Esports is a booming global industry and has been officially included in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Given that esports is a cognitive based activity, and sleep is well known to be critical for optimal cognitive functioning, our research group recently proposed that sleep might be an important determinant of esports performance. The focus of the current review was to expand our limited understanding regarding the role of sleep in esports by exploring risk factors for suboptimal sleep and developing an associated intervention framework. More specifically, we aimed to 1) examine how gaming culture and game genre might negatively influence sleep behaviour, 2) describe a conceptual model to explain how sub-optimal sleep occurs in esports, and 3) outline sleep intervention considerations that specifically meet the needs of esports athletes. We conclude that gaming culture and game genre could both impact the sleep behaviour of esports athletes, via cognitive and behavioural mechanisms. Furthermore, adapting Spielman's three-factor model to esports may provide a useful and easy to understand conceptualisation for sub-optimal sleep in esports. Lastly, sleep interventions for traditional athletes can be suitably modified for esports but must be comprehensive and extend from a theoretically grounded conceptual model.
- Risk factors