Sleep is a behavioural and physiological state that contributes to physical and mental health in children and adolescents. It is believed that sleep is beneficial not only for energy conservation, neuronal recuperation, and brain plasticity, which are linked to daytime brain functioning and body homeostasis, but also for growth and cognitive and psychological development. Few investigations have assessed the effects of exposure to video games on sleep. Two contrasting hypotheses can be stated; on the one hand, video games intense use may cause sleep deprivation and therefore negatively impact on overall sleep quality and daytime functioning (Hp1); on the other hand, video gaming may promote a better sleep, as other demanding and intense activities do according to literature (e.g., sports) (Hp2). The purpose of this study was to examine sleep quality and sleep-related variables in a group of hard (HG) and casual gamers (CG); the sample has been created selecting 300 participants from a bigger sample, balanced by extremely low or high video gaming, according to the Assessment of Internet and Computer Game Addiction Scale (AICA-S). Partially supporting Hp2, the HG group reported significantly better subjective sleep quality, habitual sleep efficiency and daytime positive functioning compared to CG. Taking into account the potential biases affecting measures of sleep quality based on self-report, the results are interpreted according to the possible relation between the intensity of daily activities and overall sleep quality.
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