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Have you been told by someone who sleeps next to you that you talk in your sleep? You are unaware of this because you might not remember anything that you have said in your sleep. Sleep talking is the deep subconscious desire of a person that he/she is normally unaware of.
Studies have found that most sleep speeches are brief and nonsensical words lasting just one or two seconds because it occurs during the momentarily overlapping states of consciousness.
So, What Is Sleep Talking?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep talking, formerly known as somniloquy, is a sleep disorder which refers to speaking during sleep. The speaking involves complete gibberish or mumbling dialogues. Sleep talking is very common among children and males and isn't considered a medical problem.
The talking in your sleep mainly happens during both the REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep phases. When the talking happens during REM sleep (the stage when a person dreams), one's mouth and vocal cords which are usually inactive while sleeping gets switched on and words spoken in a dream are spoken out loud.
What Causes Sleep Talking?
Sleep talking is caused by stress, depression, fever, day-time drowsiness, sleep deprivation and drinking alcohol. In many cases, it can run in your families and it could also occur with other sleep disorders like sleep apnea, sleep terrors, sleepwalking and nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder (NS-RED).
What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Talking?
The symptoms of talking in your sleep can vary in both stages and severity:
Stages 1 and 2 is when the sleep talker isn't in a deep sleep and their speech is easier to understand. The conversations can make sense at times.
Stages 3 and 4 is when the sleep talker is in a deep sleep and their speech is harder to understand which is usually mumbling words.
The severity is determined by how frequently the talking occurs:
- Mild episodes occur less than weekly.
- Moderate episodes occur more than once a week.
- Severed episodes occur nightly.
When To See A Doctor?
If your sleep talking is extremely bad that it is interfering with your quality of sleep or if you are overly exhausted and unable to concentrate throughout the day, speak to your doctor. In rare cases, talking in your sleep can happen due to a psychotic disorder or night-time seizures. You should consult a doctor for a full examination.
What Is The Treatment For Sleep Talking?
In general, no treatment is required. However, if it prolongs, then talk to a physician. Your physician will ask you how long have you been talking in your sleep.
No tests are needed to diagnose it. However, if your sleep talking is connected with a sleep disorder, your doctor might conduct tests such as sleep study or sleep recording (polysomnogram).
How To Prevent Talking In Your Sleep?
Include the following steps in your night-time routine to reduce the likelihood of a sleep talking episode.
- Follow your regular sleep schedule by maintaining a sleep diary to note down the timings you go to bed, when you fell asleep and when you woke up.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol.
- Avoid stressing out too much.
- Avoid having heavy meals close to bedtime.
- Avoid the intake of sleeping pills.
- Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee.
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