Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2014 Apr;16(4):444. doi: 10.1007/s11920-014-0444-1.
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.