Have you ever stayed up later than you wanted to because you were mindlessly scrolling through Twitter? TBH, I’m willing to bet most people have at some point (if not every single night). I personally am guilty of late-night tweeting far too often. The thing is, though, that losing sleep over social media totally isn’t worth it. According to the results of a new study, perusing social media (specifically, Twitter) late into the wee hours of the night isn’t just bad for your sleep schedule; it’s probably having a pretty noticeable effect on how you feel the next day, too.
The new study, which has been published in the journal Sleep Health, included over 37,000 tweets from 112 NBA players between 2009 and 2016, and found that players who frequently tweeted between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. before a scheduled basketball game "scored fewer points and had fewer rebounds," Huffington Post reports. In other words, late-night tweeting and scrolling not only sabotages your ability to sleep, it can leave you literally off your game the next day, too.
While the researchers did indeed find that the NBA players who engaged in late-night tweeting showed poorer game-time performances than the players who stayed off of Twitter at bedtime, the study authors also noted that the late-night tweeters played an average of two minutes less per basketball game compared to the non-tweeters, "perhaps because coaches could see the difference in players who were rested and those who were not," according to Huffington Post.
"More broadly, the use of late-night social media activity may serve as a useful general proxy for sleep deprivation in other social, occupational, and physical performance-based contexts," the study authors concluded. Translation: Even if you’re not an NBA player, late-night scrolling probably isn’t doing you any favors.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely feel like my productivity (both at work and in general) takes a hit when I’m up late on any social media platform — and, alternatively, when I shut off my phone and actually prioritize my sleep, I feel like the most diligent, balanced goddess to walk this Earth.
I get it, though. It’s all too easy these days to casually sneak your phone into bed with you and get swept away by Instagram selfies and Twitter memes — and before you know it, it’s 2 a.m. and you have to be up in four hours. We’ve all been there, but perhaps it might be worth it to resolve to dial back a bit on social media in general in the new year.
After all, it’s not just late-night scrolling that can throw off your shut-eye: A recent study published in the medical journal Acta Paediatrica showed that using social media for as little as one hour a day might negatively affect your sleep schedule. Yikes.
But the solution here doesn’t have to be as all-or-nothing as resolving to never go on social media or use your phone. Perhaps it could be as simple as starting with one day a week where you take a temporary break from social media when you might normally scroll to pass the time, like on the subway. Or maybe you could start to keep your phone in a different room at bedtime, and use a good old-fashioned alarm clock instead. No need for drastic changes here — stick to what you know you’re capable of accomplishing, and the rest will fall into place.
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