You must have heard that many people talk in their sleep. Also known as somniloquy, sleep talking is an abnormal behavior that occurs during sleep and can be seen as a form of parasomnia. But what exactly causes sleep-talking?
Somniloquy can occur during Non-Rapid Eye Movement or Rapid Eye Movement sleep. Both males and females can experience talking in their sleep. Moreover, sleep talking may have hereditary causes as well. Although healthy people sometimes speak in their sleep, it may be linked to other conditions.
Continue reading this blog to learn the possible causes of sleep talking.
What Are the Common Sleep Talking Causes?
There’s no clear answer that explains why sleep talking occurs. You can say that an individual says what’s happening in their dreams, but that’s not always the case.
Sleep talking is believed to be linked to other parasomnias, like sleepwalking or night terrors. Usually, parasomnias occur when sleep is disturbed, as they’re thought to be a mixed state between sleep and wakefulness. In short, you can say that factors disturbing your sleep are likely to be the cause behind sleep talking. Furthermore, sleep talking is also related to other health issues, like sleep apnea.
Here are some causes of sleep talking:
- Using alcohol or drugs
- Mental health conditions, like depression or PTSD
- Sleep Deprivation
- Sleep Apnea
- Sleep Walking
- Night terrors
Stages & Severity of Sleep Talking
Sleep talking can occur in different stages and severity, which may look like this:
- Stages 1 & 2: The sleeper isn’t in a deep sleep and has conversations that make sense. Thus, their speech is easier to comprehend,
- Stages 3 & 4: The individual is in a deep sleep. In this stage, their speech will be hard to understand and may even sound like moaning or gibberish.
Apart from stages, the severity of sleep talking can be determined by how much it happens:
- Mild: Sleep talking takes place less than once a month.
- Moderate: The talking doesn’t occur every night, just once a week. The somniloquy won’t even disturb other people in the room. In addition, it may not affect your sleep quality.
- Severe: Sleep talking will take place each night if your condition is severe. Other people in the room might have interrupted or disturbed sleep.
Sleep Talking Treatment
In most cases, sleep talking is not a serious health issue. However, you may need to see a sleep doctor in some cases. Talking in your sleep can interfere with your sleep quality and result in exhaustion. If this is the case and you can’t concentrate during the day, it’s time to visit your doctor. What may seem harmless could be among the severe causes of sleep talking, like nighttime seizures.
You should always consult a sleep specialist when you have trouble with your sleep, particularly if you think it hints at an underlying issue. A sleep expert can help you manage the condition after identifying the cause. Some lifestyle changes and good sleeping habits may help improve your sleep. These include:
- Proper sleep schedule
- Sleeping 7 to 9 hours per night
- Take a break from screen-time 30 to 60 minutes before bed
- Manage your stress levels
- Refrain from alcohol consumption
- Don’t consume caffeine at least 6 hours before you sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Sleep in a quiet and dark bedroom
- Let the temperature stay between 60 to 67° Fahrenheit
The treatment for sleep talking may rely on the cause. Hence, sleep apnea patients might be asked to wear a special sleeping device. Similarly, people suffering from narcolepsy or insomnia may need medications. The sleep clinic will be able to recommend the best treatment.