Causes and Treatment Options for Sleep Talking in Children

Posted by admin in Conscious States Hypnotherapy, Sleep Talk August 24, 2011 | 0 Comments

Perhaps you have witnessed the phenomenon of sleep talking whereby a person can shout, scream, rant, grunt, and act out their dreams, often violently during their sleep. The experience would have left you wondering if it was for real or if the person was dreaming, and possibly left you feeling afraid of being hurt because of the angry outbursts. This is called sleep talking or in medical terms somniloquy.

Sleep talking is common among children, although, some adults have not outgrown it and so presents the same symptoms of ranting or long speeches during sleep. This phenomenon cannot be accurately explained although some researches state that sleep talking usually occurs at some point during half-asleep stages of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) when the body does not move, but the mind can easily be awakened. It can also occur during rapid-eye movement (REM) when a person has motor functions and, therefore, speaks aloud during sleep.

There are four common conditions associated with sleep talking and they include Rapid Eye Movement Behaviour Disorder (RBD), sleep walking, sleep-related eating disorder or night terrors.

What exactly causes sleep talking is unknown, but studies show that 50% of cases are reported to occur among children. Research also shows that factors affecting sleep talking in adults include the presence of fever, emotional stress, mental disorder, certain medications, use of alcohol and caffeinated drinks, eating and sleeping habits, and too much physical activity. Among children, however, the most common causes of sleep talking are fever, too much physical activity and emotional stress.

Although the causes are various and are unique to each individual there is a method that can work with the subconscious mind when sleep talking occurs, it is called hypnotherapy. Children are usually imaginative and any graphic images, events or sounds they encounter can stay in the subconscious mind and resurface during sleep. If children, therefore, encounter traumatic or frightening experiences they usually dream about it, which makes them sleep talk.

Another effect of terrifying experiences in children is that if they are not immediately given an explanation of the experience, it may define their belief and reality pattern. Hypnotherapy works effectively through maladaptive behaviour patterns brought about by traumatic events through the process of autosuggestion. A hypnotherapist conducts hypnosis to allow these children to process the negative thoughts by allowing them to resurface. Then the hypnotherapist works by suggesting positive thoughts that will replace the negative ones.

Hypnotherapy, therefore, allows elimination of accumulated negative thoughts and emotions that can cause sleep taking among children. It also positively reinforces a child’s self-esteem that can enhance confidence, social skills, emotional intelligence and other coping and behaviour patterns through the process of hypnosis.

Sleep talking in itself does not cause any direct harm for adults but it can cause sleep pattern disturbances that can result in insomnia or a compromised immune system. In children, however, it may pose serious behavioural and psychological conditions that if not worked with appropriately may cause lifelong disabilities.


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