Sleep talking is a common sleep disorder that affects males and females of all ages, though it is especially common in children. We spoke to Craig Schwimmer, M.D., MPH, medical director of The Snoring Center, for one approach to the medical problems you or your loved one may suffer from when trying to sleep.
If you think you might be sleep talking, use this as a reference point before getting personalized medical advice from your doctor or other accredited sleep expert. --Wendy Gould
Sleep talking refers to a condition where someone talks or makes sounds during sleep, explains Dr. Schwimmer. Oftentimes, the sleeper is unaware of the issue, and "talking" ranges from faint noises and gibberish to lengthy conversations. Sleep talking is fairly common, especially among children, and is not considered a serious medical problem.
Get Enough Sleep"Sleep talking seems to occur more commonly when patients are sleep deprived," notes Dr. Schwimmer. "Getting enough rest on a regular basis may help decrease the severity of sleep talking."
Manage StressAccording to Dr. Schwimmer, stress increases both the frequency and severity of sleep talking. As a result, you should keep stress levels low to combat sleep talking.
Avoid Nighttime Alcohol"Alcohol consumption close to bedtime can interrupt sleep patterns and worsen sleep talking. Limiting alcohol intake may be helpful," advises Dr. Schwimmer.
Consult A DoctorThough sleep talking isn't dangerous, it's possible that it may be the side effect of another sleep disorder. If you suspect this is the case, or if your sleep talking is severe and affects your partner, speak to a doctor about more in-depth treatment.
Skip Late-Night SnacksEating food shortly before bedtime -- especially large meals -- can disrupt your sleep. Don't eat less than four hours before sleeping and avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks.
Craig Schwimmer, M.D., MPH, is a board-certified ENT who specializes in treating sleep disorders. He serves as the medical director of The Snoring Center, is president of the American Snoring Association and is recognized as a top doctor in the field of sleep disorders. In the past, Dr. Schwimmer has appeared on popular television shows like "Dr. Phil" and "The Doctors."
Have you ever experienced sleep talking? What worked for you?