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New in teenage gadget dependency: sleep-texting

by Kaley Northcott

Studies show that today’s teenagers would rather have a smart phone than their own car, which seems to be a characteristic of “Generation Text”.

While older people will always roll their eyes at youngsters who want what everyone else has in our “stuff-fuelled” society, it seems like a safer (and cheaper) bet to give your distracted teenager the smart phone they want, where they will likely just walk into a lamp post while texting, rather than giving them a car, in which any distraction can be a fatal mistake.

However, it should be noted that responsible teenagers are fully capable of appropriately driving a car, while any access to the internet in the hands of a “mean girl” can be socially devastating for another.

Cyber-bullying aside, smart phones in the hands of a teenager can be as all-consuming as the freedom as driving a car. So much so, in fact, that sleep-deprived teenagers who have constant access to their phones have begun the new trend of sleep-texting.

Sleep expert Dr. Marcus Schmidt says that sleep-activities tend to be those that are easily repeated without much thought and that have become second-nature. Young Elizabeth Hammonds in the USA had been having trouble sleeping, eventually leading her to sleep-text. Tt wasn’t until she arrived at school the next day that her friends questioned her 3am text messages that were incoherent sentences or just random letters.

She is not the only patient with this ailment, as doctors have seen a significant increase in sleep-texting among adolescents.

Nearly half of all Britons aged 12-15 have a smart phone. Megan Smith recalls her recent teenage years and says her friends jumped early on the Blackberry train, going as far to call them their “babies” and even sleeping with them under their pillow.

Dr. Schmidt says this type of addictive behaviour is exactly what causes sleep-texting, and to avoid embarrassing realisations in the morning, it’s best to keep your phone away from your pillow- outside your bedroom completely is even better.

Have you experienced sleep-texting or know someone who has? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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