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What Causes People to Sleep Talk?

Talking in your sleep seems like bizarre behavior, but it's usually nothing to get too worried about. In fact, if anyone hears you talk in your sleep, they might find it amusing. It's not a sign of going senile, it's mostly scrambled thoughts playing out during any stage of sleep. Here are some of the known reasons that sleep talking occurs.

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Various Explanations
There are multiple reasons for sleep talking, according to the National Sleep Foundation. In the most extreme cases it may reflect a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, in which air passage is blocked in the throat, leading to an unconscious mumbling effect. Talking in your sleep can also be caused by night terrors, which are different from nightmares and involve waking up screaming without remembering a dream.

Another explanation is REM behavior disorder, which occurs when you start acting out dreams. Other causes include fever, lack of sleep, depression or alcohol consumption. Perhaps the most common cause is when your life seems to be in limbo and the stress leads you to process too much information about your uncertainty.

Making Sense of the Nonsense
One of the biggest consequences of sleep talking is that it may disrupt your bed partner's sleep. When that happens, regardless of how entertaining the dialogue gets, it can lead to sleep deprivation, which can disrupt someone's entire day, especially at work.

Another consequence of sleep talking is that it can lead to admitting something that was meant to be a secret or is taken the wrong way. While it's possible to have a conversation with someone who talks in their sleep, this possibility depends on the individual. Chances are, the chatter is just pieces of a dream and isn't worth documenting.

Getting Back to Normal Sleep
Ideally, this nuance occurs occasionally and not every night. If it does happen frequently, you may need to see a sleep specialist. As long as sleep talking doesn't become too habitual, there are more basic ways to resolve the problem without professional help.

If you notice your partner blurting out words during the sleep cycle, consider waking them up for a few minutes, which can reset the sleep pattern. The best approach is to keep a normal sleep schedule, get sufficient exercise and relax without the help of alcohol before going to bed.

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