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back to article SMS addiction awakens 'sleep-texting' phenomenon

Drinking and texting is a recipe for disaster, but you’re not likely to text an ex when you’re asleep in bed, right? Wrong, 'cause some now suffer from a sleep-texting affliction, it's been claimed. According to a report by Texan newspaper The Star, a 24-year old Italy, Texas woman recently awoke to discover that she’d sent …

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11 layers of menus to reach the text message option?!

That's awful! even in my "complicated" PDA phone it's only 1 or 2. And that's if I turn off the one-touch-to-get-to-messages softbutton!

The way that phone sounds she'll have to answer an age-old riddle and discover a billion-digit prime number to unlock her handset...

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I do recall...

...somebody telling me that you could not be legally held responsible for your actions for the first 30 seconds or so after you had been forciblty woken up because the brain hadn't caught up with the fact that you were awake.

Don't know if it's just another urban myth, though.

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Joke

Geez...

"...Jessica Castillo’s Pantech C300 phone required her to go through 11 menu options before reaching the text message screen..."

11????

And people whine about Nokia's S60 UI?

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Heart

Pantech

Wow, that Pantech C300 sounds like a pretty cool piece of kit. Only 11 menu options to go through to send a new text? Where can I get my hands on one of these marvels of modern interface design?

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Alert

11 Menu options?

"Although Jessica Castillo’s Pantech C300 phone required her to go through 11 menu options before reaching the text message screen"

Holy cr*p!! Who designed this phone? After 3 or 4 levels I would have given up and either made a call or just gone back to sleep!

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Silver badge

Drunk

Huh. I send messages and call people in the middle of night with no recollection if I'm really drunk. I suspect Jessica is suffering from the same thing.

Or when she realized she's sent off stupid messages, or sent "incriminating" messages to the wrong party they just claim to be sleeping.

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Joke

Good exaplanation of a long time problem

"Scott Fromherz, medical director of the Westside Sleep Center in the US, thinks so. He said that the brain has a built-in amnesia of sleep that occurs when the brain is only awoken for a short period, say, of around three minutes, which is easily enough time to send a text message in."

Rrrright. I've always wondered what it was with some of my mgmt apparently not recalling having agreed on things to be done. Since their brain is hardly awake more than 1 minute with no interruption, due to the extreme effort of keeping such a useless mass of fat running, then that must be that.

Thanks, Reg for the heads up.

"Whether or not sleep-texting is a real phenomenon remains unclear. But it’s not that hard to avoid: just turn your phone off at night or put it in another room."

Hmm, no. You'd switch it on or find it, since you would recall where you've put it. No ?

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Boffin

11 options sounds about right

We are talking about American phones, ones up until about a year ago were only expected to handle voice.

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Stu
Boffin

Sleep doing stuffs

I can see entirely how somebody might wake up, do a semi complicated activity like this, then go straight back to sleep.

Consciousness is not 'entirely' an on-off switch, I feel like its more of a gradient, with a kind of consciousness cut off point (If that makes any sense) that seems to vary depending on tiredness levels, for me at least, and the amnesiacal properties dont seem related to any particular level of consciousness either - not that I could argue this part very well!

I've awoken at some dark hour on many an occasion, sometimes to go and get some painkillers or something, you feel so drowsy, consciousness verging on non-existent, like you could just slip right into unconsciousness in an instant without even wanting it to happen. I see no reason at all why I couldn't ever have done an activity like this without realising afterwards.

I remember seeing some sleep-scientist type on TV - a presenter/reporter of a show covering some sleep related article swore blind he was awake throughout a sleep experiment he partook in, but then some arrogant scientist looked at an ECG reading or whatever, and decreed him to be asleep! "No you were actually asleep.". "No I wasnt!!".

I mean how arrogant must they have been to think its just a simple on-off switch? I'm surprised that so many people still see sleep as being so 'boolean' in nature!

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Pantech C300

I recently relocated from the UK to Canada, so I've got to see both sides of the cell/mobile phone coin.

A friend of mine bought the C300, the cheapest PAYG phone available over here... it's hilarious. Insane on almost every level (11 menu levels doesn't surprise me), it looks like a 1970's reject- except for the size. To it's credit, it's tiny. With a giant aerial to poke your leg.

It does have changable faceplates, though- every cloud.

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Dead Vulture

Maybe they can

I have woken up several times to find myself stood upright taking a leak in the toilet. My brain has managed to get me out of bed and navigate me through several rooms past some very steep stairs, stand in front of the loo and do my business with very good aim. It was freaky when it first started happening but now I'm quite used to it. I aren't aware of how many times this occurs when my brain takes me to the loo and then back to bed after when I don't wake up mid piss.

If my brain is capable of taking me to the toilet and maintaining balance and good aim then I can well believe that these people can text in their sleep!

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Drunk and sleeping

I have microwaved my glasses once while drunk sleeping. There was a lot of beer involved and it happened some time after I passed out. Very embarrassing at the time some 20 odd years ago, now we just laugh about it.

