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Too Much Computer Gaming Can Steal Your Sleep
Date:6/8/2009

at night you can delay your sleep phase," Abreu said.

Also, because of different times zones, it's possible to play computer games around the clock. "You can be playing games 24/7 with different people from different countries. These people tend to sleep less," he said.

The results of the study were to be presented Monday at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies annual meeting, in Seattle.

Another study presented at the meeting concluded that sleep problems among children often go unnoticed by their doctors.

According to the study, data from pediatricians on nearly 155,00 patients, ranging in age from infancy to 18 years old, showed that fewer than 4 percent were diagnosed with a sleep problem. The most common diagnoses were sleep disorders that were "not otherwise specified" (1.42 percent), bedwetting (1.24 percent), sleep disordered breathing (1.04 percent) and insomnia (0.05 percent).

Lead researcher Lisa Meltzer, of the Sleep Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, noted the rate of diagnosis in this study is far below the prevalence of children's sleep problems reported in epidemiological studies.

"Sleep is often discussed during checkups for young children, but it may not come up as a topic with teenagers, resulting in an under-diagnosis of sleep disorders for this group of adolescents," Meltzer said in a prepared statement. "Pediatricians should ask about sleep during every well-child visit. Children who snore, have problems falling asleep, are difficult to wake in the morning or who fall asleep in school should be further evaluated for sleep disorders."

More information

For more on sleep, visit the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.



SOURCES: Alexandre Rocha Abreu, M.D., assistant professor,
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