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Talking in Sleep Explained

Last Updated on February 16, 2021 by Ashwini G

Do you or the people around you talk in their sleep? Do you wonder why do people talk in their sleep? Many people are habitual of talking while they are asleep. While some chit chat with imaginary friends, others may utter monosyllables that seem funny or scary to the people around. It is an amusing experience for the listeners, but the person talking in sleep doesn’t even know it’s happening. Suppose you talk in your sleep and want to know why you are in the right place. Read on and get to know everything about sleep talking.

What Is Sleep Talking?

Although a majority of people experience it, they don’t really know what sleep talking is. Before we begin discussing why do people talk in their sleep, let us understand what it is.

Sleep talking, also known as somniloquy, is a sleep disorder like parasomnia. It causes the person to talk while they are asleep. The noises made by the people can often be mere groans, grunts, or even whispers. But in rare cases, you can even have real full-fledged conversations with someone that is audible to everyone around. The sleeper is unconscious and has no memory of speaking.

Who Talks in Their Sleep?

People of all ages can talk during sleep, but it is more prominent in children. More than 50% of the children who belong to the age group of 3-10 experience sleep talking regularly. Researchers also believe that talking while being asleep has genetic links. If your parents used to talk in their sleep, there are high chances that you might as well do the same.

Why Do People Talk in Their Sleep?

There are plenty of reasons, ranging from psychological to physical, that may cause sleep talking. If you are wondering why do people talk in their sleep, go through these points.


Are you on prescription drugs? Then they might be responsible for the conversations you might be having during sleep. Many pills for insomnia, depression, and hormonal imbalance have somniloquy listed as their side-effect. If you’ve recently started taking a new medicine and your episodes have increased, ask your doctor to change your prescription.

Sleep Terrors

Sleep terrors are prominent in children. It causes them to scream, yell, and even thrash others while they are asleep. They might be having a scary dream or hallucination that can lead to sleep terrors.

Emotional Stress

The people who are undergoing an emotional transition or phase can often face difficulty in sleeping. Their sleep cycle gets irregular, which makes it challenging for them to get adequate sleep. Even if you get a little sleep, your subconscious mind still stays awake, trying to find the solution to the problem you are facing and cause you to talk.

Substance Abuse

If you are using drugs or even alcohol, it can be the answer to why you sleep during sleep. The use of illicit drugs can induce artificial effects on your mind and body. While some work as a sedative to help you sleep, others might act as a stimulant. Even though their effects wear out after a few hours, they can throw off your sleep schedule. Disturbed sleep can make you talk while you are sleeping.

Sleep Deprivation

Are you not getting enough sleep in the last few days? There are chances that you are talking in your sleep because of lacking sleep. If doctors are to be believed, the people who are not well-rested can have trouble transitioning between the stages of sleep. As you shift from one stage to another, you can experience an episode of outburst where you start talking. You can feel groggy even after waking up.

REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder

REM or Rapid Eye Movement is the last stage of sleep that accounts for 20% of the total time you sleep. It is at this stage that you start dreaming. Besides that, you also experience increased heart rate and high blood pressure.

REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder can make you act out dreams while sleeping. You can move and speak freely if you suffer from this disorder. It can happen within the first 90 minutes of your sleep. If you think you are acting out your dreams, it is wise to consult a sleep specialist.


The most common reason why do people talk in their sleep is fever. During fever, your body and mind both get exhausted, and even your immune system takes a hit. The lack of energy makes you more prone to speaking during sleep.


Mental disorders like anxiety and depression both have links to sleep disorders. They can not only hamper your mental peace but also inhibit you from getting sufficient rest, which leads to sleep talking.

Make Changes Happen

Almost all of us have faced the embarrassment of listening to the things we spoke during sleep. Changes in lifestyle, irregular sleep patterns, use of alcohol can all make you talk while you are asleep. You can try to live a healthy and active life to ensure your mouth stays shut at night. But, if sleep talking persists, we suggest you consult your physician for a more hands-on approach.

Sleep Talking FAQs

Is Sleep Talking Risky?

If you only talk during sleep once in a while, it isn’t risky. But if the frequency and intensity increase, it can hamper your sleep schedule and may lead to cardiovascular issues, diabetes, or obesity.

How Can I Cure Sleep Talking?

You can make a timetable for sleep and ensure you stick to it for limiting talking. Besides that, avoiding drinking and heavy meals close to bedtime can also help reduce sleep talking.

Is It Risky To Wake Up A Sleep Talker?

Waking up a sleep talker can lead to a possible injury to them or you as well. But, it will not cause any internal damage to them, so rest assured.

What medicines can make me talk in sleep?

Steroids, hormones, diet pills, antidepressants, and inhaled respiratory drugs can cause you to talk while you are asleep.

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