Sleep talking is a practice that occurs unconsciously while people sleep. It could be anything from mumbling sweet desires and uttering nonsense to fighting words. Sleep talking can become a part of daytime jokes for your partner, but it's a prevalent problem in Americans. There are a variety of lifestyle choices and habits that trigger sleep talking.
Some of the reasons why most people indulge in night chatter are given below:
- Sleep Deprivation
In technical terms, sleep talking is known as somniloquy, and the above factors can cause you to suffer from it. The medical terms for sleep talking are parasomnia or abnormal sleep behavior. So, we'll stick with these instead of the technical term, somniloquy, for the rest of this article. Also, don't scare yourself with the terms and sleep talking itself; it's a fair problem and not severe.
A random Sleep Science research estimates 50% of children between ages 3 and 10 talk in their sleep. However, as people grow up, most of them leave the habit behind. About 5% of adults in America also enjoy talking randomly at night in their sleep. Some studies also suggest sleep talking is a genetic component. There are other parasomnias, including sleepwalking, night terrors, and teeth grinding.
There are different kinds of sleep talkers. Most people talk in their sleep for 30 seconds or less usually. However, they may speak multiple times in one night. Some sleep talkers mumble random thoughts, whereas some speak clear enough like they're awake. Some people have one-sided conversations like monologues, while others have two-sided conversations. Some people even talk back in sleep when you talk to them. Many people shout in their sleep, and many also whisper.
Talking in sleep could be a one-time thing, once in a blue moon, an every night thing. It's hard to predict how or when a person would sleep talk. However, when your partner talks in sleep, it could cost you a good night's sleep when such small talks turn into curses, imaginary conversations, and monologues.
Why Do People Talk in Their Sleep?
Trying to figure out why someone talks in their sleep is like figuring why people yawn? Scientists have conducted multiple experiments and research on the topic, yet there's nothing conclusive yet. However, there are some theories based on the study.
The first thing to know about sleep talking is you can't say you're talking in sleep unless someone brings it to your attention. You may assume it is fun responding to vivid dreams, and it is, sometimes. Some sleep experts believe talking in sleep can happen at any time or sleep stage, and not just while you're dreaming. There are no prevalent data either to support any sleep talking notions.
Sleep talking can happen in any sleep stage. Sleep talkers are usually clear during rapid eye movement sleep, also known as REM sleep. REM is a lighter sleep cycle that every sleeper goes through every night. When asleep talker is in NREM, heavier sleep cycle stage, they tend to mumble or talk gibberish and unclear.
As most people don't get to know about sleep talking unless brought to attention, they don't report it to doctors. However, once you know about sleep talk, it's best to talk to a sleep doctor or an expert. They could help you with some natural remedies or medications to help it stop. But only visit a doctor when sleep talk is occurring consistently and disturbing you and your partner's sleep.
Does Talking in Sleep Mean Anything?
It's difficult to explain what it means when people sleep talk. It depends on particular sleep what could be the encouragement behind sleep talking. Sleep talking is harmless, but if it's happening to you suddenly disrupting sleep and causing problems, then it's better to consult a sleep doctor. The consultation will probably refer you to a sleep therapist that can help. If you know a sleep therapist, visit them yourself to seek help.
Most people talking in their sleep are concerned about what they talk about more than the talking itself. They are worried about revealing secrets or speaking things that can be used against them later during sleep talking. However, it's essential to understand that the person talking in sleep is unconscious. So they could be talking about anything from personal life to work scenarios. Many people talk about imaginary things they dream of with no relevance to their actual life.
Sleep talking instance could also be a combination of everything mentioned above together. There's no particular test either to know what's going on during sleep talking. Your doctor will suggest a sleep therapist who will study those scenarios and figure out the problem. Mainly, sleep talking is not a significant issue, and only in sporadic cases, it exceeds sleep disorder.
How Can Your Stop Sleep Talking?
There's no scientifically proven method or technique to avoid and stop sleep talking. However, sleep scientists suggest avoiding speaking stress to bed and get enough sleep. People who sleep talk are advised to regulate their circadian rhythm and sleep cycle. You can also use a sleep diary to note down your sleeping habits, timings, and dreams to schedule your sleep in a better way.
For example, maintain a sleep diary for two weeks and note down everything relevant to sleep along with other things such as:
- Medications you take and their timings
- Drinks you take and their timings, especially if you consume lots of caffeine and alcohol.
- Exercises you do regularly, or how often.
Along with these, you should also check out the kind of mattress you use. Mattresses have many effects and not just on sleep talking, but on the sleep cycle, circadian rhythm, joint pains, and sleep comfortably overall.
If you're not sure which mattress is perfect for you, visit a mattress store or book an appointment with SleepMatch. For example, book an appointment at Mancini's Sleepworld, present in 34 locations across Northern California, with SleepMatch available at your nearest outlet. The technology uses science to color code you with the perfect mattress as per your body type. It takes inputs as you lie on it, calculates those data points, and helps find the ideal mattress.