How to Stop Sleep Talking: 5 Tips

July 22, 2020 | Casper Editorial Team

Have you ever been told you talk in your sleep? Or maybe you were woken up by someone talking in gibberish? Sleep talking, also known as somniloquy, is a sleep disorder where someone may talk in a different voice or language, talk in full sentences, or even speak gibberish while asleep. The sleep talker usually is unaware this is happening and rarely remembers it the next day.
One of the main causes of sleep talking is stress and not getting enough sleep. If you want to learn how to stop sleep talking, it’s critical to practice proper sleep hygiene on a regular basis. Below are some of the top ways to stop sleep talking.

1. Keep a Sleep Diary

A journal with a pencil and sleeping mask on top. Illustration.
In order to get to the bottom of what may be causing you to talk in your sleep, keep a sleep diary to track your sleeping patterns. Take note of the time you go to bed, the time you wake up, any medicines you’ve taken, whether or not you drank caffeine or alcohol that day, and when you exercised. Do this for about two weeks to identify any patterns.
Were you more likely to sleep talk on nights when you had a glass of wine? Or nights where you took a certain medicine? Keep note of these patterns and alter your habits during the day to reflect them.

2. Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep

A clock next to the sentence: "Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night".
Sleep deprivation is one of the most common reasons people talk in their sleep. If you sleep talk and aren’t getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night, you may want to start evaluating your sleep schedule. Are you staying up too late? Waking up too early?
One of the best ways to fix your sleep schedule is to start slowly. Adjust your schedule gradually in 15-minute increments until you reach your goal bedtime and wake up time. If you have trouble waking up in the morning, expose yourself to daylight right away. Sunlight can reset your circadian rhythm and tell your brain it’s time to wake up.

3. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

A bottle of liquor, glass of wine, cup of coffee, and bag of coffee beans. Illusatration
Not only is drinking alcohol and caffeine right before bed bad for your quality of sleep, but alcohol can also increase your chances of sleep talking. If you want to stop sleep talking, we recommend avoiding caffeine after 2:00 PM and avoiding alcohol altogether.
Caffeinated drinks act as a stimulant that can make it hard for you to fall asleep. Alcohol can cause you to wake up several times during the night and make it harder for you to fall back asleep. This can cause you to feel drowsy and sleep-deprived the next day, resulting in your chances of sleep talking the next night to be much higher.

4. Eat Light and Healthy

A dinner plate with fish and lemon. Illustration
Heavy meals full of refined carbs can raise your likelihood of developing insomnia. Refined carbs such as white bread, sodas, and cakes can cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar that may be responsible for triggering insomnia. Since sleep deprivation is a cause of chatting in your sleep, if you want to stop sleep talking, stick to light and healthy meals before bed. Opt for meals full of proteins, greens, and healthy fats. Fish, turkey, sweet potatoes, and lettuce are all nutrient-rich foods that can help you sleep.
Eating food right before bed can also have a negative effect on your sleep quality and can throw off your sleep patterns. Try to eat your last meal at least three hours before your usual bedtime.

5. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

A man lounges in pajamas and listens to music. Illustration.
One of the main ways to stop sleep talking is to minimize stress. A great way to do this is by creating a bedtime routine that will allow you to destress after a long day. An hour or so before bed, begin to wind down. Limit your use of technology, listen to a relaxing playlist, and put on some cozy loungewear. If you have thoughts that are clouding your mind, jot down your worries in a journal, or even practice yoga. These activities are great ways to relieve stress, tension, and improve sleep quality.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Talking?

It can be hard to tell whether or not you’ve been sleep talking, since sleep talkers rarely remember doing it. However, if someone has told you that you’ve been talking or yelling in your sleep on a regular basis, you probably are a sleep talker.
The main symptoms of sleep talking are noises, speech, and utterances in your sleep. Some other symptoms of sleep talking include sleepwalking, sleep terrors, or REM sleep behavior disorder.
Three calendars next to each other. Illustration.
The severity of sleep talking can be defined as the below:

  • Mild: Sleep talking occurs once a month (or less).
  • Moderate: Sleep talking occurs once a week.
  • Severe: Sleep talking occurs every night.

If you experience sleep talking every night for more than a year, you most likely have a chronic case.

What Causes Sleep Talking?

Sleep talking can be caused by depression, sleep deprivation, stress, fever, alcohol, and drugs. It is often a symptom of other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, nightmares, and REM sleep behavior disorder. It can also be associated with both physical and mental illness. However, this is more common for people over the age of 25.
Two people sleeping in sperate beds. One woman is sleep talking in full sentences, a man is sleep talking in gibberish. Illustration
Sleep talking occurs in both adults and children and is relatively harmless. It can happen in any sleep stage. In sleep stages one and two, the sleep talker will be very easy to understand and may even talk in full sentences. In deep sleep (stages three and four), their speech becomes a lot more difficult to comprehend.

What Does Talking in Your Sleep Mean?

There are several rumors around sleep talking and what it means. Are people telling the truth? Do they reveal secrets? Sleep talking can involve anything from whispering and mumbling to screaming or speaking in full sentences. However, talking in your sleep is not considered a product of consciousness. The words that are spoken don’t have real meaning.
Sleep talking is a normal, harmless condition that occurs in both children and adults. There is no known treatment, however practicing proper sleep habits, mitigating stress, and practicing the tips above should help relieve some of the symptoms.

Is There a Treatment for Sleep Talking?

There is no specific treatment for talking in your sleep. It’s pretty common and harmless, and it’s not considered a medical problem. Most of the time, sleep talking can resolve itself with proper sleep habits. This includes anything from the tips above, to changing the thermostat to make sure it’s at the ideal temperature for sleep. However, if your sleep talking persists, consider seeing a doctor. There may be underlying factors at play such as more serious sleep or anxiety disorders.
If your sleep talking has become so severe that you’re interfering with your partner’s sleep, consider sleeping in different beds, using a white noise machine to drown out noise, or having your partner wear earplugs.
Getting enough sleep is so important in preventing sleep talking and achieving the quality of sleep you need starts with your sleep environment. Make sure you’re sleeping on a mattress that offers the correct amount of support and cooling properties needed to rest peacefully.