Have you ever woken up at night to go to the bathroom and noticed your husband mumbling softly next to you? Did you check to make sure that he was in fact still asleep and not talking to you? Or has your hubby mentioned that it's actually you who is prone to sleep talking? What does it all mean?
Sleep talking, or somniloquy, is exactly what it sounds like: talking while you're asleep. While it's considered abnormal, it's pretty common among kids. According to WebMD, almost half of all kids ages three to 10 sleep talk, and five percent of adults do as well.
Both men and women can sleep talk, and it's not uncommon for you to have an episode every once in awhile. If you're feeling stressed out or you're anxious about something (like an upcoming deadline at work), you might be more susceptible to talking in your sleep.
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If you're one of those individuals who regularly sleep talks, it might be a sign that you're bottling up your feelings. According to Nerina Ramlakham, the author of Fast Asleep Wide Awake, sleep talking is common "with people who might be compulsive pleasers who aren't saying what they need to say out loud. It’s also common with creative people who are needing to express, draw that picture, write that book, sing that song."
So should you be worried about your little habit? Unless you're saying nasty things to your husband while you sleep, your sleep talking isn't really a problem, says Ramlakham. But do note that sleep talking "can be associated with tightness in the jaw and even teeth grinding (bruxism)," so if you're also experiencing any of the latter, it might be time to review your options with a doctor.
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If you're really determined to stop sleep talking, Ramlakham recommends a discovering a constructive outlet. That could mean yoga, meditation, or even keeping a diary. If you've tried all that, and you find that sleep talking is still disrupting either your sleep or your partner's, it may be time to see a specialist.
With that said, sweet dreams!
Are aches from arthritis or overworked muscles stopping you from falling asleep? Try applying gentle pressure with your thumb to specific points on your hand, a technique called "self-shiatsu." Canadian scientists say it's so effective at soothing pain and making you drowsy that some study volunteers actually fell asleep while doing it!