Have you ever awoken in the middle of the night only to find you’re on your phone? Or perhaps you’ve received messages from friends inquiring about texts you didn't know you sent. If either of the above applies to you, you may well be suffering from a sleep-texting disorder. Here, we look at what it is, who has it, what you can do to prevent it, and more.
What is Sleep Texting Disorder?
Simply put, a sleep-texting disorder is when you write and send text communications in your sleep. Some people even have entire sleep conversations. This may sound odd or far-fetched, but this phenomenon is very real and becoming a problem for many people.
Why Do Some People Text While Asleep?
Although it sounds strange, it’s entirely possible for many of us to carry out some very complex tasks during certain sleep stages. If you have sleep-texting disorder, your conscious mind is sleeping while your unconscious self is sending out texts and replying to them automatically.
If you’re taking medications to help you sleep, this can occasionally worsen your problem. For example, the sleeping drug Ambien carries a warning of complex behavior like sleep-driving occurring.
Psychological issues and stress result in you sleeping more lightly, and that in turn makes you more likely to be awake enough to be able to text coherently.
Some theories point to you being awake when you send these messages. Perhaps you wake up and send texts without really paying attention and then you fall back asleep. Much like having full conversations that you sometimes don’t remember when you’re exhausted, sleep texting is thought by some to be a natural extension of this.
As a society, we’re so used to having our phones constantly in our hands and texting to communicate that we often do so automatically. If you’re a heavy phone user, you may, therefore, be more likely to experience issues with sleep texting.
Who Does Sleep Texting Affect?
This problem is more likely to affect you if you’re a heavy cell user. Teenagers, in particular, seem to be a susceptible group. They generally text excessively and have a tendency to sleep with their cells. Furthermore, this group tends to fall asleep later than others due to delayed sleep phase syndrome. Consequently, they may use their handsets to pass some time while they wait for sleep.
How Can You Prevent it?
Of course, no one wants to sleep text their contacts as you can never be fully aware of what you’re communicating and to whom. If you want to get back in control of your nocturnal communications, there are some solutions you can employ. For example:
- Turn your phone off at night.
- Leave your phone somewhere you can’t get to it.
- Keep your phone on silent so you don’t receive incoming message notifications.
- Get more quality sleep and minimizing disruptions.
Texting in your sleep is a sign of our modern times. Our brains are often never given the chance to rest and to recuperate at night due to our heavy usage of technology. This is something we all need to take control of, particularly those of us that text during sleep.