man sleep talkingSleep talking is a sleep disorder in which someone talks during their sleep without being aware of it. It can range from mumbling to amusing nonsense, and even be surprisingly conversational.

Sleep experts don’t consider it to be a sleep disorder that can cause any serious harm. For most people, it doesn’t last long and stops naturally without the need for treatment.

However, it can be annoying and disruptive to a bed partner or roommate’s sleep, leading to insomnia. And in rare cases, it might be upsetting because something inappropriate is said.

In this article, I’ll take a closer look at what causes sleep talking. I’ll also suggest ways to control it if it’s causing difficulties for you, your partner or children.

What is sleep talking and who experiences it?

The medical name for sleep talking is somniloquy. It’s classified as a parasomnia sleep disorder, which are abnormal behaviors that happen during sleep.

Other examples of parasomnias are sleepwalking and nightmares. And sleep talking can occur alongside these other sleep disturbances.

Sleep talking is thought to be partly genetic, and it may be that men sleep talk more often than women.

There haven’t been many studies to investigate how common it is. But one large survey of parasomnias in adults was done in Norway in 2010.

1000 adults took part, with 66% saying they had sleep talked at some point during their life. And 17% said they were current snorers – with an episode in the previous 3 months.

The researchers say the results should be interpreted with caution. But nevertheless, it appears sleep talking isn’t as rare as was once thought.

sleep talking infographic

It’s also estimated that around 50% of children will sleep talk at some point. Most grow out of it in their early teenage years though.

So for young children, it only becomes an issue if it affects their sleep or is associated with regular nightmares or other symptoms.

However, for some people it can continue into adulthood. And in some cases, it can even start in adulthood, though this may be a sign of an underlying medical condition developing.

What people say when sleep talking

The content of sleep talking varies from one person to the next. For some, it’s little more than an incoherent mumbling; for others, it can be full sentences that might make perfect sense to anyone listening.

In 2017, researchers in France published a fascinating study of the content of sleep talking.

They enlisted 230 people who had sleep disorders known to involve sleep talking. The volunteers spent two nights in a sleep lab, where the team recorded their sleep talking.

They found that:

  • The most common word was ‘no’.
  • Negations were in 21% of the spoken instances.
  • 9.7% of spoken phrases involved profanities.
  • 59% of the content was nonverbal, such as mumbling, shouting, whispering or laughter.
  • When people made sentences, they were often correctly spoken.
  • Men sleep talked more than women, and also used more profanities.

Unsurprisingly, they concluded that sleep talking often involves an element of conflict!

What if I say something I shouldn’t?

In the comments below, some readers have shared how they said things that upset their partner. For example, talking about an ex-partner, or even insulting their current partner.

It’s important to understand that the content isn’t thought to be relevant to what the person consciously thinks or feels.

Still need convincing? What you say during sleep talking isn’t admissible in courts of law, even if it’s recorded and clear what was said.

It might be embarrassing, but it’s something to talk to your partner about calmly and openly, so it doesn’t become more of an issue than it needs to be.

Why do people sleep talk?

To help answer this question it’s helpful to have a quick look at the stages of sleep. During the night we go through several sleep cycles, each containing different phases of sleep with varying levels of brain and body activity.

A typical cycle might last 90 to 120 minutes and consist of a number of stages: light sleep; deep sleep; back to light sleep again; and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

As the night progresses, the quantity and order of each stage can change. For example, you’ll usually have more deep sleep in the first third of the night and more REM sleep later on.

And there are two main theories as to why people sleep talk, based mainly on which point it occurs during the cycle:

During transitions between sleep stages

When you change from one sleep stage to another, you sometimes have a short awakening. This can be a full or only partial wakening.

During this brief moment, the part of your brain responsible for speech can sometimes be more awake. But other parts of your brain might be entering a new stage, such as deep sleep.

During this changeover, you might do or say something, but have no awareness of it because the conscious part of your brain is, well, not really conscious.

The dream breakthrough

Sometimes sleep talking occurs during the REM stage, which is when you usually have dreams.

Some scientists suggest that the speech controlling part of your brain somehow switches on, and that you repeat what’s being said or occurring in your dream at the time.

In either case, the same basic principle applies: part of your brain is switched on while the rest is in sleep mode.

Factors which can increase sleep talking

Following on from those two theories, there are other factors which might influence the chance of you talking in your sleep:

  • Anxiety, depression and stress.
  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Fever.
  • Some mental health problems.
  • Certain medication, alcohol or recreational drugs.
  • If you sleep in an unfamiliar place, or if a child is moved while sleeping. In both of these circumstances, the brain might be more vigilant.

Could it be a different sleep disorder?

There are other sleep disorders which can be associated with sleep talking. They might occur at the same time, or be the cause of the sleep talking.

REM sleep behavior disorder

REM sleep behavior disorder is characterized by appearing to act out your dreams. This could be physically moving around in bed, talking, shouting or even harmful behavior.

