A few years ago, sleep streams on Twitch were expressly not allowed because they fell under the category of “unattended content.” However, as of February 2021, that rule has been removed, and streamers are allowed to sleep on Twitch.
As the top live streaming site on the internet, Twitch is home to some of the most exciting and innovative content available. While skill-intensive games such as VALORANT or League of Legends often share the front page with podcasts and talk shows from the Just Chatting section, the undisputed king of innovative Twitch content is … sleep?
Wait, that can’t be right. While livestreams of people sleeping don’t always draw the crowds that other types of content do, some streamers may be wondering the answer to the age old question: can you sleep on Twitch? And to that, my friends, I am happy to report that sleeping on stream is not only allowed, but can sometimes lead to hysterical and surprisingly engaging content for your viewers.
Are Sleep Streams Allowed on Twitch?
While Twitch does not explicitly ban sleeping streams, to be safe, streamers should be sleeping without being in a certain category. In the past, streams have been ended by moderators for misrepresenting what category they are in, such as someone sleeping in a gaming category like Hearthstone for example.
In order to avoid this, if you are planning a sleeping stream, make sure that you do not choose a category for your stream, and simply stream to your channel. Of course, this presents an issue with discoverability, as the only people that will be able to see you are those that already follow your channel or are linked to your channel directly.
Sleeping in a category like Just Chatting, while not explicitly banned, is slightly riskier, and while some streamers have gotten away with it in the past, the only option that is 100% safe is to sleep without choosing a section.
How Streamers Make Money Sleeping on Twitch
The two primary ways that Twitch streamers make money sleeping on stream is by enabling text to speech donations, or allowing their users to participate with media share donations.
Enabling text to speech donations is a relatively simple way to allow users to interact with you while you are sleeping, and audiences often enjoy posting annoying messages or entering strings of letters that make the text to speech voice create funny sounds, such as the classiC “tststststs”, which sounds like a sprinkler when read out loud. The more extreme option is a media share, where viewers can donate to post links to a video that will then play on stream.
This is oftentimes done by larger Twitch channels with very active moderators, because of the inherent risk presented by allowing random viewers to link videos in your channel. However, this also creates some hilarious content when done correctly, as streamers are subjected to whatever videos their chat wants them to watch.
At the end of the day, making money off of sleeping streams on Twitch generally centers around how much the viewers can annoy the streamer, and while it may seem counterintuitive, keeping an audience entertained even when the content creator is asleep.
Should You Sleep on Twitch?
In short, if what you want to do is grow your channel from a relatively low viewer count, the answer is absolutely not. Because the safest way to do a sleeping stream is to not choose a category for your stream, your discoverability will be greatly reduced, and it will be very unlikely that new viewers will find your channel without prior knowledge that you are streaming.
If you are a medium to large-sized channel on the other hand, and you think your community might enjoy tormenting you with media sharing or text to speech, a sleeping stream may not be the worst thing to try! However, almost every streamer that has slept on stream successfully does it very rarely, so even though you could have very successful sleep streams, make sure that your channel has some other draw to it.
After all, you are a content creator, and during sleep streams, your viewers are generally the ones creating the content.
Accidently Falling Asleep
One important thing to note is that some streamers may fall asleep while doing something else, which paradoxically has led to a massive increase in viewer count on more than one occasion. For example, streamer JesseDStreams fell asleep on stream after playing Hearthstone for a handful of viewers, and woke up to over 200, with many subs, follows, and donations to go with them.
This is a rare occurrence and is without a doubt not a surefire way to grow. However, if you happen to fall asleep for a small amount of time while in another section, you shouldn’t be too worried, as it is unlikely that your channel will be reported for inactivity unless you continue to be inactive for a decent amount of time.
Overall, while sleeping on Twitch isn’t banned by TOS, it is certainly not the best way to grow your channel, and should generally be used by channels that already have a dedicated following that could enjoy that type of interaction. As always, make sure that you aren’t misrepresenting the category you’re streaming in, and stay safe on Twitch!
Sleep tight streamers!