Sleep texting? Surely that’s got to be a made-up story? And if it isn’t what on earth is going on?
Is sleep-texting really a thing?
Yes, it is. A study, conducted on students at two American universities, found that a quarter self-reported poor quality sleep and sleep texting. A little like people who talk in their sleep, the messages themselves are recognisable as sentences but don’t make any sense. For instance, “I legittt wish veggird were enough to fuelme”
So what’s going on?
Sleep texting is a parasomnia, an unusual behaviour during sleep. In that sense it’s similar to sleep walking, and can be in response to a dream of texting. It can also be in response to a message notification coming through, and sent as a reply. The first that most people know is when they’re told the next day by the friends who were sent the messages, or when they check their phone.
Is anyone more likely to suffer from this?
The study was on students and they’re more likely to sleep text for two reasons. Firstly, they’re of an age where they’re physically and sometimes emotionally attached to their phones, and rely on them. Secondly they’re students, and tend to have a lifestyle where their sleep is already problematic..
If I’m sleep texting should I be worried?
Firstly, whilst sending gobbledegook can be embarrassing, it’s unlikely that you’ll divulge any secrets. Sleep texting, like many parasomnias though, is a sign that your sleep isn’t as good as should be. That could be the quality or the quantity of your sleep.
How can I stop it?
The obvious answer is to stop having your phone where you sleep. After all, no phone means no texting, and it’s good sleep hygiene not to use your phone for two hours before bedtime anyway. Really though you should be doing something about the underlying tiredness and sleep deprivation – because it’s the health effects of being under-slept that should concern you.
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