In today’s digital world, sleepwalking and sleep talking are old news. Today, a new disorder, called sleep texting, is on the rise. Medical experts believe there are roughly 70 sleep disorders, and sleep texting is one of the newest on the list.
Causes of Sleep Texting
While research is still in its infancy stage as to why sleep texting happens, it is thought that a number of triggers can be the culprit of sleep texting. Alcoholic consumption, stress level, medications, and overall quality of sleep are all thought to be triggers, according to Dr. Michael Gelb, a clinical professor at New York University’s College of Dentistry and founder of The Gelb Center in New York.
When Does Sleep Texting Occur?
Sleep texting tends to occur prior to entering a deep sleep. It generally happens within two hours of falling asleep, and often within the first 90 minutes of sleep. It also occurs during daytime naps. Because teenagers and young adults tend to text frequently, it is seen more often in these individuals.
Consequences of Sleep Texting
While sleep texting may not be as dangerous as texting while driving or other sleep disorders, such as sleep walking, it can still have health consequences, besides the embarrassment of sending out a text message you didn’t intend. People who text during their sleep may not be getting the deep sleep or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep they need to get quality sleep that restores the body and mind.
What to Do If You Are Sleep Texting
If you are part of this growing sleep texting phenomenon, there are a few things you can do to reduce your midnight messages or eliminate them altogether.
- Turn your phone off prior to going to bed.
- Remove your phone from your bedroom, or at least outside of arms reach of your bed.
- Set your phone’s pass code lock.
- Set limits on electronics use.
- Get outside.
- Commit to a regular sleep schedule.
- Wear mittens at night.
- Get enough sleep.
In addition, refrain from using electronics at least one hour before going to sleep. The light emitted from your electronics can disrupt the natural production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
If all else fails, see a sleep specialist, who may want you to go to a sleep lab to undergo a sleep study.
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