Why in the World Do We Talk in Our Sleep?
Have you ever been told that you talk in your sleep? Want to know why? We'll tell you.
It’s important to keep in mind that when we talk in our sleep, the words come from our subconscious and don’t have to make sense or have anything to do with real life.
Have you ever been told that you talk in your sleep? Have they told you that you can even have conversations with people around you or on the phone?
Want to know why you talk in your sleep? We’ll tell you why.
Did I say something embarrassing?
When someone we’ve slept in the same room with tells us, “you talk in your sleep,” the first thing we think is: “No, I don’t,” and the second, “what if I said something weird?!”
Then you may want to know why you talk in your sleep. The good news is that there is a scientific explanation for sleep talking.
Talking in your sleep isn’t strange. Nocturnal speaking is unconscious and in most cases consists of simple declarations or meaningless phrases that last a few seconds.
However, there are exceptions, of course, when people talk and talk multiple times every night. This is a more common situation than you think, especially in kids and teenagers.
Talking in your sleep depends on several factors. These may include whether or not you had a complicated day, feel overwhelmed, or if you don’t want to say what you feel.
However, if adults talk in our sleep every night (or many nights in a row), this can be considered a sleeping disorder.
Excessive talking in your sleep may be due to prolonged exposure to stress, tension, and exhaustion, both physical and mental. Other related problems may include grinding your teeth and sleepwalking.
Somniloquy: talking in your sleep syndrome
Somniloquy, or sleep-talking, is a disorder that occurs when you talk aloud while sleeping.
It’s not dangerous and isn’t considered a psychological or medical problem, nor does it cause issues in people who have it (except for important declarations made while sleeping).
It’s basically just a personal characteristic of a person when sleeping.
Somniloquy occurs during two phases of sleep. It first occurs during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and then in the Non-REM phase.
In the first stage, our neurons work in a similar way to when we’re awake. Thus what happens in this phase is known as “paradoxical sleep,” and dreams are most intense.
In the REM phase, on the other hand, there is a break. This means that the mouth, throat, and vocal chords (which stay inactive) “turn on” and work for a few seconds. That’s when the words we’re saying in our sleep are said “out loud.”
When we talk in our sleep during the Non-REM phase, it’s because of our dreams. That’s because we’re semi-awake and the mechanisms of wakefulness allow us to speak.
As opposed to what happens when we’re 100% awake, the words or phrases that we can say in this phase don’t make sense.
What should I do about it?
If you sleep with your partner or share a bedroom with someone, these people have probably tried to decipher what you’re trying to say or make out your words.
However, you could call this a lost cause. Why? You aren’t conscious of what you’re saying!
The content of the speech is totally random and lasts just a few seconds. They can be loose words, babbling, or things related to your daytime experiences (of that day or past few days).
It’s important, then, to understand that this is an unconscious manifestation that doesn’t necessarily have any relation to your wakeful thoughts or feelings, just like our dreams.
These words are fragments of things you’ve experienced during that day or maybe two weeks ago or even last year. You don’t know when your brain will bring them up! That’s why both those who talk in their sleep and those who hear them shouldn’t worry or think too much about it.
Somniloquy isn’t a serious problem that requires psychological treatment. The only worry you may have about talking in your sleep is saying something embarrassing, compromising, or something that can get you in trouble.
If you have a partner who sleeps lightly, it could be inconvenient. However, this is also the case if you snore or have a nightmare or if the other wakes up.
At the same time, if the phenomenon suddenly appears after age 25 or if it happens several times a week, it would be good to see a specialist.
It could be due to fear, emotional issues, or elevated stress.
Some of the most common treatments for serious or chronic somniloquy include calming habits before bed like:
- Taking a warm shower
- Listening to classical music
- Reading a book
To avoid talking too much in your sleep you should avoid:
- Consuming alcohol or soda
- Exercising after sunset
- Watching the news or movies that can speed up cerebral activity (for example, horror movies)