Sleep Talking: Is it bad?

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation


Find out whether you should be concerned.

Sure, maybe your partner finds sleep talking annoying and disruptive to his or her slumber, but from a scientific perspective, the activity is usually considered to be normal.

Sleep talking can come in a variety of forms that range from mumbling or gibberish to full and coherent sentences. Any person can experience sleep talking during the night. It tends to occur more often in men and especially in children. If you don’t know what has led you to start talking in your sleep, one of these reasons could be behind it: genetics, sleep deprivation, consuming alcohol or drugs, fever, stress, depression, etc. Some of these factors can also lead to sleepwalking.

In most cases, sleep talking requires no medical treatment. If it is associated with a more serious disorder, such as sleep apnea, REM sleep behavior disorder, or night terrors, then you may need to treat the disorder. But don’t worry; sleep talking won’t do any physical harm to your body, although it might be slightly embarrassing to have another person witness it.

Consider seeing a sleep specialist if you feel that your sleep talking is getting out of control or hard to deal with (involving intense fear, screaming, or violent actions)—in rare instances, medication can be subscribed to treat the condition. Your doctor may recommend trying to follow a regular sleep schedule, getting the right amount of sleep (typically, seven to nine hours a night), and/or practicing proper sleep hygiene to help reduce or eliminate sleep talking.