Sleep Talking: What is it?
This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation.
Say what? Find out why some people talk in their sleep.
Are you quite the gabber during the night, or is your sleeping partner? Learn more, below, about why people chatter during slumber.
Sleep talking is a sleep disorder defined as talking during sleep without being aware of it. Technically called “somniloquy,” talking while you get your zzz's can occur during any stage of sleep, but it is most likely to be comprehensible to a bed partner during REM sleep. Talking during deeper sleep (NREM sleep, stages three and four) just sounds like gibberish. Talking during any sleep stage can involve mumbles, moans, calling out, or whispering, but it is not considered a product of consciousness. The words don’t have real meaning to the sleep talker; the person doesn’t know what he or she is saying.
Anyone can sleep talk, but it can be genetic and it tends to occur more in men and in children. Most children grow out of the habit; only an estimated five percent of adults talk in their sleep. Some factors, including sleep deprivation, alcohol, drugs, fever, stress, anxiety, and depression can all lead to sleep talking. Typically, sleep talking is not considered something that requires treatment, unless a sleep mate is chronically disturbed by it. It may co-exist with other "parasomnias" such as night terrors, sleepwalking, and sleep apnea. While not common, sleep talking that starts after age 25 may be related to other medical issues.
Stress and sleep are closely related. Understanding the relationship between sleep and stress is an important step to managing stress and improving sleep.
When people think of healthy sleep, they often think of getting a certain amount of sleep every night. This is referred to as sleep quantity. While sleep quantity is definitely important, it is not the only factor in getting a good night’s sleep. Just as important—and perhaps even more important—is sleep quality. This means regularly getting healthy, consistent sleep that allows your body to go through all of the restorative processes that are necessary to maintain our overall health.
Sleeping enough is crucial to your overall health, but how many hours of sleep do you really need each night? Learn top recommendations from the experts.