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How to Stop Sleep Talking

by BetterSleep
Aug 15 • 8 min read
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Do you ever find yourself talking in your sleep? Don’t worry; you’re not alone! Sleep talking is a pretty common occurrence.

While it’s nothing to be embarrassed about, it can be embarrassing and disruptive if it happens frequently. As sleep talking is formally known, somniloquy can range from simple muttering to long, complex conversations.

In most cases, sleep talking is harmless and doesn’t indicate any underlying medical or psychological condition. However, if you’re concerned about your sleep talking, we’ll share some tips that can put an end to it. Keep reading to find out more on how to stop sleep talking.

5 Tips to Stop Sleep Talking

Sleep talking can be harmless and funny, but it can also disrupt you and your partner’s sleep. If you’re looking to stop sleep talking, there are a few things you can do.

1.     Keep a sleep diary

First, keep a sleep diary to identify patterns in your sleep talking. After two weeks of tracking your sleeping patterns, look for commonalities between the nights you sleep and talk. Once you’ve identified these patterns, you can alter your daily habits to reflect them. For example, if you’re more likely to talk in your sleep after drinking alcohol, try reducing alcohol consumption before bed. If you have any medical conditions contributing to your sleep talking, such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, talk to your doctor about treatment options. With a bit of patience and effort, you can get your sleep talking under control.

2.     Ensure you’re getting enough sleep

A consistent sleep schedule is important for many reasons. Not only does it help improve the quality of your sleep, but it can also reduce the likelihood of sleep disorders like sleep talking. If you’re not getting enough sleep or waking up at odd hours, your body may not be able to regulate its natural sleep cycle properly. As a result, you may talk in your sleep more often than usual. If you’re looking to stop sleep talking, one of the best things you can do is establish a regular sleep schedule. Try gradually adjusting your bedtime and wake-up time until you find a routine or sleep patterns that work for you. And if you have trouble waking up in the morning, expose yourself to sunlight as soon as possible. With a little effort and perhaps with the help of a sleep specialist, you can get your sleep schedule back on track and reduce your risk of talking in your sleep.

3.     Avoid Unnecessary Stress

Stress is a natural response to pressure, but it becomes a problem when it’s constant or overwhelming. Chronic stress can affect your physical and mental health, affecting everything from your sleep to your immune system. While you can’t always avoid stressful situations, there are ways to manage stress healthily. Practices like deep breathing, journaling, and time management can help you minimize stress and get a better night’s sleep. So if you’re struggling with stress, don’t hesitate to reach out for help from a friend, family member, or therapist. Taking care of yourself should be a top priority.

4.     Practice good sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene is a set of habits that can improve sleep quality and quantity. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to sleep hygiene, certain habits are universally beneficial. These include:

·       Sleep in a calm environment- A cool, comfortable environment is conducive to deep, restful sleep. Consider investing in a cooling mattress pad or an air conditioner for your bedroom.

·       Avoid too late in the evening exercises -   Exercise is excellent for overall health, but it can make it harder to fall asleep if done too close to bedtime. If you want to exercise in the evening, do so at least a few hours before bed.

·       Try a dark bedroom - A dark room promotes sleep by keeping your body’s natural circadian rhythms in check.

·       Keep a calming nighttime routine:  A soothing routine before bed can signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. This routine might include reading, taking a bath, or stretching.

·       Clear your room of likely disturbances -Turning off electronics like TVs and phones is essential because the light they emit tells your brain to stay awake. If you can’t control the light and noise in your environment, try wearing earplugs or an eye mask.

· Don’t go to bed until you’re sleepy - It’s important to only go to bed when you’re feeling tired to get better sleep.

5.     Limit Caffeine & Alcohol

Caffeine is a stimulant typically consumed to stay awake and alert. Though it has benefits, too much caffeine can lead to difficulty sleeping and increased sleep. If you struggle to reduce your sleep talking, reducing caffeine consumption may help.

Aim to consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine daily - the daily recommended limit for adults. This way, you can enjoy your caffeinated beverages in the mornings without ruining your sleep at night. Also, limit alcohol consumption before bed.

Though alcohol can make you drowsy, it disrupts sleep later in the night. Frequent consumption of caffeine and alcohol together can send conflicting messages to the brain that can potentially trigger sleep-talking episodes.

Essentially, consuming both means revving the brain with the stimulant and trying to calm it with alcohol. So, if you want to stop sleep talking, it’s best to avoid alcohol before bed. If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still sleep talking, you may have underlying health or medical condition like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome.

If this is the case, seeking professional help can be vital to addressing your sleep issues. A sleep specialist might be able to help. Sometimes, a doctor may prescribe medication to help you sleep better. So, if self-help methods haven’t worked for you, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor.

Is There Medication for Sleep Talking?

Sleep talking can be a symptom of a more serious sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, sleep terrors, or night terrors. Stress, anxiety, fatigue, or medications can also bring on sleep talking.

Sleep talking usually happens during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, when dreaming occurs. Sleep talking can range from a few sentences to long speeches or utterances. You may even find people speak gibberish in quick episodes. In most cases, sleep talking is harmless and does not require treatment.

However, if sleep talking disrupts your or your partner’s sleep, it may be worth talking to your doctor about possible treatment options. There are no medications specifically for sleep talking, but if an underlying condition is causing your sleep talking, treating that condition may help to reduce or eliminate sleep talking.

Lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress and getting enough rest, may also help to reduce or eliminate sleep talking. If you’re concerned about your sleep talking or any other sleep disorder, talk to your doctor to rule out any underlying conditions and discuss possible treatment options.

How Common is Sleep Talking?

Studies have shown that only about 5% of adults are sleep talkers. However, sleep talking occurs at different stages in children as well.

In the case of children, up to 50% of them may sleep talk at some point during their childhood. Also, about 66% of adults, both men, and women, have reportedly talked in their sleep at least once.

While most people who talk in their sleep mumble or make incoherent noises, others may say complete sentences.

One common myth about sleep talking is that it only happens when you’re sleep-deprived. However, while sleep deprivation can certainly increase the likelihood of sleep talking, it’s not the only factor. Studies have shown that sleep talking is more common in stressed people or with certain medical or mental health conditions.

These conditions include dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), seizures, and sleep apnea. It can also be a side effect of certain medications. So, if you’ve been noticing yourself sleep talking more often, it’s important to mention it to your doctor. They may be able to help you identify any underlying causes and develop a treatment plan.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a sleep talker or just an occasional snorer, if your sleep habits are causing problems for you or your partner, it’s time to do something about it. Unfortunately, there’s no sleep medicine for preventing sleep talking. Thankfully, there are many things you can try that may help improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.

If you’re concerned about your sleep and think it might be linked to another disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to seek help from a doctor or specialist. If you’re one of the unlucky sleep talkers out there, the tips above will hopefully help end your nightly vocalizations.

But if all else fails, just remember that you’re in good company – famous people are known to suffer from occasional sleep talking. However, with a little effort, you can get the quality slumber you need and put an end to those disruptive nighttime noises.

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