Addiction to online games lowers sleep quality

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An online game is a game application that is connected to an internet connection. Playing online games for a long time can cause a mild feeling of euphoria; this is what makes gamers feel comfortable. Ignorance of self-control in playing games makes these gamers addicted to that. Addiction to online games can cause several problems for gamers, such as forgetting to sleep, eat, and rest. Game addiction is a condition where individuals experience dependence on specific behaviors, namely playing games, due to a lack of control over gameplay activities, causing discomfort and stress when playing games are postponed or stopped. Addiction to online games is one type of addiction caused by internet technology or better known as internet addictive disorder.

Students in big cities, including Surabaya in the lecture process, can not be separated from the need to use the internet. Not only for the sake of learning but to fill time and find entertainment. Online gaming is one type of entertainment chosen by students who are members of Surabaya online gaming community. The research that has been conducted involves 111 students in Surabaya online gaming community and shows the results that more than half of them experience online gaming addiction.

The results showed that the majority of gamers students who were mostly male students and had a high intensity in playing online games. In general, they play games for more than 4 hours a day, because it will be difficult to stop if they are late playing online games. The desire to achieve or maintain the symbols contained behind avatars in online gameplay cannot be avoided because a character in the game will be viewed and praised if the character has a high level and powerful equipment that is usually expensive. Thus, they like being required to pursue high levels (leveling) or looking for a lot of money or scores to be able to buy powerful equipment. They often do not realize that they have been playing for hours, being sedated to interact in their fantasy world, or in leveling their virtual characters. It can be classified as online games addiction if someone plays more than 20 hours of online games for one week or more than 4 hours of playing online games a day.

Addictions to online games have a negative effect on the health of gamers, both physically, such as fatigue and the ability to sleep quickly in the day. Playing online games is a reason for students to sleep after midnight; only sleep for 5-6 hours per day and wake up late in the morning. Addiction to online games makes gamers students experience changes in sleep patterns and reduce the quality of sleep. Playing online games for too long results in changes in the body’s biological clock and suppresses the natural production of melatonin, which is essential for the normal wake-up sleep cycle. Poor sleep quality for students who are actively studying can not only interfere with concentration difficulties and memory weakness but also affects the ability of metabolism to work and study well.

Author: Dr. Rizki Fitryasari PK, S.Kep., Ns., M.Kep (Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Airlangga)


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