Medically known as somniloquy, sleep talking is a sleep disorder that is characterized by talking during sleep without being consciously aware of what you are saying. What is said varies from person to person, and can range from lengthy monologues to staccato phrases. Fortunately, this sleep disorder is rare and short-lived for many, and often passes without any serious medical consequences.
Considering that sleep-talkers are unaware of their behavior, their voices and word choice may sound radically different than their conscious selves. If you or a loved one talk during sleep, consider some of the causes of sleep talking, and what steps can be taken to remedy this sleep disorder:
Causes of Sleep Talking
Talking in your sleep can result from various physical and mental conditions. These include stress, depression, sleep deprivation, alcohol consumption, and fever. There is a genetic link to sleep talking, although it appears that external factors generally manifest its onset. Sleep talking often occurs during nightmares, and can also be triggered by other conditions such as sleep apnea and REM sleep behavior disorder. Mental illness can also increase the chances of sleep talking. In some cases, sleepwalking and nocturnal seizures can also be induced by sleep talking.
Sleep Talking Treatment
Instances of sleep talking typically occur less than once a week and eventually stop over time. However, if the problem persists, schedule a consultation with your medical professional. Talking in your sleep is often a symptom of a larger issue, such as an undiagnosed sleep disorder or debilitating anxiety. Addressing the root cause will ultimately remedy your sleep talking episodes, but your doctor may also recommend that you get more hours of sleep every night. Alcohol and heavy meals can also induce sleep talking, so your doctor will likely recommend that you avoid these as well until you have your condition under control.
If you or a loved one struggle with sleep talking, schedule a consultation with Dr. Shukla today to determine if you have an underlying disorder.