NBA players perform worse after late-night tweets

JR Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after missing a shot. (Credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images)

NBA players who use Twitter or other forms of social media late at night don’t perform as well on the court the next day, a new study shows.

The research builds on preliminary research from 2017 about players who posted late-night tweets. Researchers examined game statistics for 112 verified Twitter-using players, with a total of 37,073 tweets between 2009 and 2016.

A player’s shooting percentage was 1.7 percentage points lower following a night during which he tweeted during typical sleeping hours. Late-night tweeting was also associated with approximately 1.1 fewer points scored and 0.5 fewer rebounds in the next day’s game.

The effects of late-night tweeting were greater during away games versus home games.

The findings also revealed that shooting performance was affected even more with infrequent late-night tweeters compared with frequent late-night tweeters.

“The reason for this finding may be that infrequent late-night tweeters could be morning types. Therefore staying up late to tweet is unusual for them and takes a higher cognitive and physical toll,” says senior study author Lauren Hale, professor of family, population, and preventive medicine at Stony Brook University and core faculty in the university’s program in public health .

The findings may prove that social media data sets will be a valuable source of epidemiological data related to sleep and sleep deprivation, adds lead author Jason J. Jones, assistant professor of sociology and a member of the Institute for Advanced Computational Science.

“While this study is relevant to coaches everywhere, this is not a study about either Twitter or basketball. It’s a study about the importance of sleep for optimal daytime functioning,” Jones says.

The research appears in Sleep Health.

Source: Stony Brook University