When she was 6, you’d hear her stirring from her bed, mumbling something at 2 a.m. about walking the dog or finding the right-sized snowshoes.
Now that she’s 16, your daughter is sending those nocturnal non-sequiturs by text message to her friends.
Science has established that sleep-talking is a thing – and now so is sleep-texting.
The local Fox station in Boston interviewed two tweens who routinely hit the pillow with phone (set to vibrate mode) in hand and often dispatch texts well into the night while in a half-dreamy haze.
“Like, totally bizarre. I texted one of my friends, ‘The cows, the cows, someone lost the cows!’” 15-year-old Darby told the news station.
Sleep-texting is drunk-texting’s more innocent little brother. The spelling and grammar in a sleep-text is probably as flawed as your typical inebriated SMS, but the content is far less likely to embarrass you in the morning.
The Fox report paints sleep-texting as an affliction of the young, which makes sense since, proportionally, teens and young adults are texting far more than other mobile users.
A report published today by Pew Internet suggests users 18 and over send and receive an average of 41.5 text messages a day. But if you’re just considering the youngest users surveyed – those in the 18 to 24 demographic – that figure jumps to 109.5.
Many people like to keep their phones close at hand at night for early-morning e-mail, Facebook and Twitter checks, but also because they’ve become our morning alarms. And while the average sleep-text may just be a string of nonsensical sentences, bedding down with mobile isn’t completely harmless.
Sleep experts suggest we turn off our devices (including iPads) before bed to prevent the risk of interrupting the body’s natural sleep and wake cycles.
Have you ever sent a sleep-text before drifting off into the REM cycle?