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Video Games Before Bed May Not Shortchange Slumber
Date:4/15/2010

g. They sacrifice sleep to spend more time watching TV, playing games or texting friends."

Gradisar agreed, noting that the 50-minute limit is one few teens would be expected to follow on their own initiative.

"We found that teens in our study were less sleepy after playing the video game compared to watching the documentary DVD, which suggests if they were left to their own devices, the teens would have chosen to continue playing the video game, which would have eaten into the beginning of their sleep opportunity," he said.

Teens might also play longer if they play a game more than one night, because they will become more emotionally invested in the game as their character progresses through the story, he added.

"So I guess the moral of this study, particularly for parents, is moderate your teens' video game playing," Gradisar said.

More information

For tips on establishing good sleep habits for teens, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



SOURCES: Michael Gradisar, Ph.D., senior lecturer, clinical child psychology, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia; Cheryl K. Olson, Sc.D., co-director, Center for Mental Health and Media, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; April 15, 2010, Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine


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