Internet Gaming Addiction, Problematic Use of the Internet, and Sleep Problems: A Systematic Review

  • Lawrence T. LamEmail author
Child and Adolescent Disorders (T Benton, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Child and Adolescent Disorders


The effect of problematic use of the Internet on mental health, particularly depression among young people, has been established but without a probable model for the underlying mechanism. In this study, a model is presented to describe possible pathways for the linkage between Internet gaming addiction and depression possibly mediated by sleep problems. A systematic review was conducted to gather epidemiological evidence to support or refute the link between addictive Internet gaming, problematic Internet use, and sleep problems including insomnia and poor sleep quality. Seven studies were identified through a systematic literature search, of these three related to addictive Internet gaming and four on problematic Internet uses and sleep problems. Information was extracted and analysed systematically from each of the studies and tabulated as a summary. Results of the review suggest that additive gaming, particularly massively multiplayer online role-playing games MMORPG, might be associated with poorer quality of sleep. Results further indicated that problematic Internet use was associated with sleep problems including subjective insomnia and poor sleep quality.


Internet gaming addiction Computer gaming Internet addiction Excessive Internet use Pathological Internet use Problematic Internet Use Sleep problems Insomnia Sleep quality Review Systematic review Epidemiology study 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Lawrence T. Lam declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health and Physical EducationThe Hong Kong Institute of EducationHong KongChina
  2. 2.Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, Sydney Medical SchoolThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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