Violent games effect sleep patterns less than previously thought

Saturday, 17th April 2010 23:00 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Another day, another study by a group on the effects of videogames on the human psyche.

This time, it’s from researchers in Australia who have concluded that violent games don’t make falling much more difficult than normal.

Two groups of teenage boys ages 14 through 18 who usually fell asleep within 15-minutes, were observed.

One group played Modern Warfare for 50 minutes, and the other group watched March of the Penguins and were gauged on whether it took them longer to fall asleep afterward.

Apparently, there wasn’t a very significant difference, as the researchers concluded that “the direct effect of pre-sleep videogame playing on adolescent sleep may be more modest than previously thought”.

Eleven teens took 7.5-minutes longer to fall asleep after playing Modern Warfare, while it took those that watched the film three-minutes longer to go to sleep.  Two fell asleep faster after playing the game, and four teens fell asleep during the film, which was described as “slow-moving and tranquil” compared to the game.

I guess some of the researchers have never watched March of the Penguins, because it is rather sad and far from tranquil, in our opinion. Poor fellas.

However, Michael Gradisar, a Child Psychology Professor at Flinders University, and lead researcher of the study, believes that the “dose of 50 minutes was too low to have any major ramifications on their sleep,” as the limited time with it “didn’t allow the teens to become emotionally invested” in the game.

There ya go then.

Via GamePolitics.



  1. The_Deleted

    I fell asleep during Modern Warfare 2 once.

    (Someone was going to say it.)

    #1 5 years ago
  2. M337ING


    #2 5 years ago
  3. Suikoden Fan

    How about playing project zero at night before going to bed with surround sound on? That’ll mess with sleeping patterns.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Enkeixpress

    I fell asleep watching “The Grudge” once.. From what I can remember, it was during one of the scary parts.. can’t remember which though lol

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Vaansinn

    they should have been in one of the old wow raids…10 min…max

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Yoshi

    The survery is fucked.
    Firstly, which teenages actually played COD and which watched March of the Penguins. Im guessing the younger 1s watched March of the Penguins so that makes firstly this survery is fucked as it wont be all the same age of kids.
    Secondly, March of the Penguins is a film which you sit and relax watching, COD is a game you play and have to move to play it, big difference.
    Thirdly why didnt they try other games besides violent 1s?

    *Stamps sticker of approval with small print of “This Survey Was Complete Bullshit”*

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Springchicken

    @6: Why would you assume they separated the groups by age? Even a bunch of hacks wouldn’t do something so obviously ruinous to a study.

    Your second point is the entire aim of the study, to find discernible differences between actively playing a violent, visceral computer game and passively watching birds slide down ice floes.

    The study does sound flawed, the group was rather small and the lead researcher seemingly drew conclusions contrary to the data for some reason. On an anecdotal note, I find a little gratuitous man-shoot lets me sleep like a baby. Now, a particularly scary Doctor Who episode will do terrible things to my sleep patterns. O_O

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Herlock

    That why i never sleep, thank god…
    I gonna play Sims :)

    #8 5 years ago
  9. endgame

    more money spent on worthless studies while ppl die from hunger every day. idiots!

    #9 5 years ago
  10. conk donk

    In any study adhering to the scientific method you want to minimize the amount of extraneous variables (differences between the control group and experimental groups) as much as possible.

    The conclusions reported to have been made “This time, it’s from researchers in Australian who have concluded that violent games don’t make falling much more difficult than normal.” does not match the design of the experiment. From this you could conclude that Modern Warfare 2 does not make falling asleep much more difficult than watching March of the Penguins or even that violent video games don’t make falling much more difficult than ‘tranquil’ television.

    A better designed study would look at violent video games vs non-violent video games or violent games vs violent television/book/comic.

    The article also makes me wonder how researchers defined the word normal in relation to teenage life. I would be surprised if they concluded watching penguin movies each night was typical of the age group.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Yoshi

    @7 I think they separated the groups by age because if you didnt realise COD:MW2 is actually an 18, not that many people even notice these days lol. So that means under 18s which are in this survey technically shouldnt be playing this in the first place.

    To your second point of my second point, but i dont understand why they dont choose other games besides a violent game. (Just sounds typical to use a violent game hoping that it does effect your sleep patterns)

    #11 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.