Gaming has increasingly become a part of life in Africa. Currently, no data on gaming disorders or their association with mental disorders exist for African countries. This study for the first time investigated (1) the prevalence of insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, anxiety and depression among African gamers, (2) the association between these conditions and gamer types (i.e., non-problematic, engaged, problematic and addicted) and (3) the predictive power of socioeconomic markers (education, age, income, marital status, employment status) on these conditions. 10,566 people from 2 low- (Rwanda, Gabon), 6 lower-middle (Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Ivory Coast) and 1 upper-middle income countries (South Africa) completed online questionnaires containing validated measures on insomnia, sleepiness, anxiety, depression and gaming addiction. Results showed our sample of gamers (24 ± 2.8 yrs; 88.64% Male), 30% were addicted, 30% were problematic, 8% were engaged and 32% were non-problematic. Gaming significantly contributed to 86.9% of the variance in insomnia, 82.7% of the variance in daytime sleepiness and 82.3% of the variance in anxiety [p < 0.001]. This study establishes the prevalence of gaming, mood and sleep disorders, in a large African sample. Our results corroborate previous studies, reporting problematic and addicted gamers show poorer health outcomes compared with non-problematic gamers.
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