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Talking in Sleep


Approximately 60% of children aged three to ten years old talk in their sleep. For most of them, this passes by the time of puberty, and only five percent of adults retain this feature throughout their lives. Talking in sleep is common and is rarely considered a medical problem. You can say long phrases, or you can shout something inaudible. For everyone, this phenomenon manifests itself in different ways.

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What causes talking in sleep?

You can have a dream conversation every night, once a week, or after a hard day at work. There are several reasons why people are talking in sleep. Most often, people start talking during dreams, when they are depressed or anxious. A demanding lifestyle or daily pressure are also among the causes of talking in sleep. Here are some common causes of talking in sleep:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Fever

This is often inherited, but it happens that this habit does not go away with age. This is observed in 1-2% of people who started talking at an early age. In addition to the fact that this can lead to discomfort to others, this feature does not pose a problem.

But the situation when a person suddenly began talking in sleep in adulthood, while he did not do this in childhood, should be alarming. This is a sign of incipient degenerative brain changes. It can indicate:

  • Cerebrovascular insufficiency
  • Cerebral atherosclerosis
  • The development of dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Tumor

In this situation, a person should consult a doctor and conduct an examination.

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Can talking in sleep be controlled?

It is necessary to distinguish conversations in a dream from the pronunciation of individual sounds. In the process of talking in the sleep, a person pronounces whole, even short, words or phrases, that is, he uses the speech center. A disorder in which a person makes individual sounds in a dream does not belong to higher nervous activity, it occurs due to the tension of the glottis.

Talking in sleep is usually harmless. This can only happen at some point in your life and often goes away without specific treatment. The danger appears when nocturnal chatter becomes one of the symptoms of other disorders:

  • REM (Rapid Eye Movement)
  • Sleep apnea (stopping breathing)
  • Night terrors

How to treat sleep talking?

How to treat sleep talking?

How to treat sleep talking?

In order to accurately establish the reason that provoked sleep-speaking, the doctor will conduct special monitoring of the patient for several weeks — a special diary is started, in which information is entered on medications taken by a person, drinks consumed immediately before bedtime, and evening physical activity. Also, a specialist will be able to suggest methods by which you can understand what talking in your sleep means and how to get a calm and healthy sleep.

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If your sleep conversations get out of control, you feel exhausted during the workday, and ask yourself “Why do I talk in my sleep?”, seek help from a sleep specialist (neurologist).

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FAQs about sleeping talking.

A lot of children experience talking in their sleep and when they grow up this phenomenon disappears. However, a small percentage of adults face it at various ages. Usually, people don’t remember what they do while sleeping. They reveal this fact from the surroundings who may complain about such speech. A person can say separate words or long phrases. Not always the intonation of talk is calm, shouting is possible as well. Similar conversation occurs in any phase of sleeping, it doesn’t matter whether people see dreams or not. There is no particular scheme of the frequency of such monologues, they are spontaneous. Talk in sleep includes mumbling and total nonsense. These features do not always belong to separate disorders, they can indicate more serious disasters. For example, it is one of the symptoms of sleep apnea where problems with breathing are present. In this case, treatment is obviously necessary without delays.

Modern medicine still examines the area of sleep as it stays under the screen of mystery. Meanwhile, doctors have already revealed the main principles of its operation. Thanks to it, people receive the basic curing and enjoy well-being. There are some tips that are common for any treatment, for example, eliminating consumption of food before sleep and alcohol, not drinking too much water at least several hours before going to nap. Keeping a constant schedule promotes the ability of the body to dream during a particular time. Avoiding energy stimulators such as caffeine helps the nervous system to be more stable. Each person needs a place and time for resting between various activities. It maintains the balance of physical strength. Access to electronic devices harms your sleeping in the same way. Distribution of daily exercise and nutrition are important factors too. Doctors prescribe pills or liquids aimed to soothe the brain’s work and better secretion of hormones.

Nowadays, scientists argue about the causes of talk in sleeping. There are theories that this condition is hereditary, i.e. inherent in various generations. However, today’s lifestyle refutes such a version because sufferers put themselves at risk thanks to their own actions. People with mental health diseases face sleep disorders frequently. Strong stress weakens the brain’s operations because it ruins the nerve connections. Therefore, it is one of the most common causes of talk in sleeping. Post-traumatic stress illness is an example of a stimulator of this type of shutdown. Overload influences the moral people’s states. A person becomes moody and overthinks a lot, as a result, dreams obtain a tense form. Other possible irritations are medications and physical activities.

Usually, talking in sleep doesn’t cause serious problems except for interrupting other people’s dreams. But even the comfort of surroundings can become the reason to solve this issue. Close people can get insomnia due to speaking near them. At the same time, diseases exist that come within talking in sleep. You may not even notice how you get apnea or rapid eye movement. One more unpleasant symptom is night terrors that don’t let people feel energetic and healthy. If a person can’t control the process of napping, he or she obviously needs professional help. The sudden appearance of sleeping talk in an adult age can point to the dysfunction of the brain and changes in the cells’ structures. Timely intervention prevents possible complications. Additional examination is not harmful anyway.

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Other common sleep conditions.

Are you interested in learning more about sleep talking?

Contact Advanced Medical Care today to talk to our sleep medicine specialist.

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