Slow News Day

Your Newest Digital Nightmare Is an Epidemic Called ‘Sleep Texting’

Wait until they hear about drunk texting.
A sleep texter in CBS 2's eyes.

A sleep texter in CBS 2′s eyes. (Photo: WCBS-TV)

For those of us with Time Warner Cable, you probably missed this gem of a report from CBS 2 News last night about a new epidemic called sleep texting. It’s apparently a real thing and the local news is on it.

CBS 2 breathlessly interviewed two serial sleep texting victims named Megan and Laura. They both sleep with their cell phones near them and send jumbled messages in the middle of the night without realizing it, waking up totally exhausted the next day because it’s screwing with their sleep cycles.

Laura explained that she doesn’t remember texting in the dark hours of the night. “When I do wake up to go to the bathroom or drink some water I’ll look at my phone and start answering but I won’t remember any of it till I wake up the next morning,” she said. She’s worried that she’ll accidentally shoot one off to her clients.

A sleepy Megan echoed that point and added her friends and family were the targeted of her mumbled messages. “4 o’clock in the morning, 3 o’clock in the morning, it would just be a sentence of jumbled up stuff,” she said.

Putting on their black-rimmed investigative glasses, CBS2 then interviewed Dr. Josh Werber who said serial sleep texting is embarrassing and could lead to “serious health consequences” since they’re not entering a deep sleep that’s critical to being a healthy human being.

But before you toss your iPhone out the window in fear of becoming a Megan or Laura, there’s a solution. Experts suggest placing the phone out-of-reach (i.e. in another room) or powering down the phone an hour before bed.

“The light is also disturbing your ability to go to sleep because it’s sending a signal to your brain that you still want to be awake,” Dr. Werber explained.

Think we’ll risk it since not sleeping next to our phone sounds worse than texting our Tinder hookup.

Follow Jordan Valinsky on Twitter or via RSS. jvalinsky@observer.com