Is sleep texting on the rise?

Have you ever woken up to the horror that you’ve sent a rogue text in the middle of the night? But how? When? You’ve been asleep all night, haven’t you? Maybe you’re still dreaming? 

The likelihood is you’re not still dreaming. Sleep texting is becoming more and more common in the UK – it’s even being dubbed, ‘the new sleep walking’. 

So what is sleep texting? 

We asked our very own sleep expert, Sammy Margo, to explain… 

“Sleep texting is texting whilst asleep. When you wake you’ll be unaware that you’ve ever sent a text and often the text doesn’t make any sense. 

“There’s been some research into the science behind it, however as it’s still fairly uncommon it isn’t actually recognised as a diagnosable disorder.”

Why does it happen? 

“Sleep texting happens as a result of not being able to unwind at night due to our busy, mentally overactive days. Because we haven’t switched off, this habitual mind-set continues into the night, therefore causing us to text in our sleep. 

“Usually sleep texting occurs about two hours after a person falls asleep, making it a prime position to interrupt important REM (rapid eye movement) sleep – this is a deep sleeping stage, when you often dream vividly.” 

Is it stress related?

“Many of us lead busy, working lifestyles and stress is certainly an element of the cause of sleep texting. It’s very important that we recognise humans don’t have on/off switches, to think that we can fall asleep straight away after a busy day without unwinding is unrealistic. We are more like dimmer switches that need to unwind gradually. 

How can I stop it?

“Set yourself a technology cut off time – for example no smartphones after 9pm. Try leaving your phone and all other electrical devices outside the room before you go to sleep. 

“Your bedroom needs to be your safe haven for sleep, so it’s important that you set yourself a good bedroom routine to unwind. Try reading a book, or listening to music for half an hour before bed to give you time to de-stress.”  

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