I Hear You Talking in Your Sleep...But Why?

Waking up in the morning and being told by your partner that they heard you talking in your sleep is not necessarily the best thing to wake up to. A few questions may be running through your mind…did I reveal a dark deep secret, is something wrong with me? It can be an unsettling feeling for some to discover that you mumbled in your sleep, specifically if you don’t remember doing so.

With that being said, talking in your sleep is not something that you need to be super concerned with.

What exactly is Sleep Talking?

The correct term for sleep talking is “somniloquy”, meaning the act of speaking during sleep, and is considered a parasomnia. Parasomnias are behaviors that take place in between the different stages of sleep, such as the transition between a heavier sleep and a lighter sleep. Sleep talking is a fairly common occurrence, and those that talk during their sleep usually don’t speak for any more than 30 seconds at a time. Some people do talk multiple times per night, however.

Why do people talk in their sleep?

One would assume that sleep talking occurs during a nightmare or a dream, but that is not always necessarily the case. For most, it is something that happens on occasion, and can leave as rapidly as it started. For some sleep talkers, however, it can be a sign of a more serious sleep disorder. REM sleep behavior disorder, or RBD, occurs where the sleeper kicks, yells or punches violently while they are dreaming. People with RBD do not experience the normal muscle paralysis that normal REM sleepers have. Sleep talking can also occur in someone that sleepwalks.

When is it time to see a doctor?

While sleep talking is a common, harmless occurrence for some, for others it can be accompanied by physical fear, nightmares. If the latter seems to be the case for you or your child, it may be time to see a doctor. In addition, parents of children who sleep talk or sleep talkers’ partners should attempt to track of how many times a night you are talking or disturbing them. This can give you a better idea of the sleep patterns that may be interfering with your night’s sleep.

All in all, sleep talking is not something that is a huge concern to most. If you are a sleep talker, try to reduce your stress as much as you can, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and avoid drugs and alcohol.



Alyssa Ruffing