Sleep Texting On The Rise But Is It The Smartphone’s Fault?

Sleep texting appears to be a growing epidemic.

There were several reports about the new malady on Thursday, but most of them seem to go back to CBS New York. The news station talked to a number of victims of sleep texting, who described what it was like to wake up in the morning to find out you’d texted all sorts of nonsense.

The victims not only embarrassed themselves with ridiculous or illegible texts that they shipped in the wee hours of the morning. They were also harming their health.

Sleep expert Dr. Josh Werber told the station that sleep texters weren’t “getting the deep sleep or the rapid eye movement which is really critical to higher brain function.”

He had a simple solution. Shut down the gadgets and stow the smartphones in a place where they couldn’t get to them easily in the middle of the night.

One of the women interviewed by CBS was actually getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, checking her phone along the way, and then sending the texts.

Yuck. No wonder some people say your smartphone has more germs than a toilet.

But apparently some people just can’t put down the smartphone. Not in the toilet. Not even when they’re asleep.

A C/Net report called the sleep texting a painful problem. But report Chris Matyszczyk said that people couldn’t really follow the good Dr. Werber’s advice:

“You need to keep your phone charged because you need to keep your life charged. And few people now bother with a landline, so your cell phone is your one link to the outside world.”

However, I have a different theory. I haven’t sent a sleep text, even though I keep the phone fairly near in case I have to call 911 or get a National Weather Service tornado alert.

Chris Matyszczyk said he hadn’t sleep texted either.

I can’t prove, but I strongly suspect, that it takes more than having a smartphone to get up in the middle of the night and start texting in your sleep.

I think it also takes the use of prescription sleep medicine. This time of century, we all know people who get up, eat, start yapping away, or even drive off in a state of blackout as a side effect of a sleep medication.

A smartphone alone doesn’t seem like enough to spark problem sleep texting. I think it takes drugs. What’s your experience?

[sleeping woman photo by wavebreakmedia via Shutterstock][funny text message graphic by Jared Smith via Flickr, CC]