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Beware the late-night tweeting.
However amusing the typos, staying up to share 140 character quips can throw you off your game the next day—whether that’s going to your 9-to-5, playing on an NBA team, or, you know, running the free world.
According to preliminary data from a study of 112 professional basketball players and 30,000 of their tweets, nocturnal Twitter usage linked to poor performance in next-day games. After tweeting between 11pm and 7am, players scored on average one fewer point and saw a 1.7-percent drop in their shooting accuracy than they did in games that did not follow late-night or early-morning tweeting. The Twitter-fatigued players also saw their playing time drop by two minutes.
The findings, reported this week at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Boston, suggest that the after-hours Twitter usage points toward sleep deprivation.
“While experimental studies have shown the impact of sleep deprivation on performance, this study uses big data to provide interpretable results on real-world performance of basketball players,” lead researcher Jason Jones, a sociologist at Stony Brook University in New York, said in a statement.
The study harvested tweets from seven playing seasons, from 2009 to 2016. The researchers only included tweet-night games in the same time zone as the player’s home to avoid complicating factors, such as jet-lag. In the future, the researchers plan to analyze other player statistics, including assists, defensive rebounds, turnovers, and player fouls. They’ll also continue mining Twitter for sleep-related data.
“Twitter is currently an untapped resource for late-night behavior data that can be used as a proxy for not sleeping,” Jones added. “We hope this will encourage further studies making use of time-stamped online behavior to study the effects of sleep deprivation on real-world performance.”