“The line is blurring between wakefulness and sleep.” - Dr. Michael Gelb
With increased access to technology and devices that have now all but become extensions of our hands, it is becoming easier and easier to send texts - to the point that we are starting to send them in our sleep, with no recollection of the act.
Parasomnia, classifying disorders such as sleepwalking, night terrors and bedwetting, has a new bedmate these days. You guessed it; they’re calling it sleeptexting.
Though occasionally hilarious or nonsensical, like the texts above, sleeptexting isn’t always easy to laugh off (think: sending a text to your ex, or a boss) and can be dangerous to your health and wellbeing.
Based on observed habits, and general best practices for sleeping well in the digital age of technology, these 3 tips are likely to help you, or that friend of yours, prevent future sleeptexts:
1. Sleep alone
Not actually alone, for those of you with regular bedmates, but sans phone. If you’re notorious for having your phone right next to your head, you might want to put it on the nightstand, or even in another room. Heavy daytime texters are some of the most likely to be sleeptexters, so removing your access is a surefire way to prevent the reflex. Which means, yes, if your iPhone doubles as your alarm, it might be time to go old-school, alarm-clock style.
2. Sleep schedule
You’ve heard it before, but give those eyes a break! The hour or two before bed should be screen-free, allowing your brain to wind down and get into sleep mode. Paired with a consistent schedule in which you go to bed and get up at the same time each day, this strategy could help your fingers understand that when you’re in bed, asleep, it’s no longer time to text.
3. Sleep test
If you’ve been disciplined about your sleep schedule and sleep help techniques, but are still having issues with sleeptexting (or otherwise), you may be best served to visit a sleep specialist or sleep clinic. Identifying the root cause and determining a long-term solution will ensure you don’t have to wear mittens to bed for the rest of your life.
In all seriousness, if you’re experiencing sleep symptoms such as snoring or daytime sleepiness, a few weird texts may be the least of your problems.