MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Smartphones have become a major part of many people’s everyday lives. More and more smartphone owners use their devices to text, email, and surf the web throughout the day. Now, some people have started using them in their sleep.
“My charger is right there in the corner so sometimes I would keep it right here next to me. I guess I got up and texted and went back to bed but I don’t remember it,” said sleep texter Megan.
Friends and family were receiving messages from Megan that she didn’t even remember sending.
“4 o’clock in the morning, 3 o’clock in the morning, it would just be a sentence of jumbled up stuff,” she said.
Sleep texting has become more common and in addition to being embarrassing it could also have some serious health consequences, sleep specialist Dr. Josh Werber explained.
“They’re not getting the deep sleep or the rapid eye movement which is really critical to higher brain function,” he said.
For texters the impact on sleep quality is noticeable.
“I wake up exhausted the next day and I don’t know if it’s from tossing and turning or answering a text message,” Laura Hogya said.
Hogya is a serial sleep texter.
“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 explained.
Hogya’s messages make sense and she’s concerned about where they will wind up.
“If I answer a client e-mail that’s something that I have to worry about,” she said.
Experts offered a simple solution to the sleep texting problem. Move the phone.
“Sometimes I’ll put it here in my vanity and other times if I’m really stressed out I’ll keep it all the way out here,” Megan said.
Not only can removing the phone from your bedroom prevent you from sending a late night text it can also help you sleep better.
“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.
To create optimal sleeping conditions Dr. Werber suggested shutting down gadgets an hour before going to bed.