Joystick Java: Over 77 Million Online Gamers in America Suffer from Insomnia, Finds Study.

In today’s digital era, online gaming has emerged as a force to be reckoned with. Going beyond the sheer fun and entertainment of games like Solitaire, it’s a platform that harnesses an array of benefits for its enthusiasts, including cognitive development, and more importantly-combatting loneliness: in a world where social isolation is becoming increasingly prevalent, online gaming offers a unique refuge.

However, every rose has its thorn! The engrossing nature of online gaming can sometimes be its Achilles’ heel. Gamers, captivated by the virtual realms, often find themselves lost in gameplay, stretching sessions well into the early hours. This dedication, while commendable, has given rise to concerns about insomnia induced specifically by extended gaming hours.

Photo by Sean Do on Unsplash recently commissioned a study to find out how online gamers are affected by insomnia. They ran a nationwide survey and then combined these results from official data from County Health Rankings to reveal where America’s most sleep deprived gamers reside. Overall, the study found that 22% of online gamers suffer from insomnia, representing 77,647,645 people!

On a state level, the study identified that online gamers in Virginia are the most affected by insomnia, where 30% reported this to be the case. On a more localized scale, was able to identify the most sleep deprived online gamers within each town. While it may not be particularly well known nationwide, the town of Eutaw in Alabama (population 2,800) placed first in the country overall for online gamers with a sleep problem. 968 ‘Eutawnians’ are self-confessed sleep deprived gamers, representing 35% of all gamers living there.

The study did reveal some suprising results. For example, one would have expected that San Francisco would have come ontop in the state for online gamers with insomnia. Afterall, the city is home to a significant number of tech companies and startups. It is also home to companies like Electronic Arts (EA) and Zynga. However, the top spot for online gaming insomnia belongs to far further south in San Bernardino. Here there are 59,415 gamers who don’t get enough sleep, representing 27.4% of the local population.

Photo by JESHOOTSCOM on Unsplash

The top 5 most sleep deprived states due to online gaming are:

1. Virginia: 30%
2. Alabama: 28%
3. Kentucky: 27%
4. Indiana: 26%
5. South Carolina: 26%

The full breakdown across the states is available here.

Commenting on the study, Holger Sindbaek from said: “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. 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.”

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