NBA basketball players who did late-night tweeting scored lower in next-day game, linking performance and sleep, based on preliminary data of a new study.

The study, which analyzed the Twitter account activity between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. of 112 verified NBA players, found those who tweeted between these times had poorer personal statistics.

The study used more than 30,000 tweets as well as other data compiled from seven basketball seasons from 2009-2016.

On the average, the players scored in the next-day games 1 point less with late-night tweets while their shooting accuracy dropped 1.7 percentage points than without late-night tweets, while also making fewer shots, rebounds, steals, and blocks, the study revealed.

The players performed 2 minutes less playing time following late-night tweeting, which mostly explained the lower personal statistics, according to the report

“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.” Jason J. Jones, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University in New York and lead investigator, said. “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.”

“Our findings are relevant beyond just sports science research,” Lauren Hale, PhD, Professor of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine in the Program in Public Health at Stony Brook University, the study’s co-author, said. “Our results demonstrate a broader phenomenon: to perform at your personal best, you should get a full night of sleep.”

According to Jones, Twitter is a potential data source for late-night behavior that can be utilized as a ‘proxy for not sleeping.’

“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,” Jones said.

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