SLEEP TEXTING? Doctors report rise in cases - KMSP-TV

SLEEP TEXTING? Doctors report rise in cases

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Sleep walking and sleep talking are issues that plague many, but doctors say people are also beginning to use technology to text or Tweet while they sleep.

Elizabeth Dowdell, a professor at Villanova University, said her research on Internet safety led her to many who told her about texts, other people tell them they made but don't remember making.

"Many parents tell me, ‘My child is so connected they never leave their cell phone and they have it on their nightstand and they answer it and then they find out later they texted,'" Dowdell said. "The cellphone buzzes and the teen picks it up as a reflex, and in a transitional sleep state -- not quite asleep but not quite awake -- answers in a text and hits send and it isn't until the next day they someone will tell them about the text."

The texting part of this may be a new phenomenon, but the idea is not new. People have long answered phone calls in the middle of the night with little recollection the next day. Such behavior has, for years, been referred to as the "on call effect," because doctors who get woken up by pages and respond sometimes don't recall the conversations later.

Dr. John A Damergis, medical director at the Noran Clinic Sleep Center, explains how frequently sleep-texting occurs and how people can protect themselves.

Watch the video for more information.

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