Health And Wellness

Why Do People Talk In Their Sleep?

Photo: Getty Images
Why Do People Talk In Their Sleep?

Are you a person who talks in your sleep and want to know how to stop talking?

Talking in your sleep could be embarrassing and potentially disruptive to your partner or roommate.

Anyone can talk in their sleep; there are various reasons as to why it happens.

Why do people talk in their sleep?

Some people talk in their sleep when sick. Studies also show that half of all kids aged 3-10 talk in their sleep.

RELATED: 20 Ways To Start Sleeping Better & Stop Feeling So Tired All The Time

Others may be more chatty while snoozing due to excessive alcohol use. High stress from work can trigger it too.

There are a few possible causes that doctors have found may lead to sleep talking such as sleep deprivation, and other sleep disorders.

Six of the most common triggers for people sleep talking include:

  • Sickness
  • Fever
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Stress
  • Mental health conditions, such as depression
  • Sleep deprivation

While there is no known reason behind this, it speaks to the ordinary phenomenon of sleep talking.

Talking in your sleep is more common in males and could be genetic.

That said, if you’re known for sleep talking, it’s safe to assume that your child will do the same.

RELATED: What Causes Sleep Paralysis? How To Treat This Bizarre Sleep Disorder In 3 Steps​

You may only speak gibberish in your sleep and won’t remember that it happened. The small moments of wakefulness in which your vocal cords are activated allow for sleep talking to occur.

Although there is no known way to reduce sleep talking, there are some things to try such as following a regular sleep schedule, avoiding heavy meals before bed, and reducing stress.

If the sleep talking becomes persistent, consider seeking a doctor or sleep expert for help preventing this phenomenon.

In some cases, certain medications or prior sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, can cause sleep talking.

Despite popular belief, sleep talking can occur during both REM and non-REM sleep stages.

REM sleep is the stage in which you’re at the deepest sleep and where dreams take place.

During REM, sleep talking is caused by a motor breakthrough in which the person begins to speak out their dreams.

When this happens, “one’s mouth and vocal cords, usually inactive when we’re sleeping, briefly get switched on.”

Suddenly, the dreams we're immersed in are playing out in real life.

Although sleep talking doesn’t usually occur for more than 30 seconds at a time, vivid dreams can lead to multiple outbursts in a night.

Sometimes when we transition “from one stage of non-REM sleep to another,” this moment of wakefulness will also allow us to talk.

Keep in mind, it may not make sense to anyone listening and you probably won’t remember it.

RELATED: 21 Sleep Products To Give You The Best Rest Of Your Life​

If you have been diagnosed with other sleep disorders, you are more likely to experience sleep talking.

For example, sleep talking can involve violent screaming, kicking, or grunting.

In addition, talking in your sleep may be accompanied by sleepwalking and nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder (when you eat in your sleep).

It makes sense that more-serious sleep disorders could cause interruptions within your vocal cords, causing you to talk out loud.

Sleep psychologist, Arthur Arkin explains in a study why sleep-talkers’ have sudden outbursts

Arkin wrote that it “‘reminds one of a seal swimming underwater, surfacing for a cordial, peremptory, or meditative bark and deftly resubmerging.’”

RELATED: Why Each Zodiac Sign Can't Sleep At Night​

While sleep talking can be bothersome for many, it’s not something to worry about too much.

Since talking in your sleep is common as a child, most will grow out of it as they get older.

However, still, lots of adults are known to talk in their sleep.

It's best to seek a physician or other healthcare professional if you experience persistent sleep talking because any sleep disorder can have health consequences.

For many, it goes away once the cause of the outbursts is resolved.

Nonetheless, there might be an underlying medical condition for why it keeps happening.

That said, it’s important to note if, when, and how your sleep talking comes to life.

Most likely, there won’t be any treatment necessary unless there’s another root issue that must be addressed.

There are some ways that you can work on stopping talking in your sleep.

While there is no evidence behind ways to reduce sleep talking, there are some things that Sleep Foundation suggests you try.

  • Follow a regular sleep schedule
  • Get adequate amounts of sleep
  • Practice proper sleep hygiene
  • Refrain from alcohol
  • Avoid heavy meals before bed
  • Reduce excessive amounts of stress

RELATED: The Weird Reason You Should Absolutely Sleep On Your Left Side​

The hope is that by giving your body the attention it deserves, you won’t be prone to the outbursts of sleep talking.

Keeping a sleep diary to help identify your sleep patterns.

Maintain writing in this diary for at least two weeks with information on the time you went to bed, when you think you fell asleep, and when you woke up.

It might also be beneficial to record the medications you’re taking and the time of day you take them.

Additionally, make note of what you drink each day (pop, tea, coffee, alcohol) and when.

Lastly, include your physical movement — the time of day you exercise and your level of activity.

If none of these fixes seem to work, it's important to see a sleep expert who can help manage this condition and assure you’re getting adequate sleep.

All in all, talking in your sleep is not the worst thing in the world.

For most people, stopping talking in their sleep comes down to finding balance in their real-life — reducing stress levels and putting things into your body that are healthy for you.

Sleep talking may be a sign that something is off-kilter in your everyday life.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you struggle with talking in your sleep.

Reach out to a medical professional if you think it's impacting your sleep or way of life.

Otherwise, you can try any of the suggestions above to keep talking as only part of your waking life.

Wishing you restful sleep!

RELATED: These 3 Simple Ingredients Will Help You Fall Asleep In Minutes​

Isabella Pacinelli is a writer who covers relationship, self-love, spirituality, and entertainment topics.