SLEEP AND VIDEO GAMES
When one is young and carefree, all you want to do in your spare time is to go outside under the sun and have rough and tumble plays, do hide and seek with siblings or friends or just run around the yard. That is your idea of game heaven and pure pleasure! Coming in from playing around all afternoon, your mother will send you to the bathroom to take a bath before you can partake of the family dinner. And after a delicious meal shared with your family, you are lulled to rest by your weary body. Well, gone are those days!
Today, most children (ranging from tweens to young teenagers) indulge in video gaming. They are so hooked up to the games played in the computer whether online or not. And what is alarming is they don’t realize that they are already building up a sleep deficit each time they spend more hours playing video games rather than getting a fitful rest.
Sleep, for most young people is an unnecessary activity at the end of a busy day and they don’t like it primarily because it disrupts their schedule especially when it comes to video games. They feel that they don’t really need to lie and be still for at least 8 hours each day because they have all this energy stocked up inside their nubile bodies. Sleeping for them is just wasted time and they would rather sit in front of the computer and be taken to a world of imagination and fantasy.
If only they knew that sleep is the only time the body can relax, recharge and rejuvenate. If you get adequate hours of slumber time, you will reap so many healthful benefits such as a sharper memory, better cognitive ability, healthier heart, a more alert mind not to mention, a novel way to lose extra pounds and a shinier, luminous looking skin!
But since as they say,” youth is wasted in the young”, teen-agers hardly take note of the myriad of healthy profits one gets from sleeping. They just take for granted the value of a good quality sleep overnight and they go on and indulge in their pastime- video gaming. A study of young children (between 6-12 years) in Japan revealed that playing video games has a deleterious effect on the sleeping habits of children. It also showed that young people are more alert when they have a gaming console in the comforts of their own bedroom.
Another study, this time in Belgium found out some significant facts like teenagers with a video game system in their rooms went to bed much later than those who don’t have any kind of video games within their reach. They consistently go to sleep on schooldays which resulted in an increased level of exhaustion and tiredness which leads to frequent tardiness and at times, absenteeism.
But here are more of these alarming and shocking facts about sleep deprivation and its connection with video games. Children are not the only ones who are addicted to computer games to the point of losing precious ZZZ’s each and every night. There are also research studies that showed that college level students are also impaired by their excessive use of video games. When we say excessive, it means the student plays more than 7 hours per week. The students reported loss of quality sleep caused them to be less attentive in class and cognitive skills are significantly decreased. There is slower recall and they can’t focus or concentrate on tasks at hand.
Sleep is such an important part of our lives whether you are a youngster, a young adult or in the prime of life. So, even if video games gives you a thrill each time you play it, learn to curb your appetite for these and take time to rest because sleep is the one that can give you the energy and boost to play the ultimate game called LIFE!!!