BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — From time to time, and especially as the winter months begin to put an end to outdoor activities, many of us like to relax after a hard day’s work by hopping on a gaming PC or console for a round of online gaming. However, the desire to play combined with the somewhat addictive nature of video games can lead to both good and bad things.
While gaming can have many positive aspects on players (such as occupying spare time, encouraging problem-solving and cognitive growth, and easing feelings of loneliness), there are plenty of other risks that come with playing video games — one of which is sleep deprivation. The urge to play “just one more round” or need to “get that rare item” can often lead to spending much more time in the gaming world than expected. In some cases, this can overlap with someone’s nighttime schedule, effectively becoming a direct cause of insomnia, and can have a major impact on a gamer’s mental and physical health.
To determine just how many online gamers have been afflicted with insomnia, the aptly-named site Online-Solitaire.com commissioned a nationwide survey of 3,000 adult gamers based on age, gender, and geography. The results of this poll were then combined with official data from County Health Rankings in order to find out where sleep deprivation was most frequent.
After both the study and data were combined and expanded, it was observed that 22% of North Dakotans note that their internet gaming activities tend to result in periods of little sleep — a total of 171,596 individuals throughout the state. The research also noted that certain cities also have far larger populations of groggy gamers than others — particularly Rolla and Fort Yates, which are tied for the city with the largest percentage of online insomniacs at 27% each. Below is a list of the five most sleep-deprived cities in ND.
|Rank||City||Percentage of Population Reporting Gaming-Based Sleep Deprivation|
Despite these startlingly large numbers, North Dakota is far from being the state most guilty of not getting enough sleep due to online gaming exploits. In this regard, Virginia is the state with the largest levels of insomnia, followed by Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, and South Carolina.
|Rank||State||Percentage of Population Reporting Gaming-Based Sleep Deprivation|
“Numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of online gaming — from cognitive growth to a way of forging enduring friendships, especially for those suffering from loneliness,” states Online-Solitaire Representative Holger Sindbaek in a press release. “However, akin to all facets of life, moderation is key! It’s important to strike a balance between online gaming and attending to life’s other demands, including the pivotal need for restful sleep.”
In order to view the full study — including an interactive map showcasing the towns and cities in each state with the most gamers suffering from insomnia — visit this page on Online-Solitaire’s website.