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Anonymous Coward

your all missing the poitn

that doctor guy reckons you can drive whilst asleep, that's gotta be handy

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don't always believe the EEG interpretation

I went in for an EEG as a teenager back in the 60's because I was having trouble sleeping and the operator told me I had to go to sleep so she could record the waves.

I did my best and relaxed deeply, but there was a point when I was totally relaxed and suddenly remembered something awfully funny, which caused me to stifle a spasm of laughter. Then I was able to re-relax and after a while the test was over. I was completely conscious and awake during the part of the session during which I remembered the joke, and I'm pretty sure I only started to drift off to sleep just before the operator announced that the recording was done.

I told her I didn't think I had gone to sleep, but she said something like "No, you did go to sleep because the EEG shows it, except for this strange part here..."

I imagine that the science (and/or art) of EEG interpretation has advanced since then, but at the time it proved to me that I could fake sleep as far as the squiggly lines were concerned.

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Stop

Re:your all missing the poitn

"that doctor guy reckons you can drive whilst asleep, that's gotta be handy"

My suggestion to you would be to go for a drive, any time you like, and you'll find empirical evidence of this already happening - *everywhere*.

I never do anything as exciting as this in my sleep. I do have a nasty habit of killing the alarm clock and going back to sleep and not remembering however...

Steven R

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Anonymous Coward

Not asleep my foot

Have you guys never blinked and found that 30 minutes passed?

If the EEG says you were asleep, chances are you were asleep.

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Dan

I wonder if i'll be able to go to work in my sleep one day

"I do have a nasty habit of killing the alarm clock and going back to sleep and not remembering however"

I reached the point some time ago where I could get out of bed, walk accross the room, turn off the alarm and go back to bed without, to the best of my knowledge, ever waking up. I now change my alarm clock every year or so, which seems to prevent me getting so used to any given alarm that my reactions bypass the conscious mind.

Lost count of the number of times over the years that I've responded to early morning questions with complete gibberish 'cos the brain's not quite in gear yet. Mildly embarrassing but quite amusing at times.

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I have my family trained

They realise its not worth telling me anything until after the first cup of coffee . I can wake up and hold a conversation then go back to sleep . Can I hell even recall being awake let alone what was said . No not a hope .

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ZZzzzz

I'm asleep as I type this, sorry.

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Happy

Dangerous ground

@AC: "It was freaky when it first started happening but now I'm quite used to it. I aren't aware of how many times this occurs when my brain takes me to the loo and then back to bed after when I don't wake up mid piss."

Try not to think about this too much before you go to bed, you might find yourself dreaming that your brain has taken you to the toilet - and that would not be pleasant...

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Heart

Be careful

Those of you with secrets, it is possible to winkle them out of you, no matter how carefully you have trained yourself to keep it a secret!

I dallied with a rather lovely young lady some time last year, and the wife found out by asking me early in the morning... apparently if she phrased the questions in the right way (ie not bluntly) I would answer before I woke up... a matter of timing...

I am actually still married, but am fairly sure she grills me regularly, as I often wake up with the distinct impression I have had a conversation, just no idea what about or who with...

anon, for obvious reasons...

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Alert

Driving drunk and asleep?

“texting for some of the younger generation is probably as ingrained as driving is for some”

So if you've had a few and are fast asleep while driving are you actually driving under the inflluence or drivnig without due care and attention or both?

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James from Double Danger.com

I am actually the guy mentioned in this story that text'd his wife (they linked to my blog). I can honestly say this is one of several things in my life done while "sleeping". I am not a sleep expert or anything, but growing up I have been awakened while running on my bed, woke in my car and numerous times I was told I walked into a room and spoke - while "sleeping".

I know lots of folks are skeptical - I have nothing to gain from this... but it is truly something that has happened over and over in my life. The texting only happened once. It was pretty strange and the stuff I typed was not really a word... which makes it seem even more so that I had no clue what I was doing.

Thanks for the link and hope everyone enjoys the story.

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James from Double Danger.com (The Sleep Texter)

I am actually the guy mentioned in this story that text'd his wife (they linked to my blog). I can honestly say this is one of several things in my life done while "sleeping". I am not a sleep expert or anything, but growing up I have been awakened while running on my bed, woke in my car and numerous times I was told I walked into a room and spoke - while "sleeping".

I know lots of folks are skeptical, and thats fine - I have nothing to gain from this... but it is truly something that has happened over and over in my life. The texting only happened once. It was pretty strange and the stuff I typed was not really a word... which makes it seem even more so that I had no clue what I was doing.

Thanks for the link and hope everyone enjoys the story.

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Eleven?!

Haha, I love that I'm not the only person who's immediate response was 'ELEVEN menu options?!'

My next thought has already been raised by Anon Coward (curse you for betting me to it!)

I find it very hard to believe that muscle memory or whatever the technical term for this would be, would allow you to write and send a coherent text message in your sleep - I find it hard to send a coherent text message when I'm tired, let alone asleep! I think the theory put forward by Scott Fromherz is much more likely. I know for a fact I've had short calls wake me in the night and not remembered the conversation/call at all the next day so I think that's far more viable.

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