What Does It Mean When You Talk in Your Sleep?

Has anyone ever told you that you talk in your sleep? Perhaps your partner or your kids?

Talking in your sleep can be funny for those listening to you although you may not remember saying anything, but what exactly does it mean when you talk in your sleep? Is it a bad thing? How can you stop it?

Read out article and learn more about sleep talking, what it means and if there is any way to stop it. Last updated Aug 20, 2020 @ 6:43 pm

What Is Sleep Talking and What Does It Mean?

Sleep talking is the act of talking in your sleep. It is a type of parasomnia, but it’s actually a very common occurrence and isn’t considered to be a serious medical problem.

The nighttime chatter occurs either during a rapid eye movement (REM) or non-REM sleep and can happen several times during the night. Sometimes it can be pretty eloquent, while at other times the words may be mumbled and hard to understand.

Sometimes listeners may even find the content of sleep talking a bit offensive or vulgar, but it is usually harmless and doesn’t involve a person physically acting out their dreams like it is the case with some other sleep disorders.

People talking in their sleep may either whisper or shout and they may produce simple sounds but also long and involved speeches. Although in most cases sleep talkers seem to be talking to themselves, sometimes they appear to have conversations with others.

What they say may or may not have connections to their life, or some recent events and conversations. Sometimes sleep talk may also be related to dreams.

Who Talks in Their Sleep?

Studies show that more than 60% of people have experienced sleep taking at some point of their life, which makes it one of the most common sleep disorders.

However, because people are usually unaware of sleep talking, the data about the prevalence of this type of parasomnia may not be exact. Reports of sleep talking usually come from a bed partner of family members.

Sleep talking is more common among children than among adults and occurs equally in men and women.

What Causes Sleep Talking?

Like we have already mentioned, sleep talking is usually harmless and occurs by itself. However, in some cases, it may be a sign of an underlying and more serious sleep disorder or health condition.

Some sleep disorders that can cause sleep talking are REM sleep behavior disorder and sleep terrors. Sleep terrors or night terrors often involve moving in your sleep, kicking, frightening screams, thrashing, etc.

People with RBD, on the other hand, shout, yell, grunt and act out their dreams, often in a violent way.

Sleep talking can sometimes occur with sleep walking as well and nocturnal sleep related eating disorder (a type of disorder where a person eats in their sleep). Other things that can cause sleep talking include: emotional stress, fever, certain medications, certain mental health disorders, substance abuse, etc.

How Can You Reduce or Stop Sleep Talking?

Because we don’t know exactly what causes sleep talking, there are no known ways and methods to stop sleep talking. In most cases, treatment for sleep talking is not necessary because it’s usually harmless, unless it is caused by some serious medical condition that needs to be treated.

If you talk in your sleep and you want to reduce it, you may focus on improving your sleep hygiene.

What Does Sleep Hygiene Include?

Sleep hygiene includes your habits and your sleep environment. We mentioned in our previous article (How to stop moving in your sleep) that everything you do or don’t do during the day and right before bedtime and how your sleep environment is organized can impact the quality of your sleep.

Improving your sleep hygiene can help you eliminate certain sleep problems and may also help you stop or at least reduce sleep talking.

Improving sleep hygiene includes:

  • Keeping a consistent sleep schedule every day, including on weekends.
  • Avoiding late dinners, spicy or sugary foods, coffee, alcohol and other stimulants in the evening and right before bedtime.
  • Creating a healthy and cozy sleeping environment by cleaning your room regularly and keeping it dark and by setting up a comfortable sleeping surface with a quality mattress, pillows and other bedding items that will make you feel supported and comfortable.
  • Putting away electronic devices that emit blue light at least two hours before bedtime.
  • Avoiding late exercises and getting regular exposure to daylight, etc.

Conclusion

All in all, sleep talking is a common and usually harmless sleep disorder that affects many people around the world.

There are no many known causes of sleep talking or any special treatments for it. If it bothers you or your bed partner, there are some ways how to stop it or at least reduce it and almost all of them are related to improving your sleep hygiene.

Here we have mentioned some ways to improve your sleep hygiene. We hope you will manage to solve your problems with sleep talking so you and your partner can get a more quality night’s sleep.

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