UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | October 02, 2022

Sleep activities not restricted to walking, talking

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Sleep talking can result in excruciatingly awkward conversation with friends at dawn’s break, and new habits may give you more to toss and turn about.

According to the article, “Don’t recall sending that message? Maybe you’re ‘sleep texting,’” by Breeanna Hare from CNN.com, several people admit to sending strange texts and tweeting while asleep, posing a question: How large of a problem are sleep-time activities, and how do they develop?

Common activities, such as talking, are only as serious as people take them.

Lexie Reidhead, a junior integrated studies major from Oakley, said friends and roommates laugh at her sleep talking habit, but it’s never posed a large problem.

“Sometimes people laugh at me if they happen to catch me doing it,” she said. “Mostly, my roommates get to see it, but it’s not a problem, just good entertainment.”

Dexter Humphreys, a sophomore psychology major from Hatch, agreed with Reidhead, saying some activities are humorous, but he said not every activity should be taken lightly.

“I could see the potential severity of actually walking around while being asleep and the danger that it could cause, and that shouldn’t be something to laugh about,” Humphreys said.

What about sleep driving?

Psychology assistant professor Michael Rahilly said medication often fuels strange activities at night.

“Sleepwalking, eating and driving are usually related to sleep medication,” he said. “[People are] typically taking some kind of sleep medication that is working, but they’re still doing things [while asleep], which is serious.”

Rahilly said the more activities people implement into daily routine, other possibilities are presented, such as sleep-texting. Since these habits are relatively new, it’s difficult to tell where they’ll go.

Texting has become so habitual that it’s like we don’t even need to be fully aware to do it,” he said.

According to “Don’t recall sending that message? Maybe you’re ‘sleep texting,'” people with these habits are more likely half asleep, making the idea of unlocking a phone to find messaging more plausible. Rahilly said this also indicates sleepers can integrate daily activities while shut eyed easier.

In some instances, sleep-texting causes drama.

Reidhead said her friends got in trouble because they texted while asleep, sending strange, spacy messages to friends and family members, which raised numerous questions and issues about their whereabouts and activities. She found the instances funny but said she’d much rather sleep-talk because there aren’t people on the other line wondering what’s going on.

Sleep-time activity prevention might consist of environmental or medical steps.

Devin Smith, a sophomore general education major from Kamas, said he’d devour all the food in the fridge to prevent sleep-eating; Reidhead said hiding the phone may do the trick, and bells strewn across a room would cease sleepwalking.

Rahilly said hiding phones is a tough task for true techies.

“The best thing to do is change [the] environment, but nobody ever does that,” Rahilly said. “They have their cell phone next to their bed.”

Humphreys said an overall safety check at least ensures safety—if not complete prevention; he said seeking medical solutions might work too. As research on things such as sleep-texting progresses, Rahilly said solutions will arise.

Methods combating sleep activities aren’t always needed or welcome. Reidhead said hours spent listening to her boyfriend’s sleep dialogue brings laughter.

“My boyfriend sleep-talks, and it’s pretty hilarious most of the time,” she said. “It’s really fun to mess with him.”