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Video gaming teens sleep less: study
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) May 16, 2011


RIM recalling 1,000 PlayBook tablets
Washington (AFP) May 16, 2011 - Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM) said Monday it is recalling around 1,000 PlayBook tablet computers because of an operating system issue.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said most of the affected devices were still in the distribution channel and had not reached customers.

RIM said the affected PlayBooks may not be able to properly load software upon initial set-up.

"RIM is working to replace the affected devices," it said in a statement.

"In the small number of cases where a customer received a PlayBook that is unable to properly load software upon initial set-up, they can contact RIM for assistance," the company added.

According to technology blog Engadget, the faulty PlayBooks were shipped to US office supply giant Staples.

RIM shares were down 1.30 percent at $42.68 in pre-market trading.

RIM released the PlayBook in April to mixed reviews. The device is RIM's answer to Apple's hot-selling iPad and its first foray outside the mobile phone realm.

RIM is offering three models of the PlayBook. A version with 16 gigabytes of storage for $499, a 32GB model for $599 and one with 64GB for $699. The prices are the same as for comparable models of the iPad.

RIM describes the PlayBook as the first "professional-grade" tablet and has stressed its integration with its BlackBerry smartphone, a favorite among business users.

The PlayBook has a seven-inch (17.8-centimeter) touchscreen, smaller than the iPad's 9.7 inches (24.7-cm) and at less than a pound (425 grams), the PlayBook is lighter than the iPad 2's 1.3 pounds (590 grams).

Teens who play a lot of video games are likely to sleep less than the eight to nine hours a night recommended for the age group, researchers said Monday.

Speaking via teleconference from the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, researchers said that an analysis of data on 16,000 teens also found that youths who reported sleeping less than seven hours a night did not get enough exercise, which could also impact their health.

And not getting enough sleep is detrimental for all -- and has a particularly negative effect on teens, added Caris Fitzgerald, a psychiatry resident at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences who led the study,.

A poor night's sleep can bring on a slew of ill effects, including low energy, poor concentration, moodiness, a greater tendency to act on impulse and more suicidal thoughts.

Yet only 10 percent of US teens get the recommended hours of shut-eye, according to the study, for which Fitzgerald and her fellow researchers analyzed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Because teens have "accelerated demands for growth and memory retention, very vital things with regard to the teen in their overall success," getting sufficient sleep is even more important for them, Fitzgerald said.

But they also struggle to do so more than adults.

"When it comes to teens, they have a lot of factors that affect them, from an ever greater quest for independence reflected by later bedtime; to expectations from parents and peers -- like texting in the middle of the night," said Fitzgerald.

Teens' circadian rhythms don't help them in their quest for sleep either.

Their body rhythms put them on a schedule where they like to stay up late and sleep in each morning.

"But unfortunately the rest of society is not on that schedule and school is still going to start at 8:00 am," Fitzgerald said.

The researchers were unable to conclude there was a cause-effect relationship between sleep and online gaming or sport, but Fitzgerald pointed to "some evidence that reducing media exposure and increasing physical activity could increase the amount teens sleep."

The study did have one piece of good news for teens: watching television does not appear to affect sleep time.

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