A new study by Flinders University in Australia has found playing games for too long before bedtime is detrimental to a good night's rest.
The study included 17 teenage boys who played violent games for 50 or 150 minutes before sleeping on two different nights. Sleep and heart rates were monitored, the results of which for those who played 150 minutes showed a 27 minute loss in sleep time and 39 minute delay in actually getting to sleep. For those who played 150 minutes, a 12 minute reduction in REM sleep aka "dreaming sleep" was observed.
"This may not seem like a significant reduction," says child sleep psychologist Dr. Michael Gradisar, "But REM plays an important part in helping us remember content we [learned] that day so for adolescents in their final years of school who are revising for exams, winding down at night with a video game might not be the best idea."
For those who played 50 minutes, no negative effect was observed.