Shooting accuracy dropped by almost two percent, players took fewer shots and had fewer rebounds, steals and block. They also ended up playing an average of two minutes less per game following overnight Twitter activity, according to the study.
"Twitter is currently an untapped resource for late-night behavior data that can be used as a proxy for not sleeping," said lead investigator Jason J. Jones, assistant professor of sociology at Stony Brook University in New York.
The authors analyzed 30,000 tweets from the accounts of 112 verified NBA players as well as basketball statistics from Yahoo Sports over seven basketball seasons from 2009 to 2016 from games within the same time zone as the player's home.
"We interpret these data to show that basketball skills are impaired after getting less sleep," said Jones.
Other studies have shown the negative impact of sleep deprivation on performance. This study used big data to provide interpretable results on real-world performance of basketball players, Jones said.
The results were presented Monday at SLEEP 2017, the 31st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, in Boston.