Stressed Americans Compelled to 'Sleep Text'

11/29/2011

Sleep texting photoIf ever there were a reason to slow down on the work load and get more sleep, this could be it. The new phenomenon of "sleep texting" is cropping up amongst the over stressed who can’t seem to separate work from sleep, or work from anything for that matter.

According to an article in the Daily Mail, it’s difficult to know the extent because it’s yet to be studied, but workaholics seem to be sending texts in their sleep and having no recollection of doing it the next day.

The Daily Mail reports:

Sleep specialist Dr David Cunnington, of Melbourne Sleep Disorder Centre in Australia, said patients had reported incidents of sleep texting - and he has advised people to leave their mobile phones outside the bedroom.

Cases of sleep emailing are even more common. Obviously, this is when people compose and send emails in their sleep, also without any recollection of doing so. 

Again, the Daily Mail:

'Because it's so easy to receive emails constantly, and get notifications from smartphones, it becomes more difficult for us to separate our waking and sleeping lives.'

No Vacation Nation

In the end it comes down to the fact that Americans especially aren’t getting enough time off of work and as a result, aren’t able to separate work life and home life. We’re a no-vacation nation

According to CNN, American companies often want you available by email when you are traveling, whether you’re lounging on the beach or strolling through historical sites. Only 57 percent of U.S. workers even use up the days they are given. By comparison, 89 percent of workers in France use up allotted time. Workers like software engineer Don Brock, who hasn’t taken a real vacation since ten years ago when he took two weeks to drive across the country.

Your Desk Job and Cancer

The picture is bleak for this overworked nation. Sitting behind a desk for too long is bad for your health. A fascinating study showed that nearly 173,000 cancer cases each year were caused by physical inactivity. 

Breast cancer and colon cancer were the most dependent on physical activity, with 49,000 and 42,000 cases each year caused by excessive sitting, according to Christine Friedenreich, an epidemiologist at Alberta Health Services-Cancer Care in Canada.

Bottom line--if work life balance isn’t in your vocabulary, it could have a much larger impact than just sending a “sleep text” once in a while. 

Photo: Thomas Northcut/Thinkstock

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Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on SereneKitchen.com. She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.


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