Sleep Talking


When I was on holidays sharing a room with my sister, she would tell me that I was sleep talking and mumbling all sorts of things in my sleep.

I was mortified. What if I said something incredibly personal?

As it turns out I was far from alone in my nightly conversations for one.

Sleep talking or somniloquy as it is medically referred, affects 50% of young children and 5% of adults and apparently runs in families.

Aside from the embarrassment of letting something slip you really never wanted anyone else to know, talking in your sleep is harmless, requiring no medical intervention.

Somniloquy is characterized by any utterances made while asleep from single words or mumbles to full-blown sentences and conversations.

Sometimes it can be quite loud talking, usually incomprehensible and not making sense, and in more unusual cases can be vulgar and offensive for whoever is listening.
In these instances it is thought to be associated with more severe sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea, sleep walking, sleep terrors, and sleep related eating disorder.

Sleep talking can occur in NREM or REM sleep so at any point during the sleep cycles and it is still unknown whether there is a link between dreaming and talking during sleep.
Usually the talking happens once in a while but in some instances can happen every single night.

As is the case with possibly the most famous somniloquist Dion McGregor (1922–1994) who not only mumbled a few incoherent words but seemingly provided a narrative for his dreams every night.

He is well know due to the fact that his talking was recorded by his room mate for many years and then published as an audio recording and then later on as a book.

He not only talked but shouted, laughed, sang and every dream culminated with a blood curdling scream which would wake him up.

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