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Sleep Talking, A Delirious Phenomenon Commonly Experienced by Children

Sleep Talking, A Delirious Phenomenon Commonly Experienced by Children – Sleep Talking, A Delirious Phenomenon Commonly Experienced by Children. Sleep talking or talking while sleeping (delirious) is also known as somniloquy. This condition is a relatively common phenomenon experienced by children.

Delirious is usually not dangerous. However, if it occurs frequently and even interferes with sleep quality, then you need to watch out for it. In such cases, delirium may indicate sleep disturbances.

1. Sign

Sleep talking can involve using several words to have a conversation. This usually occurs during the transition from wakefulness to sleep (hypnagogic) or from sleep to wakefulness (hypnopompic). However, delirium can also occur during the deep sleep phase.

Some signs of sleep talking include:

  • Sleep delirium patterns can range from short words to complete sentences.
  • In some cases, a person may scream or swear.
  • It can occur sporadically or frequently.
  • Episodes of delirium last less than 30 seconds to several minutes.

Most people who talk in their sleep don’t remember what they say during a delirious episode.

2. Classification

Sleep talking can be classified into several categories. Categories refer to severity, duration, and frequency.

  • Mild: Less than once a week.
  • Moderate: More than once a week.
  • Severe: May occur every night while sleeping.

Duration categories are divided into:

  • Acute: Up to one month.
  • Sub-acute: Less than 1 year, but at least 1 month.
  • Chronic: Occurs for almost a year.

The frequency and duration of delirious episodes can vary from person to person. Some people may have delirium once a week, but experience similar episodes for years. Meanwhile, some people may be delirious every night but in episodes that only last a month.

3. Cause

The exact cause of why someone is delirious is not yet known. This condition may be related to various factors that influence each other. The factors in question include:

  • Family history: A 2008 study in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design revealed that sleep cues can run in families. If a parent or close relative develops sleep talking, it is highly likely that other close family members experience it.
  • Effects of stressful conditions: Stressful life events can trigger delirious sleep. This is because stress can also cause disturbed sleep.
  • Sleep deprivation: Sleep deprivation can trigger delirium because it can lead to fragmented sleep, which makes it more likely you’ll enter a lighter sleep stage where talking is more likely to occur.
  • Sleep disorders: Delirium has been linked to sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.
  • Mental health problems: Delirium has been linked to several conditions related to mental health problems, such as schizophrenia and depression. A 2019 study in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry explains that these mental health problems are strongly correlated with disruptive sleep effects.
  • Taking certain medications: Some medications, such as sedatives and antihistamines, can trigger sleep talking. This is because the drugs can induce sleepiness, which is more likely to cause people to enter a lighter stage of sleep.

4. Type

Reported by Verywell Mind, sleep talking is divided into three types, namely:

  • Simple somniloquy: The most common type of sleep talking. It usually involves short, meaningless utterances such as groans, grunts, or short words.
  • Complex somniloquy: A less common type of sleep talking. It involves longer, coherent utterances. A 2017 study in the journal Sleep explains that people with complex somniloquy may appear to be conversing or babbling.
  • Logorrhea: Logorrhea is a very rare type of sleep talking because it involves an abnormal flow of speech. The sufferer may speak quickly and incoherently for several minutes. This type can be a symptom of a mental health problem such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

5. Handling

Harmless cases of delirium do not require medical treatment. However, if this condition is felt to have disrupted sleep quality, there are several things to help overcome it. Some of the options include:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Manage stress well.
  • Do not consume alcohol.
  • Sleep in separate rooms.
  • Wearing a mouth guard while sleeping.
  • If the delirium is related to a medical condition, the individual may initiate therapy sessions with a doctor and/or take certain prescribed medications.
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious food and exercising regularly.

Sleep talking is generally not a serious problem. The classification ranges from mild to severe. If you or someone close to you shows a pattern of intense delirium, it’s best to make an appointment with a doctor. Because, it could be a sign of certain medical conditions. The doctor will help make a diagnosis and determine the best treatment.

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