Playing Video Games May Be Hurting Your Sleep

Do you wake up tired, or can’t get to sleep that well at night? Well using electronic devices like watching TV, using the computer and playing video games in the hour before you go to bed may be causing you to lose sleep. Well that is all according to a new survey. The survey suggest that by spending the hour before you go to bed in front of the electronic glow of a computer, TV, or cell phone screens is hurting you.

The survey studied 1,508 people from age 13 to 64. While the survey didn’t confirm that bright light disrupts your sleep schedule, but they do suggest an “electronic curfew” an hour before bedtime. So that means no checking email, playing video games, watching late-night TV. None of that if you want to get a good night’s rest.

Falling asleep isn’t like flicking a switch. We don’t put our heads on the pillow and fall off to sleep. We take time to wind down at night. If we’ve got bright light conditions, we’re not giving ourselves a chance to get off to sleep and stay asleep.

The survey did however find that 63% of American’s aren’t getting enough sleep. 95% of the people surveyed said they used some form of electronic device before they went to sleep at least a few nights a week. The problem is that light exposure before bed can disrupt body rhythms and suppress the release of the hormone melatonin, which promotes sleep.

Now the survey does not confirm 100% that using electronic devices an hour before bed time will hurt your sleep routine.

No one’s proven it yet, but it seems more than tempting to speculate fairly strongly.

So if you are wanting to get more sleep at night, you may want to cut out use of electronic devices before bed, or dim your lights on your devices at night. While it is probably going to be impossible for people to cut the use of these things out of their nightly life, this study may change the minds of some people.

So let’s do our own crude survey here. Do you use any electronic device right before you go to sleep? If you do, do you feel you get enough sleep, or could you use more?

Using Electronics Before Bed May Hamper Sleep [usnews]

Author: Tyler View all posts by
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  1. By A_Joe_Ke on 03-07-2011 17:39

    I use my iPod (to go on the internet), every night before I go to bed, I sleep exactly 8 hours from the time I go to sleep to the time I wake up if I'm uninterrupted. So, I don't believe this survey pertains to me.


  2. By Gilbert1978 on 03-07-2011 17:43

    i've played plenty of games right before sleeping, never had problems the next day... i also had my laptop on overnight and that hasnt affected me either... maybe i'm one of the rare ones... or a freak...


  3. By junxtown on 03-07-2011 17:43

    meh! that survey is a lie
    i also use my netbook to surf the internet before going to sleep and i slept around 8-10 hours


  4. By Kreyg on 03-07-2011 17:47

    Well, I sometimes have trouble falling asleep at night, BUT what about those nights I fall asleep AT the computer? HUH?! Much like the cake...this survey is a lie!


  5. By .:Ra:. on 03-07-2011 17:48

    I play video games at night and still get enough sleep. This test must probably affect casual gamers only


  6. By Kiam on 03-07-2011 17:49

    Now i know why im always tired :P


  7. By Christian M. on 03-07-2011 17:59

    I lose absolutely no sleep whatsoever playing games before I go to bed.


  8. By JustAndrew on 03-07-2011 18:04

    I have trouble sleeping no matter what I do. So this wouldn't really help me. It'd just make me lose an hour of fun stuff each day. Boooooo to that!


  9. By NicoNikoND on 03-07-2011 18:04

    In my house there is no such thing as enough sleep.

    IF you see how early my dad wakes up everyone to go somewhere lol.


  10. By MrPixel on 03-07-2011 18:10

    I watch TV and go on the internet before bed. (watch the cast before bed if kreyg ends up casting pretty long ^_^)

    I really don't get as much sleep as I should since I have to get up early on weekdays and don't go asleep till late.


  11. By Grimguy007 on 03-07-2011 18:46

    The survey isn't a lie just because it doesn't pertain to your personal experience. Notice that the survey says 63% said they don't get enough sleep. To the people that said they get enough sleep, you're in the 37%. You're also the 95% that uses an electronic device before bed. To Kreyg: You were exhausted.


  12. By RebelGh0st on 03-07-2011 18:48

    I play video games, watch tv, check facebook etc. etc. before bed and I don't feel any different but thats on the weekends. Weekdays I don't really have time for that. Average night of sleep for me during the week is 2-6 hours depends if I have work and how much homework and studying I have to do. I do usually have the tv on when going to bed but I feel it makes no difference. Weekends its like 8-10 hours.


  13. By pastaalforno on 03-07-2011 19:41

    Hmm... I don't think I can relate to this. I usually play video games right before I go to bed, and if anything, I find it helps me sleep better. I feel more relaxed.

    Except for this one time when I was playing Wind Waker for the GameCube. I was nearing the end of the game, and for some reason, I was so pumped, adrenaline flowing through my entire body, that I just couldn't sleep. I had to beat the game. That kept me up until 10:30 the following morning.

    So that's the one exception. :)


  14. By Shifrit on 03-07-2011 19:49

    Originally Posted by JustAndrew:
    Quote I have trouble sleeping no matter what I do. So this wouldn't really help me. It'd just make me lose an hour of fun stuff each day. Boooooo to that!