It’s not always aggressive actions though. I was once woken up by a partner rubbing my stomach. When I asked what they were doing, they said “I’m stirring the soup!”


Usually experienced by children, nightmares can also be a source of vocal nonsense or shouting. It can understandably be very disturbing for parents or a partner.


Someone who has catathrenia, also known as nocturnal groaning, will usually emit a long and/or loud groaning sound. It can embarrassingly sound like a sexual noise.

Confusional arousals

Confusional arousals, also known as sleep drunkenness can occur in children and adults. The person might appear to wake up and do something in an uncoordinated way, or have a short, confusing conversation.

Ways to deal with sleep talking

There are no outright cures for sleep talking as such. However, if it’s a problem for you then there are some things you could try:

Get medical advice

If you’re showing symptoms of the different sleep disorders mentioned above, it can help to speak to your personal physician or doctor.

For example, if you’re screaming in your sleep, waking up in fear, thrashing or moving around violently, it could be a sign of a different sleep disorder.

And if you have any breathing problems whilst sleeping, it’s important to seek medical advice to rule out potential problems such as sleep apnea.

If it starts suddenly as an adult, you may want to talk to a doctor, especially if it persists for more than a few days. You can also find out if any medication you’re taking could be causing your nocturnal talking.

And in some cases, it might help to talk to a therapist, especially if you feel the content is upsetting or related to anxiety or stress.

Develop good sleep habits

It might help to practice good sleep hygiene, such as:

  • Limit caffeine and alcohol in your diet
  • Make sure you get enough sleep
  • Stick to a regular bedtime seven days a week
  • Try to tackle serious stress in your life
  • Do relaxation exercises at night

For children:

  • Make sure they get enough sleep
  • Give them a consistent bedtime routine.
  • Ensure they sleep in the same bed when possible
  • Don’t let them watch or do stressful, scary activities at night

Find a way to block out the noise

It may be that the person being disturbed needs to cope by blocking out the noise. Understandably, that might not be appropriate, especially if you need to listen out for small children.

But if you don’t have any responsibilities like that, it can be an immediate solution for the partner at least. You might like to try:

  • Earplugs
  • Listen to music with headphones
  • White noise
  • Sleeping in a different bedroom (if possible) when it’s particularly bad
  • See these other tips for reducing bedroom noise

Keep a sleep log

It can be useful to keep a sleep log of activities and what food and drink you had on the days when you sleep talked.

You’ll need your partner’s help to tell you when you’ve disturbed them by talking or shouting whilst asleep.

Or you could use one of the Apps aimed at recording sleep talking, such as Sleep Talk, which you can find on the iTunes or Android App store.

screenshot of the sleep talk app data

You activate it when you go to bed, with the option of a delay before it starts. It only records when there’s noise above a certain level, with three sensitivity settings.

The presentation of data is clear as shown here. You simply click on one of the bars and play to hear what was going on during the night.

It’s clear from some of the reviews of this and other Apps that many people use them merely for fun. But I think it can also have a serious use in helping you try to find out when you sleep talk and how much.

If you decide to consult your doctor about your problem, then a detailed log of when it occurs might be useful.

Share your story

Do you or someone you know sleep talk? What do they mumble or talk about? What do you find makes it more or less likely to happen?

Please feel free to share your story and thoughts in the comments below.

155 thoughts on “How To Stop Sleep Talking”

  1. Hello,
    So I want to post this because it’s very serious for me. I don’t want it on reddit -don’t want links to conspiracies, nor do I want religious input. I am not religious.
    So I have a lot of nightmares and I know it’s the root of the issue. But if any of you have frequent nightmares and night terrors, do you say creepy things?
    I apparently talk about people dying in my sleep from time to time. What bothers my bedmate is that I say it in a playful tone and laugh.
    I did go through a traumatic experience in high school Involving a family member almost dying.
    I am very curious if anyone has experienced similar? I don’t yell or anything in my sleep, just what was described. In addition to a pretty common babble.

  2. Hi
    I would talk daily while i slept as my brother and mother told that i would speak so many times – not continuously but regularly I will speak. so please help me to overcome this thing.

    1. Hi Pradeep
      Thanks for your comment. There’s not much I can do to help directly, sorry. The best advice I can give is to try the ideas in the article, and also read other websites for advice about snoring. And it might help to talk to your doctor to get their opinion.

  3. Ive been reading all the comments and it honestly makes me feel a little better I’m not the only one. My talking is usually about sex (so Im told) i mention names and I know that this is extremely hurtful to my fiance. I do drink a couple of glasses of wine at night so I think this might contribute, but have also had it happened when I don’t. It’s gotten to the point where my fiance is depressed, and I don’t blame him. I wish I could stop doing this. looks like even those that have taken sleep meds it doesn’t help. i miss having the man I love so hurt and sleeping on the couch :(

    1. Hi
      I do the same thing. Would love to exchange emails. It’s so stressful
      I’m currently in separate rooms tonight because of it

  4. I have been continuously sleep talking for the past few months. And what’s strange is that i say meaningful sentences and I don’t mean them. I take names of people i know , mostly men . Even acquaintances. And this has disturbed my partner a lot. He is having trust issues. And we were supposed to be getting married and not we are just fighting. I don’t remember saying anything. But this has broken my relationship.
    Whatever I say, i don’t mean that. It’s beyond my imagination to ever mean all of that. I am true to my partner but now it is all gone.

