Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/15/sleep_emailing/

First case of sleep emailing documented

419 scammers pee pants with glee

By Austin Modine

Posted in Science, 15th January 2009 01:20 GMT

If you thought drunken email was a unwelcome recipe for embarrassment, now you can worry about the real possibility of emailing while sound asleep.

An upcoming article in the trade journal Sleep Medicine details the exceptional case of a lady insomniac who can compose email messages while catching 40 winks.

The researchers call it the first reported example of "complex nonviolent cognitive behavior," according to The New York Times

The woman in question suffered from severe insomnia and was taking the prescription medicine zolpidem, which is marketed under several brands such as Ambien.

Shortly after her doctor bowed to her request to up her dose — she received a call from a friend asking about the strange email sent the previous night. The patient had no memory of such a message, so checked her outbox only to discover three emails had been sent while she was asleep within eight minutes of each other.

The nocturnal correspondences contained unusual spelling, punctuation, and content, such as a subject line reading "!HELP ME P-LEEEEESE" and an invitation to "dinner & drinks" that asked the recipient to "come TOMORROW AND SORT THIS HELL OUT Out!!!!!!"

Concerned for other deeds she may have done while dozing, she contacted a sleep clinic where she surprised the resident doctors with her surprising cognitively complex sleep emailing ability.

While staying at a relatives house, she was even able to start the unfamiliar computer, enter a user name and password to log in, launch the web browser, access the website, and enter her password to compose and send out her somnambulant messages.

The woman's case, of course, is extraordinary — but its good to know a person can not only kill themselves sleepwalking, they can also murder their social life as well. ®