The acquisition of healthy habits is of vital importance for both physical and mental health. Without realizing it, we let ourselves be wrapped up by the speed at which the environment walks, and we do not understand that this environment travels faster than us, causing pathologies, many of them unconsciously.

One of those cases is somniloquism, which occurs during sleep and manifests itself in that we talk while asleep.

In the following article, we give you an important explanation about what this symptom is and how you can treat it.

What is somniloquism?

Somniloquy is considered a sleep disorder that causes people who suffer from it to speak loudly while they are asleep.

This is a type of parasomnia that affects a small fraction of the adult population, but its incidence in the case of children is higher. It is not entirely worrying, since this alteration disappears in most cases after adolescence.

This disorder has been linked to dreams, although it has not yet been possible to discern whether this disorder is associated with any specific action of the brain during night’s rest.

However, these particular conversations while we sleep are common to occur in the early hours of the night, when the stage of sleep is deeper, and as the hours pass, this disorder disappears, as sleep becomes lighter.

This is a disorder that makes us talk when the wake-sleep stage begins, but it is not usually considered dangerous, it is not considered a disease, they are episodic and inopportune phenomena that occur during sleep.

This disorder is a consequence of endogenous alterations in the mechanisms of the wake-sleep cycle, which are often negatively enhanced by conditioning factors. It is located according to the article “Classification of sleep disorders”, as a disorder of the wakefulness-sleep-wake transition.

It is important to mention that most cases are not related to any mental disorder. It can also be acquired through genetics.

Causes of somniloquy

The mechanism of how this symptom arises is not entirely clear. However, the literature indicates several causes that have become a common denominator.

Mismatch in brain areas

Firstly, since the periods of sleep wakefulness are controlled by the brain , it could be due to a mismatch in the activation/inhibition of brain areas, which occur during the different phases of sleep, especially in phases 3 and 4 of Non-REM sleep and REM (when sleepiness usually appears).

sleep disturbances

Sleep disorders are problems related to sleep, including abnormal behaviors during sleep. In somniloquy, it seems, the brain areas that control orofacial muscle activity remain active and allow the subject to talk in his sleep.

Sleep disturbances such as parasomnias, generally caused by unhealthy habits, can give rise to somniloquy.

Mental problems

Mental problems such as anxiety disorders, depression disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, among others, can unbalance the individual’s mental health status, altering the sleep-wake cycle, giving rise to the appearance of parasomnias such as somniloquy.

stress and anxiety

Numerous daily and unforeseen situations that are presented to the individual, can escape their ability to resolve immediately. These situations without immediate control can cause stress in the first place, due to overwhelm or a sense of impotence to solve a problem.

If this situation is not resolved, the stress becomes a state of anxiety. These situations, both stress and anxiety, can cause REM sleep disorders, which can manifest in somniloquy.

Consumption of alcohol and psychoactive substances

It is already known that excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco cause cognitive deterioration in the individual, leading to sleep disorders, specifically in parasomnias such as somniloquy.


It is inferred that medications such as antidepressants unbalance the production of certain neurotransmittersinvolved in activating the sleep-wake state, and may cause sleep disorders such as somniloquy. Although the mechanism under which sleep talking occurs is not scientifically defined.

High fever

The main reason is that our body, faced with such temperatures, has to make an overexertion to be able to adapt to the heat, and due to these high temperatures in our body, the brain suffers from hyperarousal, making it harder to fall asleep, which makes it difficult for the sleep be restful.

Due to the physiological instability caused by fever, the brain does not efficiently balance the mechanisms to easily enter the sleep stage, and involuntary actions such as sleep talking may occur.

Inadequate diet

The body requires certain compounds provided by food such as calcium, magnesium , potassium or sodium (which allow nerve connections) and the B vitamins and others to produce serotonin and melatonin .

If there is an imbalance in some of them, it can generate parasomnias, including somniloquy.

insufficient rest

Remember that the recommended time for sleep is 6 to 9 continuous hours a day. By breaking this balance between the state of wakefulness and sleep, there will also be hormonal imbalances, which can lead to manifestations such as somniloquy in the Non-REM sleep stage.

