You wake up, and you find that you sent a certain someone a text message that says, “The flugelhorn is ripe.” But wait! Before you allow the embarrassment to wash over and sink you into a pit of forever lonely despair — it could just be a case of sleeptexting which means it’s totally not your fault.
Yes, sleeptexting. It’s a thing, apparently, the new sleepwalking, reports The Atlantic’s Kayleigh Roberts. And it’s just what happens now that our phones are always near us, awake, asleep and somewhere in between.
“The line is blurring between wakefulness and sleep,” researcher Dr. Michael Gelb of The Gelb Center in New York tells The Atlantic. “So, you’ll be texting one second and the next second you’re asleep, but then you get a ping and the ping awakens you. It’s becoming more of a trend because the line is really being blurred between being awake and being asleep.”
Sleeptexting is exactly what it sounds like: People — usually the younger folks who do a lot of texting — send text messages while asleep. It’s being classified as parasomnia, which means it’s akin to sleep disorders like night terrors and bedwetting, as well as sleepwalking, of course.
And for anyone who’s ever really sleeptexted (not counting texts sent from your bed after you’ve had a few too many, despite what you tell yourself), it can be just as nerve-wracking to know you’re sending those messages. It isn’t just what the message says, but who you’re sending it to — no one wants an unintended recipient to get a weird message inexplicably in the wee hours.
Besides the potential embarrassment of telling your coworker how you really feel about them, sleeptexting can interrupt REM sleep, which happens in the two hours after you fall asleep. That means your brain won’t be as rested the next morning and can lead to other undesirable results of lack of sleep.
The only easy advice to be gleaned from this new sleep problem? Don’t keep your phone near you when you go to bed. It’s a lot harder to sleepwalk across the room and then sleeptext that way.
Sleeptexting Is the New Sleepwalking [The Atlantic]