After a long productive day, it is vital to relax. Some people believe the more they deny themselves any relaxing moment, the more productive they are. Unfortunately, overworking yourself is risky as the effects are far-reaching, both mentally and physically. For instance, draining yourself off the remaining energy can lead to health issues like depression, poor concentration, and lack of coordination. The best way to do so is to have uninterrupted sleep. Unfortunately, some people suffer from sleep disorders like sleep apneas, insomnia, sleep walking and talking. Some of these conditions are manageable and are not harmful. Sleep talking in adults is not as common as in children. The following guide will focus more on sleep talking, its medications, and primary causes.
What Is Sleep Talking or somniloquy?
The scientific name for sleep talking is a sleep abnormality, whereby an individual talks unawares while sleeping. Talking in sleep is common, and most of the times it means nothing. In a more significant parasomnia, some people that sleepwalk may also sleep-talk. The primary concern is that sleepwalkers who are more active tend to be the ones to have higher chances of injuries. For some unknown reasons, some individuals will snooze comfortably, peacefully and quietly while others will speak gibberish words, sentences or entire speeches, whisper or shout, during an ongoing investigation, one cannot be arrested because courts have ruled talking in your sleep is inadmissible as evidence as it is not of a product of a conscious mind.
The Science behind Sleep Talking
As you fall asleep your brain’s reticular activating system (RAS), hands control to the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO) to enable you to sleep better through the five sleep stages. During this time is when most twitching occurs. You may have noticed at one time, a person eye is twitching. This is very normal and harmless process. Once you are asleep, the brain goes through 4 stages commonly known as REM and non-REM. (dreaming happens). This condition affects the speech senses of the mind, which are fully active during this time.
Sleep scientists claim that sleep talking is related to sleepwalking. In a study done, found out that about half of all children and sleep talking occurs in 5%. Thus you may get sleep talking in toddler faster than you can get a sleep talking in adults. It is more common between both men than women are although sleep researchers do not know the reason for it. Sleep talking lasts typically for about 30 seconds or more as the sleep talker utters a few words or more, which in most cases are not sensible. Moreover, sometimes sleep talking can occur between two sleepers. They do not recollect any of the conversations when they get up. It might be funny or offensive. Your words can relate to past or present events or experiences, but often it does not make sense.
A study over 2000 school children published in the journal brain and development found only 10 percent of children will sleep talk every night, but 50 % will do so once a year. By the age of 13 years, most sleep abnormalities start to decline although not soliloquy. If you sleep talker after age 25, National Sleep Foundation suggests that you should seek professional help.
Causes of Sleep Talking
Numerous reasons lead to sleep talking. Psychologists and sleep researchers prove that stress is the main causer of this condition. Many books, articles and other publications have diverse details. Here are some of the most common causes of sleep talking.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
If you have PTSD, like for example after war, death or a fatal accident, it might lead to sleep talking. In this situation the brain works a lot when one is sleeping. It leads to fears, thrills and these are manifested in sleep talking. Doctors advice that is going for therapy and getting a medication can lessen this condition.
In most situations, if your parents were sleep talkers during childhood, it is likely they pass that gene to their children. In our family my dad was a sleep talker and sleep walker. This has been passed over to me. I am however awaiting to see if my children will be sleep walking.
Some sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, nightmares, plus more can add to the level of sleep talking. The brain is active when it is supposed to be asleep. To manage these disorders with these methods goes a long way in reducing or eliminating sleep talking.
If a person indulges in liquor frequently, the more likely they are to sleep talk. Alcohol is a sedative but always affects the way we sleep. Alcohol prevents the normal shift from one sleep phase to the next. This leaves the brain stuck in an abnormal routine leading to sleep talking.
Sleep Deprivation because we live in a fast-paced world, most people voluntarily avoid sleeping. They work up to 16 hours continuously and affects their sleeping patterns. Our bodies and brain are created to take a break from working. If you deprive these two, then sleep problems occur like sleep talking.
Some patients sleep talk because of a medication reaction. The medication majorly affecting the central nervous system work in different way in causing sleeping disorders and thus translating to sleep talking. Some prevent the normal shift in sleeping phases while others lead to other sleeping disorders like insomnia. Such medication include drugs used to treat depression or extreme pain just to mention a few.
