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Doctors Report More Cases Of “Sleep Texting”

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Everyone knows texting and driving is a bad idea, but now doctors have a new warning when it comes to our smartphones. More people are seeking help because they now find themselves texting while they are sleeping.

Megan is one of those people. She admits she is hooked on all kinds of social media, but was surprised to find she was sending texts in the middle of the night that she didn’t remember the next day.

“I guess I got up and texted, and went back to bed but I don’t remember it,” said Megan. “4 o’clock in the morning, 3 o’clock in the morning. It would just be sentences of jumbled up stuff.”

Dr. Joseph Werber, a sleep expert, said “Technology has infiltrated the bedroom. The bedroom should really be a very low tech place.”

Doctors are reporting more cases of so called “sleep texting.” Although there is some obvious potential for embarrassment, there is also a concern about the health consequences.

“They are not getting the deep sleep, or the rapid eye movement sleep, which is really critical to higher brain function,” explained Dr. Werber.

Laura Hogya is also a sleep texter. “I wake up exhausted the next day and I don’t know if it is from tossing and turning, or answering a text message.”

Dr. Werber says the first step to break this cycle is obvious: move the phone out of the bedroom. That’s what Megan has done. “Sometimes I will put it here in my vanity, and other times if I’m really stressed out, I’ll keep it all the way out here,” she said as she pointed to a table down a hallway.

In general, Dr. Werber believes it is a good idea to remove all gadgets from the bedroom to insure a good night’s sleep. “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.”

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