Researchers say that some people are developing a rare condition where they send incoherent text messages to their contacts while sleeping, something that they have no memory of.
Sleep specialist Dr David Cunnington, of Melbourne Sleep Disorder Centre, said patients had come to them reporting sleep texting.
“We have had patients who have reported sending text messages to their friends and family while asleep,” the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.
“It is one of those things that happens, but it is very rare, and certainly not a common trend,” he said.
There are no studies into sleep texting, but a similar phenomenon, sleep emailing, was studied in 2008.
Researchers at the University of Toledo reported the case of a 44-year-old woman who would compose emails while sound asleep but would have no recollection of them when awake.
According to Dr Cunnington, sleep emailing is more common and likely to have a more detrimental effect than sleep texting, which is a result of people having too much to do during waking life.
However, a good night’s sleep means people should be able to shut off their minds and phones, so people struggling to get a quality night’s sleep should keep their handsets out of the bedroom.
“If your phone is on the nightstand, then it will be more difficult to have a good night’s sleep without feeling compelled to reply to a message or check your Facebook account,” Dr Cunnington said.
“The key point is that people need to respect their sleep, and make an effort to switch off at night,” he added.