Why Do People Talk In Their Sleep?

Sleep talking is a common disorder that scientists and health experts refer to as somniloquy. It is a condition whereby people talk during their sleep unknowingly. Although it does not pose any mental or physical health risk, it can be very embarrassing and annoying, and this is more so if you share the bed with someone else.

Most if not all people that have this problem will not remember that they talked or even what they said. And so a majority of sleep talkers that sleep alone will take many years to discover that they do it. There are some common causes or contributing factors to sleep talking, but the good news is that there are also many ways of stopping it.

Who Can Experience Sleep Talking?​

sleep on the side

Anybody and everybody can experience sleep talking, and there has not been any research that excludes any group of people from this. However, different studies conclude that it is very common in children and that close to 50% of all kids will experience it at some point while growing. But, it will go unnoticed for most because parents consider it a natural part of their growth.

Although most kids will grow out of it, some will experience it even as adults. In fact, more that 5% of all adults will sleep talk occasionally or regularly. Genetics also have a significant influence on who will talk in their sleep and who will not. In most cases sleep talking is hereditary and so people that have either or both the parents talking in their sleep are more likely to do the same than those that do not.​

Why Do People Talk In Their Sleep?​

drooling in sleep

Somniloquy in some cases is a sign of a severe sleep disorder such as night terrors and sleep apnea. And so if you have any of these conditions it might be the reason why you are talking in your sleep and treating them can be all that you need to get rid of the night mumbling. As mentioned earlier on, sleep talking runs in families and so the fact that your parents have the problem might be the reason why you have it. However, there are also some triggers that can cause it.​

how to stop snoring

Alcohol consumption is also another leading cause of the condition, and a high percentage of drunkards will have this disorder. The reason behind this is that alcohol will interfere with the vital REM sleep and this will lead to talking when you are asleep as you will not be able to fall into a deep state of sleep. Stress and anxiety can also cause this problem because they prevent you from falling into a deep sleep and in most cases people who talk when sleeping are not asleep completely.

In many instances, Somniloquy will occur concurrently with other common sleep disorders such as sleep apnea nightmares and confusional arousals. All these sleep disorders will interfere with your sleep cycle in one way or the other, and so one of the consequences will be talking as you slumber. In some very rare cases, the onset of this condition in adults is also as a result of some types of nocturnal seizures and psychiatric disorders.​

Don’t wait until you feel sleepy

Recent studies also link depression and sleep deprivation to somniloquy. According to sleep experts, depression will interfere with the brain in different ways and hence prevent you from falling into a restorative and deep sleep. As a result of this, you are likely going to talk when you are sleeping because the body is not completely asleep. Sleep deprivation also has similar effects and sleep talking is one of the common signs that you are not getting enough rest.​

How To Stop Sleep Talking​

Sleep talking does not pose any danger to your physical or mental health, but it may affect your sleep cycle and also prevent anyone sleeping with you from getting enough rest. There is no standard cure for this condition but here is how to stop sleep talking.

1. Maintain A Strict Sleep Routine​

A strict sleep routine can help solve most sleep disorders, and in most cases, this will aid in stopping somniloquy. To do this, you should ensure that you always go to bed at the same time each day and also wake at the same time. Doing this will make sure that you do not accumulate any sleep debt and that you are not sleep deprived.

2. Minimize Stress​

yoga poses to support sleep

Emotional stress and anxiety are among the most common causes of sleep talking and so minimizing or getting rid of them might be all the remedy you need. There are many things that you can do to reduce emotional stress, and they include things like regular massages, yoga, and meditation. Identifying the cause of the stress will also be very helpful.​

3. Stay Sober And Avoid Caffeine​

insomnia causes

Alcohol is a common sleep talking instigator, and so you should avoid taking it in any form before going to bed. Apart from making you talk it is also not good for your health. Coffee and any other drink with caffeine should also not make part of your meal after midday as it also disrupts the normal and healthy sleep pattern​

4. Exercise Daily​

insomnia treatment

Moderate and daily exercises will help regulate your body and mind to ensure that you sleep well and peacefully. A 20-minute run in the morning or early evening can make a huge difference but avoid any cardiovascular exercises before bed as they will make you too tired to sleep and hence lead to an increase in the probability of sleep talking.​

5. Create A Comfortable Sleeping Environment​


A comfortable sleeping environment will make it easy for the brain to relax and this will, in turn, prevent you from sleep talking. The general rule is to keep your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible and make the bed very comfortable. Make sure that you have a good mattress on a sturdy bed, some soft and silky sheets and a Best Buckwheat Pillow to support your head and body.​

Read more: 6 Simple Steps To Optimize Your Bedroom For Better Sleep


There have been numerous studies on sleep talking or somniloquy over the years, and most conclude that it does not affect your body or mind in any way. But, if you have ever slept next to someone that sleep talks you should know just how annoying it can be. However, there are many things that you can do to stop it, and so you should not let it embarrass you. Try the five above and talk to your doctor if you need any extra assistance.​

  • Jane
  • Updated March 9, 2017

I am Jane Collins, a Founder and a Main Editor of g9sleeptight.com. I decided to create this site to share my knowledge, guides and tips to help you to have a good night's sleep.

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