    Same here. I had insomnia pretty bad for awhile, but it's getting a little better. I find that I can pretty much go forever without sleep if I'm in front of my computer, but if I lay down and get comfy in front of the TV I will get really tired really fast.

    This article did touch on the melatonin levels, but the whacky part comes from blue light (aka light from electronics). To my understanding, you need to produce a certain amount of melatonin each night before you can actually get tired and fall asleep. However, blue light suppresses your body's ability to do that. That's why when you're sitting in front of a fire place (yellow light) it's always really cozy and comforting, but then they get studies like this one saying that the majority of people using electronics before bed get a crappy sleep.

    I actually looked into this for awhile because, like you Andrew, I didn't want to give up my nighttime gaming. You can apparently buy blue light blocking goggles, so if you ever can't sleep but refuse to give up gaming an hour before bed, you can pop those bad boys on instead.


  15. By Omnislasher on 03-07-2011 20:03

    Yes and no I suppose.

    Cause I'm usually always on my laptop or playing a game at night before I go to bed. Sometimes I feel tired the next day, sometimes I don't. In my case I think my problem is that I just don't get enough sleep. I tend to go to sleep around between 1-3AM in the morning then wake up a few hours later around 8AM.

    So yeah, I don't think playing games or surfing the web at night before bed is the problem. At least not for me.


  16. By JesusHMacy on 03-07-2011 21:10

    I don't know about this, I watch Conan every night before bed and the only time i'm really tired is if I stay up an extra hour or two after that. But thats just lack of sleep.


  17. By Curse Ten on 03-07-2011 21:12

    Welll... The only way gaming hurts my sleep is when I DON'T go to sleep. Lol.


  18. By outroxx on 03-07-2011 21:39

    I use my computer every night before going to bed at night, going to look into lowering the luminosity


  19. By Reaver on 03-07-2011 22:26

    I'm with Curse Ten. The only time games ever hurt my sleep is when i refuse to go to sleep lol.


  20. By Froodge on 03-07-2011 23:54

    I don't have any issues with sleep because of video games. I get enough sleep everyday...


  21. By Explore on 03-08-2011 04:34

    Yes and no.

    Yes during school nights and no during weekends.


  22. By Chemical 3 on 03-08-2011 05:25

    Funny how last night I spent the entire night on my laptop instead of going to sleep for the first time in months, or at least, the first time on a schoolnight. Right now I am hardly managing to stay concious.


  23. By Xeon1822 on 03-08-2011 05:42

    Originally Posted by Gilbert1978:
    Quote i've played plenty of games right before sleeping, never had problems the next day... i also had my laptop on overnight and that hasnt affected me either... maybe i'm one of the rare ones... or a freak...

    I have to agree with you there friend. I have my laptop on overnight and sometimes my gaming computer and I play games before I sleep and I am perfectly fine...



  24. By Chemical 3 on 03-08-2011 05:45

    Originally Posted by Xeon1822:
    Quote I have to agree with you there friend. I leave my laptop on overnight and I play games before I sleep and I am perfectly fine...





  25. By Flaming Jesus on 03-08-2011 07:44

    I don't really play games before I go to bed, but I do get on my laptop and I wake up feeling fine.


  26. By CaponeOfWV on 03-08-2011 08:13

    hell i fall to sleep faster after playing on the xbox or computer. i lay my head on the pillow and BAM, out like a light


  27. By Chris on 03-08-2011 08:20

    Too bad, so sad.

    *goes back to videogames*


  28. By dumpdemon on 03-08-2011 09:17

    i play lots of games befor i go to sleep so i dont think it is true


  29. By Chemical 3 on 03-08-2011 09:50

    Falling asleep isnít like flicking a switch. We donít put our heads on the pillow and fall off to sleep. We take time to wind down at night. If weíve got bright light conditions, weíre not giving ourselves a chance to get off to sleep and stay asleep.

    Now I have woken up and read it all I understand a bit better. And this ^^^ It is a good job I can shut my door completely at night or his weed growing plants would distract me from late night gaming when I am supposed to be asleep.


  30. By jim94 on 03-08-2011 18:30

    Hm, Im still on the computer before I go to bed, and when im in bed, I use my phone to check my thats probably why I close my eyes for like 30 minutes until I actually sleep.


  31. By iluffsasuke on 03-08-2011 19:32

    I've always felt I never get enough sleep all my life but its because I have asthma not because of electronics :/


  32. By UnrealX2 on 03-08-2011 19:48

    without reading this i already agree with it lol video games always hurt my sleep.


  33. By Rocker2791 on 03-09-2011 14:10

    But what could I possibly find to do for an hour before sleeping? I could play DS... no nvm, small bright screen. Or maybe I could read a book... oh shit, DAMN YOU E READER! Or maybe I could.... no you guys don't want to hear about that.


  34. By RenegadeGamer on 03-09-2011 14:24

    I'm always a routine sleeper and I've played video games for years and it's never affected my sleep. Hell I stay up late all the time and i never wake up feeling like crap.