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Sleep-texting — R U 4 real?

Things that go 'send' in the night.

By Rich_Maloof Aug 27, 2013 4:32PM

For a country full of people in need of more sleep, we sure get a lot done while we’re snoozing. We walk and talk in our sleep, make sandwiches, go out driving, and even commit crimes. Now sleep-disorder specialists say that texting while sleeping is a burgeoning trend.

Sleep texting / Michael Bodmann/Getty Images The phenomenon is relatively harmless but does signal a collision at the intersection of smartphone addiction and sleep deprivation. Experts have noted before the many ways in which technology intrudes on healthy, restorative sleep, and how looking at a flickering screen near bedtime excites the brain at a time when stimuli should be at a minimum.

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Subconscious texting can also lead to some compromising situations. Elizabeth Dowdell, a professor of nursing at Villanova University, has looked into sleep-texting among college students and learned that things can get pretty embarrassing when Freud is doing the thumb work. Dowdell told “US News & World Report” of one young woman who becomes sentimental and romantic in her sleep.

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“A classmate texted her something about anatomy class, and her reply back was, ‘I just love it. I love you! You’re the light of my life,’” Dowdell said. “Then there was an old boyfriend who texted her, and she sent responses like, ‘I adore you, please come over,’ while she was asleep. She was mortified when she realized.”

Dowdell also mentioned a premed student who sleeps with mittens on to protect herself from her phone.

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Between 25 and 35 percent of the 300 students surveyed by Dowdell said they have sent text messages while sleeping, and half admitted allowing technology to interfere with their sleep in some way. Formal research is lacking on the subject of sleep-texting, but it appears to track closely with increased prevalence of intense smartphone use. “US News” quotes research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project suggesting that 1 in 3 teens send more than 100 text messages per day, and at least 4 in 5 sleep with their phone on or near the bed.

See more sleep-text stories and confessions under the hashtag #sleeptexting. And if you’re concerned about what messages you may send from your slumber, consider the extraordinary step of powering down your phone at night. It really can wait till morning. 

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Photo: Michael Bodmann/Getty Images

Nov 14, 2013 5:58PM
There is life after smart phones....turn the darn thing off. Your life will continue....Promise
Nov 14, 2013 5:53PM
This is a marketing ploy that the world, especially America, has bought into.  Staying connected?  What BS!  What you are really doing is gossiping for an exorbitant rate and you have all convinced yourselves that it is a necessity.  If you took one of your own conversations and changed the names and listened to it in some other person's voice, you would realize that it is mindless drivel.  None of it is important.  None of it is an emergency.  You are taking other people's lives in your hands and letting your kids endanger peoples' lives behind the wheel so you all can talk about fashion, boyfriends, future dates, etc.  How many funerals are you going to attend before you people wake up and start putting that money away for college or a down payment on a home.  Cell phones are ruining people.  Behind the wheel, they are worse than alcohol and much more prevalent.  Go ahead, parents, keep giving your kids the tool that will kill them and keep them from getting a good education.  The four-year-old really needs that.
Aug 31, 2013 1:11AM
Technology is turning humans into mindless, stupid robots. And teenagers, with their uninterested parents are at the top of the list. Parents being uninterested in their children, and doing what's right. Kids should not have cell phones. Focus on being a decent person instead of this texting crap.
Aug 29, 2013 2:44AM
And one of these days they will invent some way to talk live instead of having to type everything out on a tiny keyboard,,,oh, yeah, we did that in 1876 with the invention of the telephone.  
Aug 29, 2013 2:41AM
Aug 28, 2013 1:55AM

LOL. All I know is I pissed off an acquaintance texting at all hours...because I have insomnia...I found out the hard way, some people sleep with their cell phones.


So, now I wonder, what are the safe hours to text? Is it like in the days of telephoning?


Of course, I checked my phone, and, found each type of incoming call or message can be assigned a different ring tone, and, also that all the rings can be turned off except for the alarms...very enlightening...



Aug 27, 2013 10:40PM

this is getting more crazy as time goes on   what's wrong with these young people now a days.


Aug 27, 2013 10:37PM

Having a cell phone is not a constitutional right and the only reason it is growing is because parents for the last 10 years have NOT had the balls to be parents and take the dam*med phone away at night and turned them off.


What ever happens between 11 and night and 6-7 in the morning will still be there and will still have happened and knowing it 8 hours sooner will not change that.




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