It’s the middle of the night and you’re fast asleep when your phone chimes. In a blurry haze, you turn over and check your phone. Your friend has just sent you a message, but it’s all gibberish. This is no strange occurrence to you, though. He frequently texts you in such a way and never remembers in the morning. Unless your friend is a little insane, he is a sleep texter.
We’ve all heard of other curious sleeping phenomena: anything from anxiety influencing sleep to insanely loud snoring to preparing whole meals in the kitchen and eating them while asleep. This, however, is a demon in it of itself.
Primarily effecting the younger generation, sleep texting is a new occurrence where sleepers send messages to their contacts while asleep and have no memory of it when they wake. Though I have never experienced this phenomenon, the idea that my classmates and friends are subconsciously texting others fascinates me.
Most of the messages my generation sends while sleeping are gibberish, but some are horrifying just to read about. Nursing professor Elizabeth Dowdell at Villanova University told Business Insider about a specific student who texted her ex-boyfriend while asleep. “She sent responses like, ‘I adore you, please come over,’ while she was asleep,” Dowdell said, “She was mortified when she realized.”
Dowdell’s student is not alone. In fact, when Dowdell surveyed 300 students, 25 to 35 percent admitted to sending texts while sleeping, while 50 percent admitted to having technology interfere with their sleep.
So, how are we to defend against such a perplexing illness? We live in a world where powering down seems nearly impossible. Is there a defense against such embarrassment and shame? Here are some suggestions for keeping your sleep restful and text-free:
- Power down the phone. If someone really wanted to reach you, they would come to your front door and bang on it until the whole neighborhood was up. If you’re like me and use your phone as an alarm, then at least silence your phone so your sleep is not interrupted.
- Set sleeping hours and adhere to them. In order to have a complete sleep, it is integral that you set aside at least seven or eight hours.
- Set your phone out of reach. Trust me, your sleeping self is not motivated enough to seek your phone out if it’s at the foot of your bed. Plus, it’ll force you to get up to turn off your alarm in the morning.
- Try not to think anxiety-building thoughts in bed. Count sheep. Concentrate on your environment. Heck, listen to a quantum mechanics lecture. Just don’t think about work.
- If all else fails, use natural sleeping aids. This does not mean Lunesta. This means hot decaffeinated tea and a nice book.