    1. This is happening to me too! I litrally could have written it. I apparently say things about an ex in a sexual way and say really hurtful things to my partner that I do not mean. I have no memory of it. It’s ruining my relationship!! :( I don’t know how to stop it.

    2. This same thing is happening to me too! It’s so horrible, I have sex dreams and last night was snuggling with my fiance and said I love you Wayne when his name is Mark. I do drink wine usually and I really think I have to give that up and see if that helps.

  5. I’ve been talking in my sleep since I was a baby in a crib, according to my mother.

    I’m 40 and a woman.
    It has been so bad through out my entire life that when I’m the military it limited my access levels. ( top secret etc)

    I’ve been using a sleep ap called pillow for over 2.5 months.

    I knew I talked in my sleep, but this is off the chart. Last night alone I had over 105 incidents of talking on my sleep app.

    I’ve been tracking my triggers, and it is stress, good and bad. Food doesn’t seem to make a difference in my sleep talking, but does prolong my sleep period.

    I have symptoms ranging from mumbling to full sentences demanding that the “zebra be repainted.”

    When i first come back from combat and the hospital ship in 2003, I was shouting for medical equipment, calling out that the helo (helicopter) had arrived with new casualties.

    It has taken cannabis to knock me out at night, but that doesn’t slow the talking.

    I’ve been single for five years because my PTSD and sleep talking was so bad my boyfriend started picking and teasing me about it. And even jokes about trying to get me to tell him secrets. Needless to say I left him.

    For me this has been a life long PROBLEM for over 40 yrs.

    1. Hi Doc
      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience. Sorry to hear you’ve battled this for so long, and that your ex wasn’t very understanding. There are plenty of people out there who are more understanding though (and who can sleep through anything!), so don’t let this stop you from moving on.
      Have you spoken to a doctor about it? Do you find that it gets worse with stress, or disrupted sleep patterns? Those are two of the usual suspects for sleep problems to consider.

  6. I often sleep talk and have night tremors or terrors or bad dreams……I too suffer from PTSD. I too suffer from anxiety and stress……am also on psych meds two anti psychotics……wondering if those could be causing my sleep talking. I often wake hear myself talking and can understand what I am saying……usually I feel uncomfortable because I talk about past stuff like exes or whatever…..I also talk about other stuff like the other night I woke myself up talking it was coherent but at the very end of it so I couldn’t make out much. But because I couldn’t make it out and my partner was talking in his sleep along with me….And I was afraid I said something that might have hurt him in some way or bothered him…….it didn’t wake him up fortunately……but I want to stop this before I have problems with my r.ship

    1. Hi Lynn
      Thanks for your commment. I would speak to your doctor about this to see what they think about the meds and the sleep disturbance. If you didn’t have these problems before you started taking the meds, then it’s possible. But it’s something to discuss with the prescribing doctor.

  7. I yell and swear in my sleep. Things I wouldn’t say when I am awake. I punch and kick because I am having violent dreams. I dont watch violent things. I am medicated for depression. I think it makes me tired during the day. You talk about telling my Dr, is there a medical cure or help?

    1. Hi Doug
      Thanks for your comment. Did you do these things before your started on your current meds? That would be something to discuss with your doctor. It’s also good to mention the acting out dreams, as that could be a sign of another sleep disorder.

  8. Hi I’m 26 years old and have always slept walkee and talked. I have fallen down stairs and tried to get out of Windows whilst sleep walking. In the past my husband says I have head butted him in my sleep, jumped out of bed, spoken pretty much a different language (I can’t speak a different language) more recently sleep talk every night…. shouting out, confused not knowing where I am. To be honest it’s tiring me out and my poor husband. My mum sleep talks and occasionally sleep walks and my sister also talks in her sleep. There must be something I can do?

    1. Hi Lisa
      Thanks for your comment. I think if your sleep disturbance is this bad, it’s important to talk to your doctor about it.

  9. My daughter talks in her sleep. She said the talking wakes her up. This can happen more than once a night. She also has anxiety, which may be from unrestful sleep. Does this maybe sound like a psychological problem causing sleep problems or sleep problems causing psychological problems or both? Is there anything she can do?

    1. Hi Sharon
      Thanks for your comment. That’s a very good question, and not one that’s immediately easy to answer. My opinion is that it could be a bit of both. Even if anxiety exacerbates the sleep disturbance, if that then leads to less sleep, it’s harder to keep the anxiety in check. But then again, they could be totally unrelated!
      My view is that if anyone has a problem with anxiety and also sleep problems, it’s well worth working on the anxiety in general. There are lots of self-help techniques to try – mindfulness is a personal favorite. But if it’s a serious problem, talking to a therapist might also be helpful.

