Sunday, March 28, 2010

Twitter: Sleep & Tweets

You can learn a lot about a person in 140 characters or less. You can learn a lot about their sleep too.Twitter let’s you answer the question, “What’s happening?” The Web site at has responded by asking, “When do they sleep?”

The one-click site simply asks you to provide the username of a person who is on Twitter. Then in a second the site’s algorithm will analyze the timing of hundreds of that user’s tweets.

It will identify the time of day when the user is least active on Twitter. From this activity analysis it calculates the hours when the person is more likely to sleep.

The site was developed by Amit Agarwal, a personal technology columnist in India. He writes the
Digital Inspiration blog and is on Twitter as @labnol.

So when does Amit sleep? According to sleepingtime, he typically gets about seven hours of shut-eye from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. in the New Delhi time zone.

Amit also used the site to compile estimated sleep times for some “
Tech Superstars.” For example, sleepingtime determined that Bill Gates is more likely to get eight hours of sleep from midnight to 8 a.m.

Last year the Sleep Education blog
reported that there can be little time for White House staffers to sleep. What does sleepingtime say?

It reports that @
whitehouse is more likely to sleep for eight hours from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. And @barackobama is more likely to sleep for seven hours between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m.

So it’s not an exact science. But if you use Twitter regularly, the site can give you a quick snapshot of your typical “sleep window.”

After all, you can’t tweet in your sleep. Or can you?

Episodes of
sleepwalking can involve routine behaviors such as making phone calls. Last year a case report even described a woman who sent some strange e-mails while she was asleep.

But sleeptweeting? It’s possible. And it’s another good reason to keep your cell phone away from your bed at night.

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