Sleep Talking

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and duration.

Severity Criteria

  • Mild: episodes occur less than weekly,
  • Moderate: episodes occur more than once per week but less than nightly and cause mild disturbance to a bed partner
  • Severe: episodes occur nightly and may cause pronounced interruption of a bed partner’s sleep.

Duration Criteria:

  • Acute: 1 month or less.
  • Subacute: More than 1 month but less than 1 year.
  • Chronic: 1 year or longer.

In addition to speech or utterances during sleep, other symptoms of sleep talking may include:

  • Sleep Terrors
  • Sleepwalking
  • Confusional Arousal s
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
  • Psychiatric Disorders
  • Nocturnal Seizures


In general, no treatment is necessary. However, if sleep talking is severe or persists over a long period of time, talk to your physician or health care provider about the problem. There may be an underlying medical explanation for your sleep talking (e.g. an undiagnosed sleep disorder, or debilitating anxiety or stress).


Certain measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood of a sleep talking episode. Following regular sleep schedule, getting adequate amounts of sleep, and practicing proper sleep hygiene can help reduce the frequency and severity of sleep talking. Also refrain from alcohol, heavy meals, and excessive amounts of stress to reduce sleep talking.

For bed partners and roommates, earplugs or white noise (such as a fan) may help.


International Classification of Sleep Disorders, Sleep Talking (307.47-3). Pg 157-9

Schenck, Carlos H. Sleep: the Mysteries, the Problems, and the Solutions . New York: Penguin Group, 2007. 230-240.

"Parasomnias." The Cleveland Clinic Health Information Center . 10 Feb. 2005. 1 Feb. 2008.

“Sleep Talking.” The American Academy of Sleep Medicine . 31 Aug. 2007. 03 July 2008.

"Somniloquy." Sleepdex. 1 Feb. 2008.