  10. I’ve got a sister who is suffering from a sleep disorder, mainly sleep talking. I said suffering because she doesn’t feel comfortable after she told she talked while sleeping. So, she consulted professionals. However, she is still the same. Any idea please? Thanks.

    1. Hi Abe
      Thanks for your comment. What did the profesionals tell her? Did they offer advice or treatment? There’s not much more I can do to help, other than suggest she tries self-help techniques to improve her sleep, and perhaps stress/anxiety if that’s an issue too. It might also help her to read sleep forums, or the comments in this article to see she isn’t alone and that others also deal with the same problem and negative feeling about it.

  11. this started long ago, but I wouldn’t believe when my siblings told me about it. My sleeping partner says I tell stories of whatever happens at work when am asleep OR even shout at night. Am worried, what if I say something that I shouldn’t?

    1. Hi there
      That’s a very common worry among sleep talkers. My advice would be to remind yourself and your partner that sleep talking content isn’t a trustworthy reflection of reality. It can’t even be used as evidence in court!

  12. My husband is a chronic pain patient. He lately has been crying out in his sleep due to the pain. We live in a duplex and the neighbors came over a couple of nights ago and threatened to call the police because of how loud he was getting. I feel bad about that, but what can we do? He has an appointment coming up to try to deal with this. Ant advice i would be grateful for.

    1. Hi Shannon
      Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear about the difficult situation you’re facing. Perhaps a friendly conversation with the neighbors to explain the situation would help. There’s not much I can advise really, sorry. Hopefully, the pain management advice you get from the doctor will help. And I guess finding ways to make the bed as comfortable as possible, and make sure he feels as relaxed and calm as possible when going to bed could help a little.

  13. The past 4 nights I have had bad nightmares and I have no clue what could have triggered them. I used to sleepwalk when I was younger but nothing that bad I would just go down stairs then back up again. I’ve always had really vivid dreams of absurd things that I can’t really explain and it’s the same with my nightmares but that’s what is so scary about them. My brother said that I have been sleep talking the past few days also and one night I was just telling curse words but I don’t remember why. It’s funny but at the same time I don’t want this happening again because I can’t control what I say. When I read articles nothing on the list relates to me I don’t go to bed late I don’t drink and I don’t have anxiety or eat late at night. What is your advice?
    Thank you

    1. Hi EOS
      Thanks for your comment. Although those factors can play a role for some people, they aren’t always the direct cause. And sometimes sleep disruption like this just happens with no identifiable cause. Fortunately, it usually also stops on its own in time. But it can also be that there are stressful things happening in life that we don’t necessarily identify ourselves as stressful. For example, study, exams, sports events, moving house, friend or family problems to name a few.
      If it disturbs your sleep and worries you, mention it to your doctor. But it might be a case of accepting it, and waiting for it to pass.

  14. Anna-Marie Hunter

    So I’ve been sleeptalking for a long time now and i can’t stop, no matter how hard I try. I tried wearing masks and stuff but nothing helped…
    2 weeks ago, my friend had a sleepover party because it was her birthday.
    In the night, I just started snoring really loudly and said: “Elena did it with him” I have NO idea who Elena is and I find it really disturbing. Worse, a girl there filmed it and now everyone knows about it…
    I’m feeling really sad and I don’t know what to do…
    We have a class trip for 1 week in 2 weeks and want to stop sleeptalking!
    Please help me!


    1. Hi Anna-Marie
      Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear you had this upsetting experience. How mean of the girl to film you!
      Other than advising you to try the typical self-help ideas, such as those in the article and other sites, there’s no real magic cure for sleep talking. Only your doctor would be able to help you find a way to cope with it that doesn’t involve self-help. So it might be a good idea to talk to them.
      I think it’s important to remember that this kind of thing does happen, and it doesn’t mean anything. Many people say things that are irrelevant to normal life. I would say a good thing is not to be embarrassed or afraid of it, but try to ‘own’ the issue by speaking to your friends about it openly, and not letting it be a thing they think they can tease you about because they know it’s something that upsets you. Bullying isn’t much fun if you think the other person doesn’t really care about it, and they talk about it in a casual way long before it becomes a reason to make fun of you.

  15. I talk to “Susan” in my sleep and I don’t know anyone named Susan and my wife is getting very upset. Is there any way to get rid of Susan and my talking to her. Is this talking common with others?
    Thank you for your response

    1. Hi Rob
      Thanks for your comment. I can completely understand why this would be uncomfortable for you. I’m not sure there is a specific way to stop that name from cropping up. your best bet is to do what you can to stop sleep talking in general. And find some credible articles and medical websites with solid info. about why the content of sleep talking shouldn’t be taken too seriously, and present it to your wife to help her make peace with it.

