I was a sleep-crier as a child which, thankfully, I grew out of. Instead, the crying developed into a kind of nocturnal language where I’d occasionally wake myself from a deep sleep with poorly strung-together sentences of jibberish.
Yes: I’m a sleep talker. And it can be hilariously funny and frustrating at the same time (hilarious for anyone around me, that is. And frustrating for me).
Sleep talking, or somniloquy as it’s known, is actually a very common trait to have. It can be genetic and tends to occur more in males and children. It’s known that sleep deprivation, alcohol and drugs, stress, anxiety and depression can all lead to episodes. Or, like me, after-hour baffling can also be totally random and not linked to anything specific.
“Hanny banny hanny pranny”
How do you know if you sleep talk? There are a few ways: either your partner will be able to tell you, or, like this guy Adam Rosenberg, you could set up a camera to record your sleep pattern. Rosenberg recorded his sleep musings for an entire year and created a video of the funniest things he’s said while snoozing, and they’re wonderfully random and witty. “Hanny banny hanny pranny” and “that’s where all my farts go” are personal favourites.
What do our nightly ramblings mean?
Sleep talking tends to freak people out because we don’t usually remember doing it the next day, and there’s this underlying unnerving fear that we’ve accidentally revealed something in our sleep that we shouldn’t have.
In response to this fear, sleep specialist Michael Breus, Ph.D., said to The Huffington Post that there’s “no data to suggest that [sleep talking] is either predictive in nature or kind of gives you a window into their subconscious or anything like that”.
Apart from not revealing our secrets, the only thing that sleep experts are sure of is that sleep-talking is a good sign of sleep deprivation. The antidote? More sleep.“With my patients, I increase their overall sleep and decrease things that are disrupting their sleep—so decrease caffeine, decrease alcohol, decrease stress before bed,”
The antidote? More sleep.
“With my patients”, says Doctor Breus, “I increase their overall sleep and decrease things that are disrupting their sleep—so decrease caffeine, decrease alcohol, decrease stress before bed”.
So in case you needed an excuse to stay in bed tomorrow morning, there it is: blame it on the sleep-talking.