Mental conditions like depression, anxiety and others interfere with sleep. These conditions affect the brain thus causing sleeping problems including sleep talking.
Myths about Sleep talking
There are different myths about sleep talking and most of which, are not true. You should consult a professional for a definite and correct diagnosis in case you are experiencing sleep talking instances.
You can sleep over the entire weekend
Most people believe that if you do not sleep much during the week whether because of parties or work otherwise, you can recover the sleep-debt with long weekend mornings. Sleep debt is too much exhaustion spread over too many days to the point a person requires more than a full day for recovery.
If you work 9 to 5, you are safe
No evidence proves that if you work from 9 to 5, then one whole night of missed sleep will not affect your productivity. The reality is even one hour of sleep lost at night can increase the risk of heart defects, obesity, diabetes, and depression especially if you sleep less than eight hours a night.
Die Younger If You Sleep More
Most who sleep more than eight hours a night usually die younger than those who do not. Studies have not shown any direct evidence for this, but long sleepers suffer from many ailments like depressions and sleep apnea, which cause death.
Snooze Button Is A Clear Indicator
Snooze buttons on alarms help you wake up slowly. Studies show that even needing a snooze button shows that you are not getting enough sleep. You should have the energy to wake up as soon as the first alarm goes off. Those in a regular sleep-wake cycle should not need the snooze button nearly as much.
Sleep Talking: how to Stop
There are simple and easy ways to decrease instances of sleep talking in adults and children. You do not need to buy pricey gadgets to get a talk-free and disruption-free sleep. The more you take care of yourself and having a consistent sleep pattern, the better to alleviate sleep-talking issues. It is better to use tips that psychologists and sleep researchers approve.
Invest in a fan white noise machine that is not only affordable but works excellently.
White noise machine helps in blotting out other noises and focusing on a preferred noise. This enables one to sleep comfortably with a person who talks while sleeping. This is quite essential if your partner is into sleep talking every night.
Use earplugs if your significant other causes too much interruption. The best ear plugs blot out most of the noise such that one can not hear the other person talking or snoring.
Healthy sleeping behaviors
You can achieve numerous benefits from practicing excellent and healthy sleep behaviors, as it leads to increased melatonin production that helps to regulate sleep cycles. An effective response is limiting caffeine. Avoid coffee and tea, which are stimulants that can keep you awake at night and possibly decrease the chances of sleep talking.
Avoiding screens before bedtime
When you feel sleepy, you should retire to bed immediately. The longer you force your mind and body to stay alert, the harder it will be to sleep peacefully. Many people nowadays, tend to carry their mobile phones and laptops in bed. This poor sleeping behavior keeps you awake more than your brain can process. Ensure you leave any gadgets away from your sleeping area.
Another significance behavior is having and following through a regular sleeping pattern. If you go to bed at 9 pm every night, ensure the schedule does not change. For those who have irregular sleep-wake patterns, they have a stressful, uncomfortable and tiring sleep. Most sleep researchers suggest that sleeping at the same time each day reduces the chances of sleep talking and helps you feel more energetic when you wake up.
Meditation is the act of freeing your mind from stressful thoughts to achieve a peaceful and relaxing mind and body effect. There is a variety of guided meditation online, and one can purchase a cd. Most victims can attest to the benefits achieved after a few sessions of meditation. The activity has soothing sounds, a calming voice and give out a disruption-free type of ambiance that helps you sleep better afterward.
Acupressure declares that due to stagnation of energy in our pericardium a person tends to sleep talk. To treat sleep talking at p5 point (little above the top joint of index finger) both hands paste a spasm, which will ultimately solve the problem.
Seek medical advice from a professional to help you have a comfortable sleep and a high probability of zero sleep talking episodes.
In summary, sleep talking is not a death sentence, and it is often considered harmless. If you are victim of sleep walking, there is nothing to worry because you can always adopt a few approaches as listed above to curb deal with your condition. It is advisable to seek professional medical help in case you discover the same problem after you are 25 years of age and above. Nevertheless, in most of the cases, the condition disappears as the growth development process continues. Also, invest in good sleeping gadgets like sleeping masks that offer total darkness, which is a functional element to achieve a peaceful sleep. Finally, make sure to have a stress-free lifestyle, as this is more beneficial to your general health.