Violent vid games send teens to sleep
Thirteen teenage boys in an Aussie sleep study played Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare for 50 minutes sat in bed (not the same one) under the covers with electrodes attached and lights dimmed.
Most fell asleep within seven-and-a-half minutes of stopping the game. They took four minutes to drop off after watching the visual equivalent of Proza March of the Penguins for 50 minutes.
"We purposefully chose a very tranquil film to contrast against the very stimulating effect of playing a violent video game in the hope of producing the greatest effect on sleep," lead researcher Michael Gradisar of Flinders University in Adelaide, said . "We were surprised that playing the violent video game did not lead to a much longer time taken to fall asleep."
None of the 13 participants - all "evening types" had sleep problems and, as Gradisar acknowledges, few boy would limit their playing time to just 50 minutes a night.
He also thinks that calorie-burning games such as "Guitar Hero" or Nintendo Wii would be sure to increase alertness - but, really, what teenage boy will play on the Wii when he should be in bed, when he could be playing adult-rated computer games.
Of course playing such games could in time turn the boy into a homicidal man. But the Flinders research confirms some thing we all knew already: teenage lads are spectacularly insensitive.