Sleep in habitual adult video gamers: a systematic review

Chadley Kemp, Paula R Pienaar, Dominique Rosslee, Gosia Lipinska, Laura Roden, Dale E Rae

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    6 Citations (Scopus)
    92 Downloads (Pure)


    Video gaming is a popular, globally recognized phenomenon, played recreationally or competitively as esports. Gaming is a typicallysedentary nighttime activity; therefore, the potential to impact sleep and health is high. Furthermore, there are limited studieson adult gamers, who represent the majority demographic in esports. This review examines evidence describing sleep in habitualadult gamers to understand the associated risk for cardiometabolic disease or the benefits to gaming performance. Threeelectronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Science) were searched for peer-reviewed articles published between January2000 - April 2020. Twelve studies reporting on sleep in habitual adult gamers were included. A narrative synthesis was employedto report results, owing to high levels of heterogeneity across the included studies. Gamers with higher gaming addiction scoreswere more likely to have shorter, poorer quality sleep and greater daytime sleepiness and insomnia scores than gamers withlower gaming addiction scores and non-gamers. In addition, high-volume gamers were more likely to have worsened sleepquantity and quality, with delayed sleep timing and increased prevalence of insomnia. Despite limitations in the design of theincluded studies, excessive gaming is broadly associated with worsened sleep parameters. Noteworthy is the lack of studiesinvestigating cardiometabolic health in gamers. Future work should explore the relative contribution and associated risk thatvarious games, genres, and timing of gaming activities have on sleep, physical and mental health, particularly in vulnerable gamingcohorts engaged with contemporary forms of gaming and esports.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number781351
    Pages (from-to)781351
    Number of pages15
    JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
    Early online date13 Dec 2021
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2021

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


    • Sleep patterns
    • sleep quality
    • insomnia
    • Video Games
    • electronic sports
    • cybergames


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