If you've ever been woken up by your significant other talking in their sleep, you know how funny it can be listening to, and sometimes even participating in, their nonsensical conversations. But what makes them talk in their sleep to begin with and is it something you should be worried about?
The short answer is no. Talking in your sleep is a type of parasomnia, a kind of sleep disorder that is characterized by abnormal movements and behavior, and doesn't signal an underlying medical problem. Sleep talking is quite common - in fact, 50 percent of children ages 3 to 10 talk in their sleep, while around 5 percent of adults keep talking after they drift off to dreamland. Some people talk in their sleep every night, while others only converse once in a while.
If you've ever witnessed someone talking in their sleep, it may look like they're having a conversation with multiple people, so you might think they're acting out a dream. However, because sleep talking can occur during any sleep stage, scientists aren't sure if the activity is connected to dreaming. A number of issues can cause sleep talking, including stress, a fever, certain medications, substance abuse and some mental health disorders.
In general, talking in your sleep is harmless and usually doesn't require treatment. However, if you or your loved one is experiencing excessive sleep talking, it could be the result of a more serious sleep disorder or medical condition. If this is the case, meet with your doctor to discuss treatment options.
While there's no known way to prevent sleep talking, experts suggest that keeping your stress level under control and getting plenty of sleep can help reduce talking episodes.