Do you talk in your sleep? There’s no need to worry; it will cause you no physical harm. The one who may have a problem with your sleep disorder is your bed-mate, your roommate, or anyone who must spend the night within hearing distance of your bedroom.
The formal name for sleep talking is somniloquy. It means talking in one’s sleep without being aware of it. The speech can take the form of a monologue, mumbles, gibberish, or moans. The sleeper can even be engaged in conversation, yet be sound asleep. The type of language used may be different from that the sleeper uses when awake.
Episodes of sleep talking can be triggered by stress, being overtired, illness, fever, alcohol or depression. For most people, sleep talking happens rarely and only lasts for short periods, though it may recur when triggered by another stimulus. Sometimes sleep talking runs in families.
The topics of a sleep talker’s discourses may bear no relation to reality. They could be about past events or occurrences or people who are deceased or no longer in his social circle. Anything a sleeping person utters is not the result of rational thought and will not be accepted as evidence in a court of law.
If you are currently trying to overcome a period of sleep talking, here are some tips:
* Avoid heavy meals in the evening, but a light snack such as warm milk may be helpful.
* Reduce your stress levels. Don’t be a workaholic. Take all the time off to which you are entitled. Eliminate or cut back time spent with irritating people, if possible.
* Get enough rest. Being overtired can be a trigger for sleep talking.
* Avoid horror movies, upsetting news programs or other images of violence during the evening.
* Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening.
* If you enjoy strenuous exercise or like to work out at the gym, do it as early in the day as possible.
* Evening should be a time of peaceful relaxation. Reading, listening to soft music, watching interesting TV programs or documentaries, visiting with congenial friends, or working on puzzles are suitable activities.
* Develop a routine of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day including weekends, with no daytime naps if you can help it.
* Keep the bedroom as a place reserved for sex and sleep. There should be no TV, video games, or computers in this room. When you come through the door, your body should receive the message that the day is over and it’s time to relax.
* Make the atmosphere in the bedroom suggest comfort and rest. It should be dark, cool and cosy like a bear’s den. Those animals can curl up and sleep for months on end.
* Once in bed, say the Lord’s Prayer slowly and thoughtfully, meditate on pleasant things, and consciously relax muscles from feet to head, breathing slowly and deeply as you do so.
The next thing you know, it will be morning and you’ll be starting a new day rested and refreshed.
As stated at the beginning of this article, sleep talking is not harmful to the speaker. However, if you take the time and effort to overcome it whenever it recurs, your bed-mate, your roommate and those in the immediate area of your bedroom will be very appreciative. Insomnia, caused by someone else’s sleep talking can be very annoying.