Somniloquy comes from the Latin somnus (sleep) and loqui (to speak) and is, as its name implies, the act of talking in one’s sleep. Vocalizations made while asleep can be loud or quiet, clear or confused, simple or complex. Sleep talking has several different causes, sometimes a difficult transition from one NREM sleep state to another might partially wake the sleeper, other times it can happen from a lack of sleep paralysis in REM sleep causing words “spoken” in dreams to be spoken aloud. Sleep talking can occur on its own, or along with any number of  sleep disorders including sleepwalking, sleep-eating or night terrors. Sleep talking is common in prepubescent children, but is usually outgrown by adulthood. Finally, anyone fluent in sign language (that is, the movements of the arms and hands are associated with language like the movements of the mouth and tongue are) may sign in their sleep.


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