  16. Hi,
    I talk in my sleep since I was a little kid. I am currently 16. I don’t realize what I say or what I do but I always disturb my sleep partners. They may be friends or sometimes family.
    I am uncomfortable and embarassed because my friends avoid sleeping over or find a way to tell me that they can’t rest properly around me.
    I don’t know what to do to stop it; people have insomnia because of me. Please help. It doesn’t go away.

    1. Hi Diana
      Thanks for your comment. I can understand why you’d find it embarrassing and annoying that you feel people can’t stay with you. But I think it’s important not to allow it to make you feel bad. Lots of people have sleep problems and do things that might disturb others. You’re very far from being the only one. Think of how many people snore – millions!
      Try not to let it be an issue you feel ashamed of. I know it’s frustrating to think people don’t want to sleep over because of it, but that’s no reason to feel bad about yourself.
      Now, it would obviously be helpful to find a way to stop it rather than me just saying don’t feel embarrassed! To be honest, there’s not much more I can advise other than the tips already in the article. DO read other websites too as there’s lots of good advice about sleep talking and sleep in general online. You could mention it to your doctor too, but you might find they similar advice anyway.
      Perhaps it might help to be light-hearted about it, be honest and upfront and don’t make people think it’s a hidden issue. Tell your close friends, yeah I sleep talk. Does it disturb you or not? Then invite the ones who sleep with no problem to sleep over!

  17. Hi there. I am a 19 year old female and I have had what you could call “night terrors” since I was a young kid. I countinue to moan, grunt, yell, snore, shout, and move around very frequently throughout the night. I have realized that without at least 10 hours of sleep I am just exhausted. I have downloaded the exact app that is listed in the article. I love it by the way! The first night it had recorded 129 times. The second 150. And then last night 165. The majority of it is me thrashing/moving in bed the rest is snoring, yelling, moaning, grunting. I often use profanity, my sisters name, unknown language, the word no-seriously-what-stop etc. I also wanted to mention that my talking is never something pleasant. I am always angry about something which is completely different from my actual personality. I am just very confused about this whole situation which has gone on throughout my entire life. I would just like to know if I should talk to a doctor about this at all.
    Also wanted to know about sleep studies. I would like someone to monitor my activity at some sort of doctors office. However, do you have to pay for it? Someone had told me that you get paid to do so. Either way I don’t really care as I think it would be cool for some further research to record my sleeeping “habits”.

    1. Also forgot to mention that I hardly ever remember my dreams and my life really isn’t that stressful. I sleep alone at night. My aunt is in her own room but often hears me.
      One of the recording I have of me saying “jump.” I hardly ever say anything sort of calm. And when I heard this one I was almost scared of my myself. I don’t know if I was telling someone to jump or telling myself to jump.
      I have no idea. I’m not depressed at all either.
      Just spooked me considering I’ve never said anything calm in my sleep and then the one time I do it just seems scary.

      1. Hi Sydney
        Thanks for your comment. I think it’s very common to sleep talk, and for it not to be an issue. But if it’s happening this much, and it’s worrying you, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about it. Access to a professional sleep study in a sleep lab depends on the country and region, and the healthcare system etc. You’d have to be very lucky to find a study being done exactly where you are that just happen to be looking for volunteers, but you never know. Your personal doctor is a good place to start as they can tell you how it works where you are, and if they think it would benefit you.

  18. I pretty much talk or walk in my sleep every night since I was 5. It is very tiring and I would love to get some insight on how to stop it. I have sleep apnea the bad thing is while I am sleeping I remove my mask pretty much every night not knowing that I do. I wake up in the morning tired as ever. I went thru a bad divorce and have tried stress relief therapy before bed but that does not always worked. I have talked to my doc and sleep doc. Nothing has changed. Any insight would be great!

    1. Hi Belle
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you’re having these problems. To be honest, there’s not much I could suggest that isn’t already in the article, or that your doctor or sleep doctor probably haven’t already. Did they have any ideas for ways to keep the mask in place better during the night?

  19. I have most recently started saying horrible things to my husband when exposed to external stimulus in my sleep. It has turned into an expected reaction that, when he snuggles me or tries to wake me up when I fall asleep on the couch, I will say something horrible to him and I won’t even remember it. I love him with all my heart for putting up with me, and I want this to stop for his sake. I do have PTSD from prior events and the night terrors may have slowed down and even stopped since he and I got so close, but now this has started and he doesn’t deserve to hear me say “f*** off and just die” when he pulls me close in the middle of the night… I need help stopping this before it destroys one of the last good things I’ve got going for me. We both work law enforcement, so stress and sleep dep are part of our lives, but this is too much…

    1. Hi Slip
      Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear you’ve both dealing with this stressful situation. I think it’s important to keep talking about it, and don’t allow it to become something you can’t communicate about, eventually causing serious problems as you’re worried about. Hopefully he will be understanding of you, and work with you to overcome it. Working in law enforcement, I’m sure if you develop the attitude to team up to both cope with and tackle it, you’ll be able to!
      Having said that, it might be a good idea to get some professional help. Dealing with PTSD is something best done with a therapist, and they might be able to help you find ways to calm yourself before going to bed (something you can also try to do yourself at night).
      It might also be worth considering avoiding the trigger for now if it’s causing such a problem. If he pulling you close in the night is affecting your sleep, and then him in return, perhaps agree to have intimate time before falling asleep, but then try to avoid sleeping so close in the night to allow you the space to sleep. My partner and I sleep in separate beds because I’m such a sensitive sleeper. I don’t do what you do, but I do wake up and end up sleeping badly. So it’s another option to consider.
      Finally, I’d say it’s important to find ways to tackle your stress levels, as this could be having an influence. Try doing some relaxation techniques before bed, or once in bed. And give yourself time to unwind, relax and calm your mind before getting into bed – even if it’s just a few minutes at the end of a long shift.

