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Sleep Talking

Sat, Jul 4, 2009

ParasomniasSleep Talking

A joke about sleep talking:

If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say — talk in your sleep.

Sleep talking and sleep walking (see other post on SleepWalking), as well as night terrors, are parts of a group of sleep disorders called parasomnias, as covered in Parasomnias Disorder, in another post of MasterYourSleep.com. Modern science of sleep still  puzzled why children and some adults are able to walk and talk in their sleep. Fortunately, sleep talking and sleep walking are considered not to be severe disorders. Both of them, sleep talking and sleep walking, happen during deep sleep, normally 1 to 3 hours after person is falling asleep. By comparison, sleep talking is more frequent than sleep walking, but both of them occur together.

Sleep Talking

Children who happen to talk in their sleep, may speak quite clearly and be unmistakably understood, while adults may mumble or make some noises. Do not be alarmed if you have been noticed with sleep talking. Sleep talking is not a part of  any physical or mental problem. There is nothing could be done to prevent sleep talking. If your children are speaking considerably loud and look upset, you to go to children and calm them. If they are simply pronounce some words or sentences, it would be a good idea just let it go without any intervention. Basically, leave them along. The incident of sleep talking will, as a rule, end shortly. If sleep talking looks very upsetting, it make sense to wake them up just to stop their dream. Kids usually fall back into sleep really quick because their dream was outside of their consciousness anyway.

 

Basics of Sleep Talking

  • Sleep talking, also known as somniloquy, is a sleep disorder whereby people are talking during their sleep without being aware of it.
  • Sleep talking can involve monologues and dialogues or nothing but mumbling and gibberish.
  • Anyone can have incidents of sleep talking, which is more common in children and males.
  • Interesting enough, that sleep talking is usually spontaneous or provoked by the conversation with the one who is asleep.

That is how hypnotherapists are making verbal contact with a patient, while he or she is asleep, and by making therapeutic suggestion, they achieve positive results in many mental disorders. It is also known fact to exhibit sleep talking during high fever condition, similar to febrile delirium, when people talking in their sleep in 8 out of 10 cases.

Where sleep talking comes from?

Many different mental conditions are responsible for creating sleep talking, such as:  depression, stress, day-time drowsiness, sleep deprivation, alcohol, sleep apnea, as well as fever. Sleep talking often occurs concurrently with other sleep disorders, such as: sleep terrors, confusional arousals, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, and REM sleep behaviour disorder. When a person over 25 years old is diagnosed with a mental disorder or with any other medical illness, it’s more likely that sleep talking occurs quite frequently.

What do we know about sleep talking?

  • Very little is known about sleep talking. Mostly sleep talking makes no sense at all.
  • Some of it may be a reflection of the events in past, like relationships, parents, lost friends, school time, which have no current meaning or relevance, nor emotional influence.
  • Sleep talking is commonly assumed (by modern medical science and the law) as being not a result of a conscious or rational mind.  Therefore any facts of sleep talking are not admissible in courts.

Disadvantage to others

Even sleep talking is not physically harmful to anyone, it can become an embarrassment aggravate a bed partner, roommate.

Symptoms
Sleep talking can happen during any stage of sleep. The lighter the sleep, the more comprehensible the speech is:

Stages 1 and 2: sleep talkers may even engage into conversations,

Stages 3 and 4: speech is limited to gibberish and moans.

Symptoms can vary in severity and duration.

Severity Criteria

Mild: sleep talking happens less than once a week

Moderate: sleep talking happens more than once a week but less than once a night, causing minimal discomfort to a bed partner

Severe: sleep talking happens every night producing considerable disruption of a bed partner’s sleep.

Sleep Talking Duration Criteria

Acute: one month or less

Sub-acute: more than one month but less than one year

Chronic: one year and longer.

Other symptoms of sleep talking

Sleep walking

Sleep Terrors

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Confusional Arousals

REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder

Nocturnal Seizures

Psychiatric Disorders

Treatment of Sleep Talking
Surprisingly, no treatment of sleep talking is required! However, you may need to talk to your physician or health care provider about the problem if sleep talking is severe or persistent over a long period of time. There could be hidden medical condition, which is unknown to you, responsible for your condition, like stress or other sleep disorder. Remember, all sleep disorders are interrelated!

Coping witn Sleep Talking
Here are several steps, which can be taken to reduce sleep talking incidents:

Follow regular sleep schedule by going to bed and getting up at the same time

Get sufficient amount of sleep

Practice sleep hygiene, which can help you to reduce occurrence and severity of sleep talking

Refrain yourself from heavy meals, alcohol, strong coffee and tea, as well as any stress

Suggest using earplugs or white noise generator (such as a fan or pleasant music) to your bed partner and roommate.

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