CBS Local– Social media is a convenient tool to bring athletes closer with their fans, but can doing it at the wrong times be detrimental to their performance? According to a study by researchers at Stony Brook University, late-night tweeting from NBA players has shown to lead to a decline in performance the next night at their game.
The study sifted through more than 30,000 tweets from accounts of 112 players during the hours of 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. from 2009 to 2016. The findings were such that players who dabbled in late-night Twitter averaged one fewer point, shot 1.7 percent worse from the field, took fewer shots and had less assists, rebounds and steals than their usual averages.
“Using late-night tweeting activity as a proxy for being up late, we interpret these data to show that basketball skills are impaired after getting less sleep,” says Jason J. Jones, lead researcher of the study via American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “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.”
Twitter is just another entity vying for our time. The basis of the study isn’t that specifically Twitter leads to lesser performances, it’s that being on a device at night instead of focusing on sleep can directly contribute to negative effects the next day.
“Our findings are relevant beyond just sports science research,” says Lauren Hale, study co-author. “Our results demonstrate a broader phenomenon: to perform at your personal best, you should get a full night of sleep.”
The platform was easier to study because every tweet comes with a specific time stamp. If a player is up watching television, or simply just rolling around in bed, it isn’t quite as easy to quantify.
“Twitter is currently an untapped resource for late-night behavior data that can be used as a proxy for not sleeping,” said Jones. “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.”