Somniloquy: to sleep talk, or not to sleep talk? That is the question. Simply put, somniloquy is a sleep disorder that involves unconscious talking during sleep, or sleep talking. Though mysterious, and sometimes off putting, sleep talking is actually a pretty common occurrence. Roughly 67% of adults have reported talking in their sleep at least once in the past three months.
Generally, sleep talking is nothing to worry about. It ranges from mumbling gibberish, to full coherent sentences. Sleep talking can be completely random or brought on by someone else talking to them while they are asleep. The voice may even sound a bit different from the person’s waking voice. The content can vary from completely random, or relating to past or present experience. Understanding these words may be difficult and perhaps not even necessary, because it happens outside of conscious awareness. So anything you say in the middle of the night can’t be held against you. Although, not harmful, sleep talking can be embarrassing for the person, or annoying to other bed inhabitants.
Some things that cause these nocturnal outbursts to become more frequent include insufficient sleep, alcohol or drug use, illness, stress, anxiety, and depression. So if you have done any of these recently, don’t be surprised if some sleep talking ensues.
However, be mindful. Sometimes sleep talking is a sign of another sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, night terrors, or sleepwalking. So if you are consistently waking up tired, or feel sad often, it is important to consult with your doctor about your sleep talking.
See this fun video by Adam Rosenberg of himself sleep talking