soccer blog corrected

World Cup of Sleep

At Jawbone, just like the rest of the world, we love watching the World Cup. ESPN streams flicker in the corners of laptop screens and Hipchat buzzes with gifs and vines of the best goals and photoshopped images of Luis Suárez.

As we learned from our 2013 Year in Review study, sports events like the World Cup have a massive impact on people’s sleep as they stay up to watch the matches. This effect is especially potent for Europeans watching matches scheduled in the evening in Brazil. For example, during the 2013 Confederations Cup, Spanish UP wearers stayed up late to watch the finals against Brazil, and lost an average of 47 minutes of sleep.

Spain/Netherlands Sleep

Even in the early group stages of this World Cup, we’ve had some amazing matches. The second day saw a rematch of the 2010 final, with Spain playing the Netherlands. The game ended around 11pm in Madrid and Amsterdam, and we see a trend: UP wearers in Amsterdam stayed up 38 minutes later after the game ended just to celebrate (and also seemed to have trouble waking up the next morning). Those in Madrid went to bed normally:

England/Italy Sleep

Compare that to the England/Italy match the next day. The game started significantly later (11pm in London and midnight in Rome), so we see big changes to the sleep patterns for both cities. London delayed its bedtime by 39 minutes that night for the game. The Italians had to stay up an extra 1 hour and 29 minutes for the end of the game. There’s a huge “notch” at 2am for the Italians quickly going to bed after the game’s end. Of course, the Italians were much more leisurely in getting up the next morning!

Opposite Side of the Planet Sleep

On the opposite side of the globe, Tokyo had to wake up early to catch its first match against Côte d’Ivoire, which was scheduled for 10pm in Brazil, but 10am in Tokyo. By the match start time, 8% more of Tokyo was awake than normal to watch. Seoul also had to get out of bed early to catch South Korea’s first match against Russia, and at the 7am start time in Seoul, an additional 10.5% of the city was awake.

The Australian Socceroos fans, in addition to having to endure a challenging pool, had to wake up in the middle of the night to watch two of their games. In particular, for the closely-contested Netherlands game, roughly 4% of Sydney, 5% of Adelaide, and 6% of Perth were awake to watch the game starting at 2am, 1:30am, and midnight respectively. Melbourne seemed the least engaged of the major Australian cities, with only 2.4% appearing to watch live. Unfortunately, Australia was eliminated after this match, and interest in disrupting their sleep significantly waned for their final match against Spain.

UP by Jawbone has developed one of the largest sleep studies in human history. However, unlike sleep studies in the lab that isolate sleep biology, at Jawbone we can also understand how the real world we live in affects our health. And in this data, we can see cities and countries rallying around their teams and a World Cup dream.

About The Author

Brian Wilt

Brian leads an engineering team building personalized health insights and coaching. At Jawbone, he makes data human. He coaches kids volleyball. He earned his PhD studying neuroscience and applied physics at Stanford (go Card), and before that, high-energy physics at CERN and MIT. Follow him @brianwilt.