Why do people talk in their sleep?

+35 votes
asked Jun 4, 2015 in Science by Nihat (910 points)
My children, all four of them, have always talked in their sleep. Some even sleep-walk! I have always wondered why this happens. Is this genetic or is there some other reason?

2 Answers

+13 votes
answered Jun 13, 2015 by Hawa (910 points)

There are a few reasons that people talk in their sleep. It is still unsure whether this happens during normal dreams or only nightmares. This can happen at any time of the night and during any stage of sleeping.

If all your children do is sleep talk, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. It’s most likely a harmless happening. However, if there is more than simple talking (such as walking, screaming, shouting, or even acting out a dream) there may be a more serious underlying issue.

RBD (a sleep disorder that occurs during REM sleep) and sleep terrors could be a problem, and are usually the cause if the person is not only talking but shouting, screaming, acting out, and sleep walking. With sleep terrors, children especially, are prone to sleep walking.

There is also one more potential disorder to look for. When your child, or children, do sleep walk, do they attempt to eat? There is an eating disorder relating to sleep called NS-RED.

There are, of course, other possible simpler reasons as to why your children talk in their sleep. These can include:

  • Medications they are taking
  • Daily stress, especially emotional
  • Running a fever can cause anyone to talk in their sleep
  • Hopefully not, but a mental health disorder could be the cause
  • Substance abuse is another potential cause but as your children all do this (I’m assuming they are different ages), I doubt this is the cause.
+10 votes
answered Jun 7, 2015 by Logan (880 points)
Why do people talk in their sleep? It is probably stress. Even young kids process stress differently. Talk to your doctor about it. Are there things going on at home or at school that would be causing too much stress? If you are split from the other parent, could there be things going on there that are stressing your children? You could even try talking to them. Or maybe it’s just normal in your family lol? It’s possible.
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