Researchers from the University of Toledo have reported the first ever case of someone using the Internet while asleep.
A 44-year-old woman sent emails to people asking them over for drinks and caviar while asleep, reports the Telegraph. It was only when a would-be guest phoned the next day to accept, that she found out what she had done.
The woman had gone to bed at around 10 pm, but got up two hours later and walked to the next room. She then switched on the computer, connected to the Internet, and logged on by typing her username and password to her email account. She then composed and sent three emails. Each was in a random mix of upper and lower cases, not well formatted and written in strange language. <b1>
The researchers have described the new variation of sleepwalking as “zzz-mailing”. “We believe writing an email after turning the computer on, connecting to the Internet and remembering the password displayed by our patient is novel,” the study stated.
“To our knowledge this type of complex behaviour requiring coordinated movements has not been reported before in sleepwalking,” it said.
“She was shocked when she saw these emails, as she did not recall writing them. She did not have any history of night terrors or sleepwalking as a child,” the study added.
The researchers said that unlike simple sleepwalking, the activities their patient was involved in requires complex behaviour and coordinated movements including typing, composing and writing the messages.
She was also able to remember her password and turn the computer on and connect to the Internet, although she has no memory of the event.
The researchers believe that the woman’s sleep walking may have been triggered by prescription medication, although the causes of the phenomenon are not fully understood.
The new case has been published in the latest edition of medical journal Sleep Medicine.