The Surprising Thing Insomniacs Have In Common

Photographed by Alexandra R. Gavillet
Your Twitter posts reveal a lot about you: your political leanings, your taste in music, which Hogwarts house you belong in — and now, your sleeping habits. In a new study published in The Journal of Medical Internet Research (yup, it’s a real thing), the researchers used Twitter to shed light on what they’re calling a “digital phenotype” of insomnia. In the study, they compared data from nearly 900 Twitter users whose tweets contained sleep-related words or hashtags — like #teamnosleep — to those whose tweets didn’t signal any sleep troubles. From this, they were able to put together a profile of a Twitter user with sleep issues. What is this person like? The researchers found that, on average, a Twitter user with sleep problems is less active on the site than those who sleep soundly. But, when that user does tweet, his or her posts are more likely to contain negative sentiments. And, not surprisingly, insomniac tweeters tend to create and share their 140-character compositions while the rest of us are snoozing. Our advice if you’re trying to catch some ZZZs? Leave the tweeting ‘til the morning; the blue light from screens can mess with the release of melatonin, making it harder to drift off. For more tips on how to snooze soundly, check out our guide to a great night’s sleep.

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