Somniloquy (sleep talking)

Somniloquy (Sleep Talking)

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OVERVIEW:
Somniloquy occurs when a person talks in their sleep. This sleep disorder isn’t always associated with a medical condition and most people who experience it will usually grunt or mumble their words.

In more severe cases, an individual may spend more than a minute having a conversation in their sleep. No matter what is said during this time though, the person sleep talking will not recall anything they have said.

The actual stage of sleep a person is in will determine how understandable their speech is.

For example, when a person is in Stage 1, they will be starting the sleep cycle which usually lasts 5 – 10 minutes. In this stage, a person will most likely have clearer speech. When Stage 2 is reached, the heart rate of a person slows and so does the coherency. By Stage 3, a person has entered light sleep and very few words will be understandable. When a deep sleep or Stage 4 is reached, the speech of a person will usually be basically just grunting.

The intensity of Somniloquy can vary from mild to severe and acute to chronic. Those considered to have a mild condition will generally experience an episode no more than once a week.

People with a severe condition will experience nightly occurrences and the sleep talking will most likely disrupt the sleep of others. If sleep talking lasts for at least a month, the condition is considered acute and if it lasts longer than a year it is considered to be chronic.

This condition is usually more prevalent in children than it is in adults and will usually appear when a person is sleep deprived.

SYMPTOMS:
You will find that Somniloquy can commonly be found in connection with the following sleep disorders:


CAUSES:
Although the most common belief is that Somniloquy is linked to dreams, there has been no direct link between dreaming and sleep talking.

This condition can happen at any stage of sleep and is usually considered to be harmless. A full health screening is often recommended to rule out sleep disorders and other health conditions.

Perhaps the most common causes of concern are those linked to rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) and night terrors.

Night terrors will usually cause a person to scream and talk frantically as they try to escape something frightening in their dreams. Those who suffer from RBD will typically act out their dreams and this includes shouting and the occasional act of violence.

In addition to these causes, Somniloquy can be linked to:

  • Fever
  • Medication Side Effects
  • Substance Abuse
  • Mental Health Problems

Somniloquy (sleep talking)TREATMENT:
Usually, there isn’t a treatment plan in place for those who are suffering from Somniloquy. Instead, any treatment that occurs will be done to focus on other sleep disorders.

These will usually be discovered through a polysomnogram that is performed while you sleep. However, there are things you can do on your own that may help to reduce the frequency of these episodes:

  • Avoid stress
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Take medications earlier in the day
  • Avoid caffeine within a few hours of going to sleep
  • Cease any alcohol use



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