Research gives wake-up call on texting in your sleep

Image: Amarin Jumpathong/ 123RF

We’ve all heard of sleep walking and 5 -10% of us will experience a sleepwalking incident sometime in our lives. However, recent research has shed light on a new form of parasomnia – strange things people do in their sleep – and that’s sleep texting. Whereas in the old days you might have been forgiven for mumbling some incoherent nonsense in the middle of the night now we’re so hooked on our phones we’ve developed the ability to unlock them, type a message and send it to a contact – all while asleep.

According to phone use and sleep quality research conducted on 372 students at Pennsylvania’s Villanova University, 26% of respondents admitted to having texted in their sleep at some point, with some of them even engaging in full conversations with bemused friends. Most of those who had texted in their sleep couldn’t remember the messages they’d sent. One respondent admitted to wearing mittens to prevent her from using her phone in her sleep.

Sleep-texters are more likely to keep their phones next to or in their beds and report a much lower quality of sleep."

The research also found, unsurprisingly, that sleep-texters are more likely to keep their phones next to or in their beds and report a much lower quality of sleep.

So, if Melania Trump is listening, hide the phone and perhaps that’ll help ensure there won’t be another “covfefe” or “smocking gun” incident for the late night shows to have a field day with. For the rest of you – don’t sleep next to your phones and you’re less likely to send regrettable gibberish texts to your friends.

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