Have you ever talked in your sleep or heard someone else sleep talk? Here’s what you want to know.

Sleep talking


What is sleep talking?

Sleep talking (also known as somniloquy) is an abnormal behaviour that occurs during sleep. Sleep talking happens when you talk while you’re sleeping, without being aware of it. While it’s common for people to experience at least one episode of talking in their sleep during their life, it is still considered to be a type of sleep disorder.

There is still a lot we don’t know about sleep talking.

What are the symptoms?

Sleep talking can involve anything from mumbling to complicated dialogues, and anything in between. Studies into this disorder found that half of the occurrences involved incomprehensible noises such as mumbling, and moving the lips with limited noise. The other half of occurrences was able to be understood and followed typical grammatical patterns such as pauses in conversation, as if the sleeper was consciously talking to another person.

Episodes of sleep talking tend to be short — usually only a handful of words — and can involve negative, profane or argumentative ‘discussions’, which might indicate the dialogue is conflict-driven.

What causes you to talk in your sleep?

Experts still don’t fully understand why people talk in their sleep. Some evidence shows that it may run in families. It also occurs more in people with mental health conditions, especially in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, it’s not thought to be connected to mental illness.

Is sleep talking harmless?

Generally, taking in your sleep is harmless, as it doesn’t usually  have an affect on a person’s sleep, and happens fairly infrequently. However, sleep talking may bother someone else and cause their sleep to be interrupted. What the talker says in their sleep may also be embarrassing or may cause tension between the talker and their bed partner. In some cases, if it’s associated with sleep walking, or nightmare disorder, it can be connected to bigger sleeping problems.

What you can do

Because we don’t know a lot about what causes sleep talking, there’s not many strategies you can use to stop it. The good news is that because episodes are usually so infrequent, treatment isn’t considered to be necessary.

However, experts believe that focusing on good sleep hygiene may be a good starting point to reduce the likelihood of it happening. It’s thought that disturbed sleep patterns are states that blend wakefulness with sleep. As such improving the quality of your sleep may reduce sleep talking.

Useful tips to do this include:

  • Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day – even on weekends
  • Taking time to relax before bed
  • Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and other stimulants before bed
  • Having screen-free time in the hour or two before you go to bed
  • Making sure your room is dark, quiet and at the right temperature
  • Ensuring your mattress and pillow are comfortable.

While we can’t give you all the answers when it comes to talking in your sleep, we can help you out with a comfortable, supportive mattress. Come in store, or browse our range today.

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