Apparently, I talk in my sleep a lot — and it ranges from gibberish to perplexing sentences to odd, slightly alarming yelps. I wouldn’t have known, however, until my partner told me.
Maybe you’re a sleep-talker, too — or perhaps you share a bed with a chatty snoozer that you kind of wish would save their soliloquies for daytime hours. Whichever is the case, keep reading for 10 facts about sleep talking that may surprise you.
Tell me about it…
- Sleep talking is actually a sleep disorder known as somniloquy.
- In many instances, sleep talking is genetic — so, if you have it, chances are some of your family members do too.
- Sleep talking is most likely to be comprehensible to a bed partner during the REM stage of sleep (during the other stages, it’ll just sound like gibberish).
- Sleep talking tends to occur more in men and children.
- It’s common for children to grow out of somniloquy — only an estimated 5% of adults are sleep-talkers.
- Causes of sleep talking can include sleep deprivation, stress, alcohol, drugs, a fever, anxiety and depression.
- Sleep talking isn’t dangerous or problematic — the only reason it might be of concern is if it starts after a person turns 25. Then, somniloquy may be related to another medical issue.
- Sleep talking may go away for many years and then reoccur.
- Though somniloquy can usually be explained biologically, there could also be a spiritual component such as stirred-up emotional trauma or the body unconsciously processing internal conflicts.
- Usually, sleep talking lasts no longer than 30 seconds.
The bottom line?
Really, there’s no treatment necessary for sleep talking. However, if your somniloquy is disturbing your sleep or your partner’s, there are lifestyle changes that can potentially reduce the frequency of your late-night monologues.
According to the Sleep Foundation, following a regular sleep schedule, practicing proper sleep hygiene, and getting adequate amounts of sleep, in general, can aid in reducing the frequency and severity of sleep talking.
And if your bed partner can’t deal, earplugs and white noise go a long way.