Have you ever been told that while you were sleeping you talked? Have you been assured that during sleep you can even have conversations with those around you or on the phone? Do you want to know why we talk in our sleep? In this article we will tell you about it.
Talking in your sleep: did I say something embarrassing?
When someone who has slept in the same room as us tells us the phrase “you talk while you sleep”, the first reaction we have is: “it is not true”, and the second “did I say something out of place?”.
Perhaps, thirdly, you want to know why some of us talk in our sleep. The good news is that there is a scientific explanation for it.
Talking when you sleep is not extraordinary. The night speeches are unconscious. Also, in most cases, these are simple nonsensical statements or phrases that last a couple of seconds.
Although, of course, there are exceptions of people who can speak and speak several times each night.
This situation is more common than we think, especially in children and adolescents.
It depends on several factors such as, for example, if we have had a very difficult day, we feel overwhelmed or we do not dare to say what we feel.
However, when we are adults or elderly and we talk in our sleep every night (or too often) it is considered a sleep disorder.
This can be due to prolonged exposure to stress, tension and fatigue, both physical and mental. Other related problems are teeth grinding and sleepwalking.
Somniloquia: the syndrome of talking in sleep
This disorder, also known as noctilalia, is another of the changes that occur in our behavior during sleep hours.
It is not dangerous and is not considered a problem with psychological or medical consequences. Nor does it cause inconvenience to those who suffer from it (except for making an important statement while you sleep).
It could simply be considered as a characteristic of a person when sleeping.
Sleepiness occurs in two moments of rest. First during the REM phase (Rapid Eye Movement, also known as REM) and then in the NO-REM phase.
In the first, neurons work in much the same way as when we are awake. For this reason, what happens in this stage is known as a “paradoxical dream”, since dream experiences develop with greater intensity.
In the REM stage, in turn , a break in sleep speech is caused. This means that the mouth, throat and vocal cords (which were inactive) “turn on” and work for a few seconds.
It is then that those words that we are pronouncing in the dream are said “out loud”.
On the other hand, in the NON-REM stage, when we speak in sleep it is due to transitory dreams. This is so because we are half awake and waking mechanisms allow us to speak.
Unlike what happens when we are 100% awake, the words or phrases that we can say in this phase often lack meaning.
Sleep speech problems
If we are in a couple or share a room with a relative, these people are likely to try to decipher what we want to say or understand our words.
However, it could be said that this is a lost cause. The reason? We are not aware of what we say!
The content of the speech is random in its entirety and lasts only a few seconds. They can be single words, babbling or things related to our daytime experiences (of that same day or of the past).
Therefore, it is necessary to understand that it is an unconscious manifestation that does not have to be related to our “awake” thoughts or feelings. The same thing happens with dreams.
Thus, both those who speak in their sleep and those who listen should not worry or dwell on the matter too much.
These words are fragments of things that we have experienced perhaps that same day or perhaps two weeks ago or the previous year. We do not know when the brain brings them to light!
Sleepiness is not a serious problem that requires psychological treatment. The only concern we can have when talking in our sleep is if we say something embarrassing, compromising or getting us into trouble.
If we have a couple with a light sleeper, it may cause a problem. However, this would also happen if we snored or had a nightmare and the other woke up.
Likewise, if the phenomenon appears abruptly after the age of 25 and recurs several times a week, it would be good if we consult a specialist.
We may talk in our sleep due to some fear, emotional problem or too high a dose of stress.
What to do if we talk in our sleep?
If we suffer from severe or chronic somniloquia, we should go to a specialist to give us the most appropriate treatment.
However, there are certain relaxing habits that we can include before going to bed to help us:
- Take a hot shower
- Listen to classical music
- Read a story
In addition, to avoid talking in sleep it is advisable to avoid :
- Consumption of alcohol or soft drinks
- Exercise after sunset
- Movies or news that can accelerate our brain activity (for example, if they are horror).
As you can see, talking in dreams can be more common than we think. However, it is not something serious about which we should worry excessively. The worst that can happen is that we involuntarily say something we did not want while we are talking in our sleep.
However, in some cases it can be due to more serious issues such as stress. Therefore, we offer you these tips that, we hope, will help you sleep better and prevent you from talking in your sleep, as well as improving your rest and quality of life. However, we repeat, if you do it sporadically, do not worry. It happens to a lot of people!