Sleep talking is a type of sleep disorder formally known as somniloquy. It involves talking during sleep without being aware of it. Sometimes, it can involve a torrent of incoherent gibberish or streams of babbles in the case of children and babies. Most people who talk in their sleep do not recall it when they wake up. It is common for people to experience this anomaly once in their lifetime, making it one of the most common sleep disorders. However, there is still a lot to be known about this phenomenon. Research has aided to an extent clarity with regards to the symptoms and consequences of sleep talking.
What is Somniloquy?
Somniloquy often occurs during (Non Rapid Eye Movement) NREM or (Rapid Eye Movement) REM. it occurs equally in males and females, and in some cases maybe hereditary. Also, it occurs in the dominant language of the individual. Truly, it is normal for kids to sleep talk after a playful day and adults after an eventful or stressful day. Sleep talking can happen with healthy individuals; it can also be associated with an illness such as sleep apnea, night terrors, chronic headache and can also be triggered by factors such as emotional stress and nightmares.
The main symptom of sleep talking is audible expression that occurs during sleep without the person being aware of it happening. It can be utter gibberish or a semblance of normal speech.
Stage and severity
Sleep talking is determined by both stages and severity:
- Stages 1 and 2: In these stages the talker isn’t in as deep a sleep as in stages 3 and 4 and can have conversations that are coherent and understandable.
- Stages 3 and 4: The talker is in a deep state of sleep and their words are harder to understand.
Sleep talk severity is determined by its frequency:
- Mild: Sleep talk occurs less than once a month
- Moderate: A moderate sleep talker can sleep talk once a week, but not every night.
- Severe: Sleep talking happens every night and may interfere with the sleep of others.
Why People Sleep Talk
There is a sure reason why people talk in their sleep; there is evidence that it maybe genetic with some studies finding that it can run in families.
Other reasons for sleep talking include:
- Sleep terrors
- Emotional stress
- Mental disorder
- Substance abuse
- Sleep deprivation
- Anxiety and depression
How to Stop Sleep Talking in Your Dream
Talking in your dream is relatively harmless, unless you are divulging state secrets or details of an illicit affair that is. It usually is an issue to the observer than the talker. According to Dr. Drerup, “Focusing on healthy sleep habits and improving the sleep environment may eliminate potential sleep disruptions and improve sleep quality.”
Take these steps to get curtail sleep talking:
- Avoid stress
- Develop good sleep habits
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Avoid caffeine for at least six hours before bedtime
- Make your bedroom dark and quiet