The National Sleep Foundation defines parasomnia as “all the abnormal things that can happen to people while they sleep, apart from sleep apnea.” Some examples are sleep-related eating disorders, sleepwalking, night terrors, sleep paralysis, REM sleep behavior disorder, and sleep aggression.
A new Swedish study claims to add two more activities to that list—sending text messages and updating social media sites. A team of researchers at the Swedish Medical Center learned that not only both happening to patients in the night, a growing number of patients are complaining of such occurrences, reports KOMO News in Seattle.
“The most powerful tool we have is language, and the smart phone has become a common way to communicate,” sleep neurologist Dr. Lina Fine, who works with the Swedish Medical Center, was quoted as saying by the station. “It’s reflective to go for something we use the most.”
Parasomnia is said to be a genetic disorder that is more frequently seen in action among children, though adults who are experience sleep deprivation or stress could exhibit signs as well.
The phenomenon could have negative implications for those who suffer from the particular form of parasomnia – in one instance, a patient claimed to have unconsciously sent negative text messages to their boss while sleeping.
“The messages may be upsetting,” Fine noted. “A person may text an inappropriate message emerging out of their unconscious mind that the conscious person would not want to send.”
Experts recommended that those who are prone to sending text messages or updating Facebook and Twitter while sleeping should secure their cell phones and computers in another part of their residence to eliminate the possibility of accidentally sending or posting something without intending to do so.