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Texting: Teenagers are doing it in their sleep

By Anne Sewell     Feb 13, 2013 in Technology
Villanova - We all know the type - people walking along like zombies, or sitting, totally unaware, in parks or public places, with their eyes and fingers glued to their phones. Well now, apparently, they are doing it in their sleep too.
This new phenomenon is called "sleep texting." Maybe "slexting" for short?
As Chris Matyszczyk of CNET puts it, "It's like sleepwalking, but potentially more amusing."
According to a study by Elizabeth Dowdell, a nursing professor at Villanova University, “It’s just what you’d think it is, it’s texting while asleep.”
“It’s exactly what is sounds like, or really more between that, you know, that area between being asleep and being awake.”
“The phone will beep, they’ll answer the text,” she says. “They’ll either respond in words or gibberish. (It) can even be inappropriate. Ex-girlfriends contacting ex-boyfriends, saying ‘I miss you. I want to see you.’"
The thing is, though, just like with sleepwalking, "when they wake up, there’s no memory.” The possibilities for total embarrassment are endless.
According to Dowdell, teens need from eight to ten hours of sleep per night. Sleep interruption can cause depression, obesity, falling grades and all sorts of other problems.
“Overplugged and overextended teens and young adults tend to get less than that,” she says, “so this interrupts what could be a good night’s sleep, because they’re an hour-and-a-half or two hours into their sleep cycle, and they’re answering texts or the machines are beeping at them.”
Texting during sleep is disruptive not only to the texting teen, but also to the teen who receives a message - a beeping cell phone in the middle of the night disrupts another person’s rest.
Dowdell states that the answer is a technology-free bedroom, or the teenager should at least put the phone on the other side of the room and turn off the ringer. Ah, but what teenager would do that and potentially miss some exciting news or gossip?
More about sleep texting, Texting, Teenagers, Cellphone, Cell phone
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