Nicole Fornabaio/Rd.com, shutterstock
When we’re sleeping, our minds drift someplace far, far away—where you apparently need to set burrito traps, warn The Queen to stay away from spaghetti, and have koalas do your work for you. Yes, our minds come up with some hilariously bizarre things while we’re in dreamland, have you ever stopped to wonder how those thoughts escape into reality?
Sleep talking, which is formally called somniloquy, is exactly what its nickname suggests, unknowingly talking in your sleep. Many children who sleep talk eventually grow out of it; an estimated five percent of adults talk in their sleep, men more so than women. Episodes of somniloquy can range from brief mumbling and gibberish to full-on monologues. Some people even have entire conversations with the people around them while they’re snoozing. (This is especially common if the somniloquy is onset by someone trying to speak to the sleeping person.) According to sleep.org, talking in your sleep can occur at any stage of snoozing, but it’s most comprehensible during REM sleep. Most of the time, however, these spurts of somniloquy are pretty short-lived and not a product of a rational mind.
So what causes someone to sleep talk? Well, a few things. The National Sleep Foundation cites stress, depression, sleep deprivation, daytime drowsiness, alcohol, and a fever as potential culprits. It could also be hereditary or associated with another illness, particularly a sleep disorder like sleep apnea or nightmares. In rare cases, sleep talking in adults might be associated with psychological disorders or nocturnal seizures.
While somniloquy isn’t physically harmful, it might get a tad annoying for your partner or roommate. If that’s the case, the National Sleep Foundation suggests getting enough sleep, sticking to a regular sleep schedule, and avoiding alcohol and heavy meals before bed to cut down on your late night chatter. If it still doesn’t ease up, talk to your doctor about whether an underlying medical condition may be the cause.
That being said, overhearing someone sleep talk does have its humorous perks. Just check out these hilarious things people have said in their sleep.