  20. Yashasvini Sharma

    Hello.. I prefer to sleep alone because I usually speak in night but I am kind of scared.. I do receive phone calls and answer them even I do what is said to me on call. I do things and never have any reason for them. Don’t know how to stop it.

  21. For the past year I have been talking in my sleep, very graphically about sex with my exes boyfriends. Over the year it has gotten more and more frequent. It hurts my husband and is destroying my marriage. I do not remember any dreams when he wakes me up. I have tried to correlate the talking to alcohol, or fights between us, or us having sex (or not having sex), but cannot see any clear correlation. My psychologist has prescribed several different sleep meds–none of which have helped. What type of doctor/counselor should I see to get help? HELP!

    1. Hi Kay
      Sorry to hear you’re experiencing this difficult situation. It’s difficult to say what might help you or not, and in some ways your choice of therapy might be limited to what’s available in your region. Perhaps you could ask your personal doctor for their opinion, and to let you know what’s actually available to you?

    2. Hi Kay,
      This is happening to me too :( You’re not alone. My current boyfriend & I are having relationship issues that stem from my sleep talking. He says I’ll be really graphic about having sex with my exes it’s so embarrassing. He tries to understand that I’m asleep & don’t remember any of it but they’re only human so of course it affects them. I was about to try to talk to my psychiatrist to get some meds but I guess they won’t help. Just know you’re not alone & if anything ends us helping please enlighten me because I feel so hopeless too. Sending hugs your way ?

      1. Hi,

        I’ve been having the same issues as you and Kay.

        I would just like to know if have gotten help or a method to stop this insanity.
        I can’t deal with it because it’s putting strain on my r.ship

  22. Our granddaughter began “sleep-talking” long before she had words… in her first year of life. Wordlessly, she would mimic all the inflections of conversation, laugh, yell, cry, etc. Her parents would often comment how tired they were because “Susie had a party in her crib again last night”! She’s now almost 4-years-old, and has fully-verbal conversational nights, quite often with awakening and distressed crying. A couple of my siblings and I were sleep-talkers, but not my children, at least not to the the extent of disturbing my sleep or theirs. Has anyone ever encountered a sleep-talking baby like this? She still seldom gets even 8 hours of undisturbed sleep.

  23. I have been sleep talking for at least a few years. Sometimes a person in bed tells me I was sleep talking and very coherently, or I wake myself doing it. Shouting out is often what I do. Although, sometimes I’m upset when I’m shouting, one night, after playing BINGO with family, I shouted out BINGO and was also sitting up kind of…lol. My niece was sleeping with me and we looked at each other and laughed! I remember dreaming that I was waiting for my number to be called and then when it was, that is when I shouted out loud, BINGO!!!

  24. My sleep talking or should I say sleep shouting is currently getting worse to the point I wake myself up sometimes my girlfriend is now concerned because I shouted I was going to die on a boat in the early hours of one morning and also had a full blown argument about digestive biscuits I wouldn’t of believed her if she didn’t get video evidence and also I have now started to sit up straight in my sleep I know this isn’t normal but it seems to be worse when I have vivid dreams I remember, anyone got any tips on how to calm this down as it is effecting my relationship

    1. Hi Jordan
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you’re having problems because of the sleep talking. I think following the tips in the article could help, and generally trying to keep your sleep in good order by practicing healthy sleep habits in general. If it continues to be a problem, perhaps mention it to your doctor.

  25. My wife is often telling me about how loud I am during sleep and how all the noises I make seem to be sex related. It seems to be a nightly occurrence. I am yeĺling out words and moans that drive her nuts. I have no memory of it. No memory of any dreams. When she tries to wake me from it we apparently have conversations I don’t remember having. Sometimes the sounds are so loud she can go downstairs and close the door and still hear me. She will often wake me up to talk about something, and I will have no memory of talking to her. This drives her nuts. Anything I can do to help with this?

  26. My sleep talking has been occurring since childhood as my mother talked in her sleep, I am now 48 years old and the last 6 years or so has progressed to night terrors as acting out whaling, kicking, screaming, shouting and talking loudly to name a few of the actions. I once jumped out of my bed hitting my side table and injuring myself. Just trying to find an answer on how to stop the night terrors, it’s embarrassing and I’m afraid to go to sleep when others are in the next room.

