Crisis: Teens have started sleep-texting

It seems teens can't get enough of texting while they're awake. They're now apparently texting unconsciously in the middle of the night. It's like sleepwalking, but potentially more amusing.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read
If it's 12.57am, that's not a good time to text, yeah? Sarah Tew/CNET

The burden of being a teen never lightens. You think you've got studying cracked, when along comes dating. You think you've got dating cracked, when along come drugs.

And then there are music and clothes and gadgets to deal with. It's too much.

This might (or might not) offer some explanation as to why teens have started texting in their sleep. Yes, it's just like sleepwalking, except you can be really, really mean. LOL.

There's a serious aspect to all this, naturally.

As Elizabeth Dowdell, a nursing professor at Pennsylvania's Villanova University, told CBS Philadelphia: "The phone will beep, they'll answer the text. They'll either respond in words or gibberish."

So far, then, it's no different from when they're awake.

However, the professor warned portentously that these texts "can even be inappropriate."

So far, then, it still no different from when they're awake. Though one imagines that it's slightly harder to sext when you're not exactly conscious. Or perhaps not.

The professor says that when the teens wake up they have no memory of these texts. Well, until they stare down at their phones and see what's been going on in Reverie World.

I know some parents are concerned that kids are too wired, literally and emotionally.

They worry that they don't get enough sleep, which leads to this manic nighttime behavior, often occurring between 90 minutes and 2 hours into their sleep cycle, Dowdell says.

Clearly, teens don't always lead the most sensible lives. They're not supposed to. Clearly, the highly complex, radical remedy is to turn off the phone.

And yet isn't there something slightly fascinating about what goes through our heads when we're not all there? Last night, for example, I dreamed I was in Australia hanging out with "Top Chef"'s Tom Colicchio. I have no idea why.

Perhaps if I was still in my teens, I would have reached for my phone and texted a few close friends about the jokes Tom was telling me. They were about a very tender pork tenderloin, a wayward Bucatini All'Amatriciana and a neurotic sleep-deprived chef called Lulu.

I wonder what my friends would have replied.