Rest easy: Texting while sleeping can lead to trouble
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Americans have a lot to keep them awake at night: jobs, foreclosures, medical costs. Even after they nod off, many suffer from disorders that cause them to talk, walk or eat in their sleep.
Now researchers are adding text messaging to the list of things that can short-circuit sleep's restorative power. Sleep-texting appears to be most common among students who text at least 100 times a day. In 2010, the Pew Research Center said teens averaged 50 texts a day; the Nielsen Co. said it was closer to 100.
For a growing number of teenagers -- and some adults -- texting doesn't stop when their heads hit the pillow. Dr. Ronald Kramer, a Colorado sleep specialist, says it's become "an ingrained behavior, like eating or driving." Texting while slumbering disrupts deep sleep and makes it less restful, leaving texters tired and stressed.
What they type often are strings of nonsense letters. Other times the message is coherent, which could lead to problems if the text is sent to a friend, a teacher or, worse, a boss. "I was asleep" probably won't be enough to get your job or girlfriend back after an ill-advised text sent at 2 a.m.
The solution is to place temptation out of reach. Before bedtime, put your cell phone where you can't easily get to it. That way you can rest easy, knowing sleep will not turn into a nightmare.
First Published January 18, 2012 12:00 am