    1. Hi Tracy
      Thanks for your comment. I can understand your embarrassment, but I think it’s good to remember many people have sleep problems, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Have you spoken to your doctor about this to get their opinion? Perhaps they can look into it with you. And you might also find it helpful to look at the tips in this article about night terrors.

    2. Tracey I have exactly the same issues and have even had stitches in my lip because I hit myself on a sharp door frame after jumping in my sleep from bed.

      A couple of things may help;

      1. Check if alcohol consumption consumption is a factor

      2. Get the App called “Sleep Talk” and use it in your smart phone, at least it gives you an accurate list of all events during the night.

      3. There are chin straps which can be bought from Sleep disorder stores online (like Resmed) and whilst not particularly fashion items, may help reduce sleep talk

      4. If sleep disorder is a factor, CPAP machines and full face masks also seem to help

      5. Finally, and I know this sounds dreadful, but if you really have serious concerns you can purchase light weight straps used to secure luggage or light loads on vehicles, about 1” wide and several feet long which can be place under the mattress and around your upper / middle body and lightly secured in the buckle. I know it sounds terrible but for someone who suffers from this awful sleep disturbance it’s better to be woken by the gentle restraint of the strap than falling violently from bed. In the same way, there are bed side guards which simply slip under the mattress and provide a low rail or “fence” which also limits the potential for falling or leaping from bed.

      Others may laugh or mock, but if you suffer from the problem all the above ideas can contribute to lessening the yelling and shouting and talking and can prevent you from harming yourself.

    3. Hi again Tracy – sorry I omitted to mention a couple of things in my reply today …

      If the idea of using straps seems bizarre, you should know that on ocean going racing yachts the use of a safety strap to keep one in a bunk when the yacht is canted and pitching wildly at sea is a well known and used strategy. For enabling safe sleep.

      The second matter I forgot to mention was, of all things, deep relaxation via “self hypnosis” – I am the LAST person on earth to view mumbo jumbo stuff with anything except skepticism but if you can find a genuine professional engaged in this field it can work.

      I was referred to a practitioner who deals with corporate clients (like me) where stress may be a factor of daily life and a contributor to nightly sleep issues and he gave me a no nonsense means of listening to what he calls a “deep relaxation” audio on my iPhone.

      Best wishes, Peter

  27. I have recently been sleeping in the same room as my sister and she says most nights i do various things that i do not recall in the morning which can include just sitting up and staring at her, speaking to her, sitting up then lying back down but with my eyes fully open (she will walk up to me and close my eyes because this freaks her out), or even using objects properly e.g. computers, apps, clothes, once even doing a plait in my hair. (note i never stand up or walk around, only sit up in my bed.)

    An example of this is last night i picked up my computer which was next to me and put in the password. She asked me what i was doing and if i had been awake the whole time but i just kept responding with ‘i need to do the thing’. In the end i closed the laptop threw it on the floor and simply said ‘oops!’ then went back to sleep.

  28. Hi,

    I wonder if you can help me… I have extremely vivid dreams of war, which seem to be recurring. I talk in my sleep a lot and often act out scenes whilst sleep walking. I’ve frightened my partner numerous times in the past by acting out my dream whilst sleep walking/talking.

    I did serve, but nothing in my dreams even remotely relate to anything which happened during my time.

    She’s been very understanding about it, but I feel bad that I’m disturbing her sleep so often.

    I’ve tried keeping food and sleep diaries to see if there’s a pattern but so far it’s been unsuccessful.

    1. Hi Andy
      Thanks for your comment. I can appreciate why this would be stressful for both of you. It’s great that she’s understanding of it, but I can see why you’d want to do something about it of course. If you’re regularly acting out your dreams, I’d suggest having a read of my article about REM sleep behavior disorder. It may or may not apply to you, but it’s worth reading to see if it seems relevant to you. And I’d definitely recommend talking to your primary care doctor about it and/or a sleep specialist to see if you can get some professional advice.

  29. Sleep talk happens to me once or twice a week but i wakeup the person who sleeps beside me and tell something which not related to anything nor my dream so what can be done for this and now i feel very weird because of me someone else is getting troubled.

    1. Hi there
      Thanks for your comment. I know it can be stressful to know you’re disturbing someone else’s sleep. I think it’s important to talk to them about it, and let them know that you’re aware of it happening and understand how it affects them. But at the same time, it’s good to explain how it’s not your fault. Try the tips in the article to see if they help, but if not you could talk to your doctor about it for some advice too.

  30. Question, is it normal for the person to apparently sit up with their eyes open and have a full on conversation about something, go back to laying down, and wake up about a half hour later with no recollection of it?

    1. Hi Beck
      Thanks for your comment. This is the way some people sleep talk, and I know it can be quite disturbing to see. It’s not usually considered a medical problem, unless it happens very regularly and is disturbing their or other’s sleep significantly.

  31. anonymous person

    Hi! Recently one of my family members came into my room late at night and they saw me sit up, open my eyes, smile, and say, “She has nine of them!” and then I went back to normal. I was wondering if you knew what this was or how to stop it?