In an article entitled “Sleep patterns and health” , it is concluded that people who sleep between 7 and 8 hours approximately are the ones with the greatest psychological and physical benefits.

effects of somniloquy

As a result of suffering from this symptom, the individual may suffer from a series of consequences, which must be treated individually or with the help of specialists. Here we mention some of them:

Social problems

If you suffer from somniloquy, the most difficult thing is to spend the night with other people in places other than your home.

Going to the beach, to a campsite, even to a night at the house of friends and relatives, the moment this state manifests itself, surely your social relationships will begin to compromise.

couple problems

First of all, somniloquy is not a disease for those who suffer from it, rather it is a state of discomfort for the person who accompanies you during the sleep period.

This situation, if not corrected, can lead to a separation of the couple during the night.

Fear and worry in the environment

Some of these demonstrations can be done with an episode of violence. Let us emphasize that the person who manifests somniloquy is not aware of what they are saying, and that somniloquy can also be accompanied by shouting and gesturing.

Therefore, in some circumstances it can cause feelings of fear or worry in the environment.


Somniloquy and sleepwalking are unconscious acts of the individual, that is, they are associated.

When a person sleepwalks, they are not only in the movement of moving from one place to another, but they can also make expressions as if they were dealing with another person or people.

Treatment for somniloquy

Despite being a benign symptom, the treatment for somniloquy is more related to the acquisition of healthy lifestyle habits than to those related to pharmacological therapies. Here we mention the most common:

sleep the necessary hours

As we have already mentioned before, it is necessary to dedicate the required hours to sleep for the rest to be truly restorative.

From 6 to 9 continuous hours a day, it is the recommendation of specialists. In thearticle published by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute , the necessary recommendations are made in this regard.

Go to bed and get up at the same time

Part of the habits for a healthy life is to establish times for the start of sleep and for the time to wake up. This will help to minimize parasomnia states, including somniloquy.

Adapt the environment for rest

It is essential as part of healthy sleep habits, organizing the space or room, having adequate hygiene and aromatization, including playing ambient music to relax and sleep is appropriate.

In an article from the Spanish Sleep Society , they talk about the importance of creating a space to sleep.

Practice relaxation techniques

The periodic practice of activities aimed at both mental and physical relaxation of the individual, mitigate the manifestations of parasomnias such as somniloquy. Yoga andmeditation are recommended to favor the sleep period.

Avoid stress

Controlling or avoiding situations that cause stress is indicated to maintain a healthy state of mind. Stress leads to anxiety, a state that leads to sleep disorders.

When you find yourself unable to resolve one or several situations, seek help, seek advice and think about the well-being of your dream, which will be the well-being of those around you. Sleep talk affects you less directly than your environment.

An article entitled “Sleep well, sleep improvement program” , talks about this aspect and how we can manage it.

Perform constant physical exercise

When you perform intense and regular physical activity, at least three times a week for at least 45 minutes, the so-called endorphins are released, a substance that increases the state of well-being and decreases the sensation of emotional pain.

Avoid consumption of stimulants

The use of stimulant substances in excess, including coffee, due to its caffeine content, alters the state of wakefulness-sleep controlled by the Central Nervous System .

Therefore, it is necessary to limit the consumption of these drinks, to ensure that the nervous system is in a state of balance, and avoid the manifestation of somniloquy during the sleep period.

Avoid heavy meals before bed

Not having healthy habits, especially with regard to eating for dinner, affects the sleep period, in some cases because it has been proven that heavy meals before bedtime severely alter blood pressure.

On the other hand, nocturnal meals cause adverse effects on the body, since eating develops a whole series of metabolic processes where hormones are released. So, if the individual who eats and lies down, the digestion mechanisms can have a negative impact on the sleep cycle.

Exposing yourself to sunlight safely

Exposure to sunlight is important to maintain a regular rhythm of the sleep-wake cycle, considered one of the foundations of good health, and which has a synchronization function in The Circadian System .

This system works like a manual clock, which must be set at all times.

See a specialist if necessary

When these states become very constant, especially in adulthood, the recommendation is to see a specialist in order, first, to treat the sleep disorder, and second, to investigate if there is no underlying pathology.

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