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AUTHOR: Editor · Updated: 15th Jan 2021

How Video Games Can Affect Sleeping Patterns

Are you an avid gamer and find it hard to switch off the Xbox or PlayStation at the end of the night? Well, it seems you’re not alone. Our latest research discovered that 67% of gamers don’t get the recommended seven hours of shut-eye each night.

As a result, we investigated how gamers habits are affecting their sleep by surveying more than 7,000 gamers, assessing everything from the games that keep them awake the longest to the amount of sleep they lose per year.

The relationship between video games and sleep

How many hours on average do gamers spend gaming each day?


According to our study, 40% of gamers spend between five and six hours, on average, playing video games daily. This is equivalent to between 1,825 and 2,190 hours each year. However, just over a quarter of respondents (27%) spend between seven and eight hours, which is equivalent to between 2,555 and 2,920 hours per year.

For 19% of gamers, their average daily gaming time is between three and four hours, and a further 8% spend between 0 and two hours. Our study also found that 6% averaged between nine and 11 hours of playing video games each day, whilst 1% said that they spend more than half a day gaming (12 hours+).

We also looked into whether lockdown measures affected gaming habits, by asking gamers whether they think the number of hours spent playing video games will increase. A staggering 80% admitted that they do expect this to increase by an additional two to three hours each day.

How much sleep do gamers get on average each night?


Keen to understand how much sleep gamers typically get each night, we asked how often they spend getting shut-eye. We then compared the average amount of sleep recommended by experts with the average amount of sleep that gamers are actually getting.

Despite the fact that experts claim that we need between seven to nine hours of sleep each night, our study revealed that a whopping 81% of gamers were falling short of that, with only 19% of respondents getting more than seven or more, suggesting that gaming does affect the amount of sleep people get.

When asked how many hours of sleep they get on average each night, half of the gamers studied said between five to six hours (51%) – an hour short of the recommended minimum. Throughout the year, gamers only getting five hours of sleep each night only average 1,825 hours of sleep each year, which falls short of the minimum 2,555 hours of recommended sleep by medical professionals.

Worryingly, almost a quarter (24%) of gamers slept for three to four hours on average each night. According to our analysis, individuals getting three hours of sleep on average each night will get an average of 1,095 hours each year, which is 1,460 hours less than the minimum recommended of 2,555.

Just 11% said that their sleep time averaged between seven to eight hours, and a further 8% of respondents estimated that they get between 9 to 10 hours. An additional 6% confessed to only getting between 0 to two hours of sleep each night, on average.

Which video games keep gamers up the longest?


Our study found that gamers sleep may be impaired due to playing video games for long periods of time. Almost three-quarters of gamers studied (73%) admitted that they had experienced insomnia after playing games, and a further 76% said that they have experienced nightmares after playing games. This led us to consider which games are most likely to keep gamers awake for the longest by polling gamers.

The video game keeping gamers up for the longest is Minecraft, with just over a fifth (21%) admitting they couldn’t switch the game off. Minecraft was shortly followed by Rust, which kept 17% of gamers awake for the longest according to our survey results.

The hit video game Fortnite was the third most likely to keep gamers up, with 14% of those surveyed admitting that it kept them up the longest. Following closely behind are the games Among Us and Call of Duty: Warzone, keeping 12% and 10% of gamers up the longest, respectively, in our study.

Which game style keeps gamers awake the most?


Beyond specific games, we also wondered what style of games were keeping gamers awake the most. Of the various game varieties, a fifth (20%) of respondents said first person shooter games are most likely to keep them awake for the longest. Following closely behind in second place are player versus player games (better known as PVP), keeping 17% of gamers up the longest.

15% of gamers claim multiplayer video games are the third most likely to keep them awake at night, with sports games following shortly behind keeping 12% of gamers up the longest.

Match Making Rating (MMR) games keep 10% of gamers awake at night, Role Playing Games (RPG) keep 9% up the longest, and Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games keep 8% awake the most.

On the other hand, we found that gamers playing simulator video games are least likely to stay up late, perhaps due to the fact they aren’t as stimulating as other styles of game on offer. The same goes for strategy games, with just 5% saying this style of game kept them up the longest.
How can gaming affect day-to-day life?
As part of our study, we asked gamers how their gaming habits have affected their daily lives. According to the gamers in our study, almost two-thirds (62%) have skipped work and special occasions as a result of gaming.

In addition to this, more than half (53%) of gamers studied experienced conflict with family or friends due to their gaming habit.

Furthermore, we also asked gamers partaking in our study if they have ever experienced any health problems as a consequence of gaming for long periods of time. Almost one-third of gamers admitted back pain (30%), and a quarter experience dry eyes often (26%). Some respondents even suggested they have suffered from a lack of concentration due to gaming for prolonged periods of time (8%).

About our methodology:

Experts at GamblingDeals.com surveyed 7,933 gamers asking questions like:

‘What is the most common product you used for gaming?’
‘On average, how many hours a day do you spend gaming?’
‘On average, how many hours a night do you sleep?’
‘Please note the game that keeps you up the longest’
‘Which style of game keeps you up the longest?’
‘Have you ever skipped work/school/special occasion because of lost gaming sleep?’
‘Have you ever experienced family/friends conflicts due to too much gaming?’
‘Have you ever experienced insomnia after playing games?’
‘Have you ever experienced nightmares after playing games?’
‘What are the main issues you face if you play games for too long?’
‘Do you expect the amount of hours gaming per day to increase because of lockdown measures?’

To determine the amount of sleep that is recommended by experts, we sourced data from SleepFoundation.org. We then multiplied this sum by 365 to determine the recommended hours of sleep you should be getting on average each year.

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