    1. Hi there
      It sounds like just a case of sleep talking to me. But sometimes people do wake briefly and say nonsensical things before going back to sleep quickly. It’s usually nothing to worry about.

  32. Stephanie Truter

    I also tend to become paralyzed in my dream and that is why I tend to call out for help I sometimes feel suffocated or helpless…

  33. Stephanie Truter

    I’ve always had this problem of making a certain noise when I am having a is very disturbing for the people I am currently living with and its loud enough to wake them up… When I scream for help in my nightmare apparently it comes out as a weird noise whilst I am asleep…I do not know what exactly the problem is and I only hope to fix it has occurred twice in the past two weeks and it tends to happen randomly I think. .. I’m not sure what to do about it..please help

    1. Hi Stephanie
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately there’s not a lot I can do to help here. I think following the advice in general aorund this website about dealing with stress and anxiety and maintaining healthy sleep habits is an important thing to do for anyone experiencing these kind of sleep problems. It’s also worth talking openly with your housemates, reassuring them that you’re ok, there’s nothing wrong with you and it’s just nightmares/sleep talking. They can also hopefully assure you that they are ok with it, even if it does disrupt their sleep. It’s good to be open about these things so you don’t add an extra worry on yourself by wondering how they are taking it. And if it’s an issue you feel you need professional help with, then talking to your doctor is the next step.

  34. Hi there, I have recently started shouting out women’s names in sleep – this is causing my fiancé to mistrust me, and believe there is something going on between me and these women, which there is not – what might have caused this?

    1. Hi Stevie
      Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear you’re having to deal with this tricky situation. It’s hard to say what might have caused it – do you usually sleep talk, or is that new too? It’s often things like stress, anxiety, life changes that influence our sleep, but it’s so complicated, it’s very difficult to pinpoint a real cause. I recommend showing your fiance an article or two which talks about how what we say during sleep walking doesn’t mean we’re actually doing those things in real life. That might help to calm the waters.

      1. Thanks Ethan, I will try that – I had thought of that after a lot of research into the topic.
        Yes, I do usually sleep talk, or at least sleep mumble, and have for many years, but saying names is rare, but not unheard of previously (but many years ago), and I have, by all accounts, said some strange things before.

        My stress levels can be quite high but do vary, and the episodes may well have coincided with periods of unusually high stress.

        Still, very unnerving.

        thanks for the advice

        1. Hi Stevie
          You’re welcome! I guess this is something you can use as a warning system that you’re under too much stress, and so could do with taking some action to reduce the stress. If you don’t already, I highly recommend looking into stress reduction techniques, of which there are many effective ones to try.

  35. My girlfriend says I’ve been talking in my sleep these past 5 months. But this morning she says that I was trying to fold her hoodie while I was sleep. What do you think is causing this??

    1. Hi Pamela
      Thanks for your comment. Sometimes people do things while sleeping, and it’s usually nothing to worry about. If it keeps happening though, it’s worth mentioning to your doctor.

  36. Tresa Wadsworth

    My sister drinks Vodka in the evenings. When she falls asleep she makes creepy loud moaning sounds. She often cries and says violent phrases like, “Don’t! What are you doing?” It is loud and disturbing behavior and I actually become afraid she will hurt me in the middle of the night. Then in the morning she can’t remember she has even done it.

    1. Hi Tresa
      Thanks for your comment. I can understand why this would disturb you. But in cases like this, I think trying to stop the sleep talking is possible going to be hard, as the real problem is the drinking. Have you spoken to her about the regular drinking, to see if she is willing to consider reducing it?

  37. Hi,
    I started sleep talking about 2 years ago. It has got worse and worse. I never remember anything but my poor husband does. He says I shout, contantly wake him up in fear or to have a go at him, I normally shake him awake and mostly I am coherent and am afraid of something and others times it’s incoherent. I have also been agressive to him in my sleep which appalls me as I am not an agressive person at all! I am going to try to see someone to help but don’t know who. Gp’s arent my favourite people as you know what it’s like trying to get an appointment let alone anything further and I only go to the drs about once every 2 years! Lol.

  38. My eldest son suffers from this. It has been found that if we give him half a cup of camomile tea just before bed, it reduces the amount of times he talks out while sleeping. Might need a full cup for an adult.
    I was always under the impression that there was a chemical your brain released while sleeping to keep you from walking/ talking (essentially acting out your dreams) at night while sleeping. Does this mean that this chemical isnt being released with people that have these problems?

    Hope this helps some people.

    1. Hi Claudia
      Thanks for your comment. Although sleep talking for some people is a part of a more serious sleep disorder known as rem sleep behavior disorder, in which the body isn’t as shut down as it should be, for most people it’s not serious or considered a medical problem. Stress and anxiety are also thought to be possible causes, so perhaps the relaxing tea is helping by the calming effect it has. It might be interesting to explore that further by doing other relaxing activities in the evening.

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