Does stress lead to sleep texting?

According to medical practitioners, some people are now so stressed that they have begun sending incoherent texts in the middle of the night. Didn't we used to call that "being drunk?"

Do you sleep with your iPhone next to the picture of Miley Cyrus on your nightstand?

You might soon wish to reconsider this habit.

For it seems that some people are grabbing at their phones in the middle of the night and unconsciously sending texts.

The Daily Mail informs me that these are often incoherent little messages that not even Esperanto experts can decipher.

What messages are you sending in your sleep? CC Frakokot/Flickr

Dr. David Cunnington, a sleep expert at the Melbourne Sleep Disorder Center in Australia told the Mail: "We have had patients who have reported sending text messages to their friends and family while asleep."

Cunnington added that he doesn't believe this is yet a terribly common phenomenon. Indeed, people are apparently more likely to send e-mails in their sleep.

However, the culprit in both of these electronic cases is thought to be stress.

As Cunnington put it: "People are doing so much during a normal day that it can mean that they feel like they're 'on call' even at night."

He may well be right. But let's not exclude some of the more timeworn reasons that might cause texts to be sent in the middle of the night: vodka, pot, and excessive pasta late at night immediately come to mind.

Perhaps what has yet to be studied is whether the content of these sleep texts might be subject to some underlying code--messages sent directly from the subconscious in a language that has yet to be articulated in conscious terms.

Wouldn't it be fun if we suddenly discovered that our inner mind uses letter constructions entirely foreign to our conscious selves?

These sleep texts might seem incoherent. Perhaps, though, they are messages of hope or cries for help. Perhaps they are messages of longing for lost or loved ones, or promises of revenge and retribution against those who have wronged us.

We need some code crackers on this one, I feel. This might be the biggest breakthrough in human communication since the speed date.

A text I received in the middle of the night. Note the first letters of each word. Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET
 

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