An alarming number of people are texting in their sleep – so what are they saying?

Americans are so latched to our smartphones that it feels as though we check them almost instinctively every few minutes. So it’s not all that surprising that our obsession has slipped into our subconscious and glued us to our phones, even when we’re sleeping.

It is a little terrifying, however, that young people have learned to “sleep text” — and are doing so at alarming rates. A quarter of college students surveyed in a recent study answered they had texted in their sleep before, and 72% did not even remember doing it when they awoke.

The report, published by the Journal of American College Health, studied how growing phone use affects young people’s sleep. Spoiler alert: The results aren’t good.

Not enough hours

A lot of Americans don’t get the sleep they should to stay healthy. College students are especially bad about not prioritizing their rest, and many get as little as 6 to 6.9 hours of sleep on average.

So already, young people are exhausted and sleep-deprived. Then, you add on the distraction of a cell. According to the study, students who did text in their sleep were more likely to keep their phone as a bedmate and had lower sleep quality ratings. A majority of people said they started sleep texting during college, and women were more inclined to the practice than men.

Most people come to the rude awakening that they’ve sleep texted when they read through their phone messages in the morning, but 5% reported having what must have been an awkward conversation with a friend who brought the incoherent texts to their attention.

Quality of sleep chart: College students sleeping with technology

What are they saying?

It may sound like a major faux pas to text in your sleep — akin to those drunken messages sent to an ex at 3 a.m. But thankfully, it seems that most sleep texts are relatively incoherent and random.

A few examples:

  1. “Lips I dripped it.”
  2. “I legittt wish veggird were enough to fuelme.
  3. It means Girls tonight. It I 10.”

These texts are embarrassing at worst — like a butt dial or text, they show a lack of awareness, but are not in any way life-shattering.

And chances are they’re falling on sympathetic eyes. Not only are young people mainly sleep texting friends or significant others, but they’re also more likely to know others who sleep text like them. So at least there’s camaraderie in this bogus 21st-century trend.