Late Night Chats?


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As someone who lives with a roommate who sleep takes, has a brother at home who screams expletives some nights heard from down the hall, and has been known to babble in her own sleep I suppose it is only appropriate that I dive into the question: Why does one talk in their sleep?

According to WebMd   Sleep talking is also known as somniloquy "is the act of speaking during sleep." It's viewed as an out of the ordinary sleeping disorder and probably a lot more common than you think.  However a typical episode doesn't last any longer than thirty seconds and majority of the time it is mumbles and senseless phrases that come spewing out of the sleeper's mouth.  On one occasion my roommate who took Chinese for several years in the past began speaking Mandarin in the middle of the night, startling myself and our other roommate. It was hysterical, but crazy! The statistics say that around 10% of children sleep talk and converse while about 5% of adults do the same.  It is also shown that the disorder is gender neutral, but may run in families.

Onto the real reason why this blog post is being written: Why do we do it? Scientists claim sleep talking can occur in any stage of sleeping, not necessarily just your deepest sleep or when we dream and have nightmares.  Sleep talking is rather harmless, but if severe enough can point to certain sleep behavior disorders and even night terrors. Sleep talkers often overlap with sleep walkers or sleep eaters.  The article claims stress, medication, fever, mental health disorder, and substance abuse as some of the main causes for sleep talking. There is rarely ever a need for treatment, unless the person becomes a danger to themself or those around them. In that case, a doctor's appointment must be made. Since there is a lack of treatment, there really isn't a known way to reduce the talking either. It is advised to be aware of medication side effects, when you exercise and when you drink any beverages.


sleep talker.jpg


I don't know about you, but I am not quite satisfied with all these unknowns. I personally, would like a stronger answer as to why this occurs. I don't find sleep talking bothersome, but it would be nice to know why my body does some of the things it does. I feel that on nights where I get less sleep I hear about my sleep talking session, or nights when I eat a late dinner similar occurrences ensue. I suppose until a true study is done the world will never know. There is always the possibility of chance. But for right now I am intrigued to find out what the causation would be. If anyone has any leads, please let me know!

2 Comments

I found your post to be very interesting. I sleep too and have always wondered why. Your post has helped me to better understand why this occurs, however, I agree with you on the fact that there doesn't seem to be a concrete reason as to why the body responds in this involuntary behavior. In own personal experience, I have found that I do most of my sleep talking in times that I am stressed or having a a nightmare. After reading your post, I did a little but of my own research on this and came across this site: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-related-problems/sleep-talking . I think it would be a good read for you, since you are so interested in this topic. For me, it fostered a deeper understanding on this topic.

Thanks Jacklyn! I think it's almost absurd that there is so little information on the internet with explanations for sleep talking. When I'm stressed I hear from my friends and family that I was sleep talking too! So that must be a common trigger. I would really love to see a thorough study done. I read the article you posted. Thank you for the info. A lot of it actually seemed to overlap with my resources too. Again, maybe there just isn't a lot to find out or people just don't really care but all the information seems to be rather repetitive.
This is a funny video of a guy recording his own sleep talking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSrK2qqMaP4

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