"My sleep-texting disorder made me hit on my married boss and almost got me fired"


*Rachel Barrish, a 21-year-old receptionist, is one of these people. 

Rachel had a strong attachment to her phone, which almost cost her the job she loves. Sleep-texting is when you send or respond to text messages in a sleep state and wake up with no recollection of it.

According to the Journal of American College Health survey, sleep-texting is a real issue and women are twice as likely to sleep-text than men. The survey says the beep sound awakens one from sleep, prompting them to instinctively reach for their phone and respond via text while asleep. 

In the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, researchers discovered that 10 percent of participants reported waking up a few nights per week because of their cell phone.

“I started noticing I had a problem when I would regularly wake up to gibberish messages sent from my phone to my best friend. At first I thought it was my youngest brother playing with my phone, but when I started locking my bedroom door, I realised that I was the one sending them,” she says.

READ MORE: I dread falling asleep

Rachel explains that she started hiding the phone in her bedroom drawer before sleeping, and yet she would wake up with the phone in her hand, and a nonsensical text message sent to an unfortunate recipient. 

“It’s like drunk texting, only I’ll be sober and half asleep I guess,” she elaborates. 

The young receptionist recalls the dreadful night she texted her boss, instead of the coffee shop crush she had gone to sleep thinking about. 

READ MORE: Napping too much linked to diabetes

“My crush and I had finally exchanged numbers after months of flirting. I didn’t want to be the first one to text or call. So I typed a few messages to him, but erased them without sending,” she says adamantly. 

And that is all she remembers, until she was woken up by a phone call at five in the morning. The person on the line was her boss’ wife calling her a homewrecker. “It was so traumatising,” she recalls.

After she hung up, the puzzled Rachel checked her phone and was mortified to see a lot of beating heart emoji’s sent to her boss around one in the morning. Thanks to autocorrect she assumes, she had also managed to text him something that makes little sense, “You welcome hug”. 

“I almost lost my job! My best friend and my pastor pleaded on my behalf and came with evidence of all the bizarre sleep-text messages they get from me on a regular basis,” she explains.

READ MORE: How often should you be texting your partner?

Now Rachel has a consistent sleep routine she worked out with her therapist, a no phone in the bedroom policy and a complicated screen lock pattern. However, just to be safe, “I wear mittens to bed every single night,” she says laughing. 

*Names have been changed.

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