What Every Sleep Talker Should Know About Their Nighttime Utterances
Sleep talking is quite common, and you may have heard a loved one speak while sleeping or heard your child mutter despite being sound asleep. You may have even been told by your mate that you talk in your sleep. Sleep talk can range from nonsensical and comical to absurd and offensive, and is bound to happen upon occasion to most people at some point in life. However, excessive sleep talking can also signal a sleep disorder or health issues as well.
Here’s everything you should know about sleep talking so you can identify whether your experiences are normal and comical, or an indication of an underlying sleep issue that may require treatment:
What is Sleep Talking?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep talking (also known as “somniloqey”) is one of many parasomnias, and is the act of speaking during sleep without awareness or memory of the event afterward. Interestingly, since sleep talkers are not conscious of their utterances at night, they may speak in a different voice, language, or manner while they sleep talk. Sleep talking can be random or even instigated in some people when they are asked questions or spoken to while they are asleep.
What Causes Some People to Speak While Sleeping?
While anyone can experience sleep talking, the condition seems to be more common in children and males. While sleep talking can occur in any stage of sleep, speech patterns and words tend to become more difficult to understand during phases of deeper sleep.
According to WebMD, sleep talking can be triggered by numerous causes, including:
- Reaction to medications
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Mental health issues
- Poor sleep hygiene or habits
Sleep talking can also occur in conjunction with other sleep disorders such as sleepwalking, insomnia, and sleep eating.
What are the Symptoms of Sleep Talking?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep talking can present simply through verbal utterances during sleep, but can also come with the following symptoms as well:
- Night Terrors
- Sleep Apnea
- REM Sleep Disorders
- Nighttime Seizures
When Does Sleep Talk Become Abnormal and Require Treatment?
Because sleep talking is quite common, and often harmless, it is important to know if your sleep talking behaviors are sporadic or chronic. If you experience sleep disruptions due to sleep talking several times a week, over the course of several months then your sleep talk could be linked to underlying health or sleep issues.
If you have been told you’re talking in your sleep frequently, and you also experience other symptoms that are linked with sleep talking, then taking part in a sleep study conducted by a professional sleep expert can help you get to the root of your nighttime chatter. If you do find your sleep talking is related to other sleep disorders or issues, you can make a custom treatment plan with your sleep expert. Based on your unique condition, treatments may include any combination of medication, sleep behavior modifications, and counseling to help you sleep quietly and peacefully at night again, and get the rest your body needs to live a full, happy life each day.