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SMS addiction awakens 'sleep-texting' phenomenon

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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 several text messages to her boyfriend - while she was fast asleep.

Although Jessica Castillo’s Pantech C300 phone required her to go through 11 menu options before reaching the text message screen, her state of slumber still didn’t prevent her typing out and sending a vaguely coherent message.

Dr Ron Kramer, a spokesman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, claimed that sleep-texting is entirely possible because “texting for some of the younger generation is probably as ingrained as driving is for some”.

Author Larry Rosen, who has written a book on the subject of modern parenting, claims that because so many young ’uns are "strapped" to their mobile phones, some may naturally perform daytime phone actions, such as texting, at night.

James Cross, a 28-yearold web developer from the US, is another sleep-texting ‘sufferer’. He’s even written about his experiences of sleep-texting on a blog.

However, Register Hardware is sceptical. Couldn’t the sufferers simply have woken up, sent a text message and then fallen back to sleep, without remembering their actions the next morning?

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.

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.

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