Text Regrets? Blame It on Sleep Texting

New sleep condition gives rise to the perfect scapegoat

We’ve all sent text messages we wish we could take back -- most likely after a night of drinking.

But what if you were sending text messages in your sleep? According to MSNBC, the phenomenon is on the rise,  thanks to people leaving their cell phones by the bed and in the on position while they slumber.

As sleep experts told MSNBC and ABC News, sleep-deprivation can trigger our motor skills and lead to odd nighttime behaviors, like sleepwalking, sleep eating and, yes, sleep texting. When sleeping fitfully, we’re more likely to perform actions that don’t require much brainpower. And it turns out that texting is so easy, we could do it in our sleep.

When I first heard about sleep texting, I thought, clearly the person went to bed drunk or drugged out on Ambien, and just conveniently left that part out. After all, strange things happen during the night when we go to bed intoxicated. People wake up in strange places, like the floor, in a bathtub or in a stranger’s bed. People mistake a wall or a trashcan for a toilet or seduce their partner in the middle of the night with no recollection of it the next morning. But something tells me the 16-year-old girl in the story is not going to bed drunk on a regular basis. At least, I hope not anyway.

Besides, stranger things have been known to happen without alcohol. Take Sleepwalk With Me’s Mike Birbiglia, who has a propensity to act out his dreams in his sleep. When he dreamt that a guided missile was targeted on him, he leaped out of his hotel window to save those around him. He landed in the emergency room and now has to sleep in something resembling a straight jacket.

But regardless of the reasons behind sleep texting, there’s one thing I know for sure: It makes for a great scapegoat. Sent a text message you regret? Chalk it up to sleep texting. “What? I told you I loved you? Dude, that’s so weird, because I was sleeping at the time!” Don’t want people to know that you were drunk texting again? Blame it on your somnambulist behavior. So what if it was at 2pm in the afternoon. Better to be thought a narcoleptic sleep texter than a poor man’s Lindsay Lohan in the making.

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