Social media platforms have been growing for over a decade, with sites like Myspace fading away while Facebook and Twitter have risen to the top.
Twitter, in particular, has become one of the most fascinating places on the Internet. The access it provides to celebrities and athletes is unparalleled, and sports figures have flocked to the site as a means to express themselves and communicate directly with the world.
There could be a serious downside for professional athletes who can’t get enough of Twitter in the wee hours of the night, though. Stony Brook University decided to take a deep dive into the downside of social media and came back with some surprising results.
The study, which focused on NBA players that tweeted any time between the hours of 11 p.m. at night and 7 a.m. in the morning, tracked 112 NBA players over the span of seven sevens. 30,000 “deep-in-the-night” tweets were sent that fell into those specific parameters.
The findings? Players scored 1 point per game less when playing in a game following a late-night tweet, while their shooting percentage dropped 1.7 percent. Players who “rarely” tweet but decided to fire up social media in the middle of the night dropped 4 percent, though.
The margins aren’t significant, but with a massive sample size in hand, the data is conclusive enough to be presented by the researches who conducted the study at a conference on sleep research.
“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,” said Jason J. Jones, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook said of the data they collected.
“Our findings are relevant beyond just sports science research. Our results demonstrate a broader phenomenon: to perform at your personal best, you should get a full night of sleep,” said :Lauren Hale, a PHD professor in Public Health.
Getting a solid night of sleep is key to any healthy lifestyle, and NBA players are finely-tuned machines. Throw a wrench in their patterns and research points to it being marginally detrimentally for the most part, but for the “rare” tweeters a four percent drop is actually quite high.
It’s not exactly rocket science, either. NBA teams like the Golden State Warriors have been on the cutting edge of sports science and how sleep affects players. Put the phones down, hit the pillows and enjoy a slight uptick in percentages and points, NBA players.