Sleep-walking? Sleep-driving? These have been documented, and even cases of sleep-murder
. But until this study, these behaviors have all involved little cognitive ability. Until this case, one of sleep-emailing.
Dr. Fouzia Siddiqui, a neurologist at the University of Toledo Medical Center in Ohio, and two colleagues describe the case as the first case of "complex nonviolent cognitive behavior." She had to login to both the computer and her email account to send the messages.
According to the article, soon to appear in Sleep Medicine
, the patient had a history of insomnia and was taking Ambien. Feeling the drug had lost its effectiveness, she upped the dose without doctor's approval, and had the episode.
According to the New York Times
, after being alerted to a strange email sent to a friend, she found three strange messages in her Sent Message folder.
“!HELP ME P-LEEEEESE” was the subject of one message, an invitation for “dinner & drinks,” and the message also implored the recipient to “come TOMORROW AND SORT THIS HELL HOLE Out!!!!!!”
According to a psychologist friend, Ambien can produce strange behavior when taken, and is famous for producing sleep-walking episodes, though she had never heard of such behavior, either. And yes, it does lose its effectiveness after time, so it's not to be taken on a regular basis.
When we wrote about Google's Mail Goggles
previously, we quite honestly joked about it. It is a Gmail Labs feature that prevents you, during certain specified periods, from emailing without answering some math problems. This might actually turn out to be the perfect example of when the feature might come in handy.