was a cause-effect relationship between sleep and online gaming or sport, but Fitzgerald pointed to "some evidence that reducing media exposure and increasing physical activity could increase the amount teens sleep."
The study did have one piece of good news for teens: watching television does not appear to affect sleep time.