Since 2008, sleep medicine doctors have been reporting a new phenomenon in their practices. For years, sleep talking and sleep walking have been well-known. More recently, reports of eating and having sex while sleeping have also been documented. Now, patients are reporting episodes of sending texts and even pictures during the night via their smartphones, with no recollection of the event the next morning. An excellent article from our own intrepid reporter from the Lantern, Stephanie Kariuki, tells about some OSU students who have themselves experienced sending a text they do not remember.
This makes me wonder about the invasion of this technology into our lives 24/7. 20 years ago, the only people carrying pagers 24 hours a day were those who might serve a critical need at any time, day or night. Now, we nearly all have the capacity to be “available” even while asleep. But think about the value of those communications. Do you need to wake up at 3AM to read about your best friend’s neighbor’s break-up with their boyfriend? Maybe your cousin had a bit too much to drink, and his friend texts you a picture of the less than pretty results?
We know that the quality of your sleep is reduced when the sleep is interrupted. Sleep experts suggest that you either turn off your phone or silence it for text messages during the night. Not only will you avoid being awakened, but it could help prevent you from sending an embarrassing text in response.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, come in and see us – we can help.
Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health Services)