Do you talk in your sleep? If you are speaking in full sentences, mumbling or even speaking gibberish, then you are a sleep talker.
Sure, sleep talking can be a funny thing, but it is actually a disorder known as somniloquy. It’s a type of parasomnia, which is distinguished as an abnormal behavior that is displayed during sleep. Due to its prevalence, it is not usually considered a medical issue. Sleep talkers are not aware of their behavior or speech. Hence, they may sound different than when they are awake.
But, the good news is that this habit of sleep talking is found to be a short-lived occurrence. Sleep talking usually occurs when a person is dreaming and is mostly considered harmless. However, in some cases, it can even be a sign of a serious sleep disorder or health condition. Here are a few conditions that can cause sleep talking.
Causes Of Sleep Talking
Sleep talking may occur due to numerous reasons. It can happen to anyone at any stage while sleeping. In many instances, it runs in families as a result of genetics, but sometimes, even external factors can cause this behavior. It can also be accompanied by disorders like sleepwalking and nocturnal sleep-related eating habits. Let’s find out more about what could be the primary causes of this abnormality.
If you are on heavy doses of medicine for anxiety, pain or illness, then it is most likely that you may mumble in your sleep. It could be because most of these medications trigger drowsiness and lead to unconscious chatter that can interfere with your sleep.
Stress and Depression
The mood you are in determines how peacefully you are going to sleep that day. If your mind is filled with anxiety and depression, you can expect sleep deprivation. And even when you manage to get a couple of winks, you may end up chatting away.
As I mentioned before, sleep talking is a genetic disorder that often runs in families. If you have family members who speak in their sleep, then you may be at risk too. Likewise, when you have children, they might get it too because of the genetic link.
When your health is not at its best, then you are likely to have a disturbed slumber, which can sometimes trigger sleep talking. The exhaustion from fever or illness can also cause sleep disorders. Sleep talking associated with medical illnesses occurs more in adults.
Another factor that can cause sleep talking is bad lifestyle choices. Like drinking alcohol or eating heavy meals before bed, or having an odd sleep schedule that could be keeping you from sleeping peacefully.
What Are The Possible Risks Of Sleep Talking
Sleep talking may usually be harmless when it occurs by itself, but it can also indicate more serious sleep disorders or health conditions. Apart from disturbed sleep, your sleep utterances can also trigger other symptoms.
Here are a few conditions that sleep talking can result in, if left untreated:
- Sleep Walking
- REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep Disorder
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome
- Psychiatric Disorders
- Nocturnal Seizures
- Sleep Terrors – Nightmares
When To Get Help From Sleep Specialists Or Doctors
Your sleep talk severity can be determined by how frequently it occurs. When your symptoms are mild, you can expect it about once or twice a month. If it is moderate, it can occur once a week, and your talking will not hinder others from sleeping peacefully.
You should consider visiting a doctor or getting help if your condition is severe – which means every night. If it interferes with your sleep constantly and affects those around you, there is a problem. In that case, it is a good idea to visit a sleep specialist. Also, if your sleep talking occurs often and involves fear, disturbed sleep, and abnormal behavior, it is something to be concerned about.
Sleep talking is usually not a severe medical condition, but sometimes, it is better to get checked by a medical professional. The specialist or doctor may order for tests, or conduct sleep study or recording to check if you have any other visible signs of sleep disorders. You can also get answers to how long this has been happening and how severe it is based on the examination results.
How To Reduce The Amount Of Sleep Talking
To avoid sleep talking, you can make some changes on your own as well. You can start by avoiding stress and other possible triggers that can keep you from getting plenty of sleep.
Keep a sleep journal by your bedside so you can identify your sleep patterns and monitor any abnormality. By keeping track of when you go to sleep and when you wake up, you can analyze the problem that is causing you to sleep talk. Also, keep an eye on your diet and sleep schedule, and cut down on caffeinated drinks before bed.
Sleep talking is a condition that can occur at any point in your life. And it can be chronic or temporary. Most people try to resolve it on their own; and only if they don’t find any solution, they turn to sleep experts. If you are facing this problem, then take action before it worsens.
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