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Hilarious Sleep Talking - Is It Harmful to Converse?

by Camp Girl!

I have a friend who says hilarious things while sleep talking. We found this out at camp when she sleep talked every night! She sang songs and our favorite sleep quote was, "They call it concentrated orange juice, but I concentrate and I NEVER GET THE JUICE!" So, that gives you an example, and she talked for hours.

We then found that we could talk back and she would answer. It was the craziest thing. She couldn't remember who we were; just random things about herself, and if you asked for her town she would give you her street. If we said something like "Knock, knock, knock, can we come inside?" she would respond like she was at her house, and we could talk about that, but then we could immediately make her jump to a school scene. It was the craziest thing! For instance, we even told her she was a hobo and we stole her box, and she said, "NOOOOOO NOT MY BOX!" She was not pretending and this occurred several nights. She couldn't remember anything in the morning.

Is it harmful to converse with a sleep talker like this? Could this deep of sleep talking just be caused by not enough sleep at the camp?

Kevin's Thoughts

Hey Camp Girl! First of all, let me just say: HAHAHAHA! Your description is hilarious in itself, but I can imagine how suffocatingly funny that must have been in person at camp!

To answer your questions, sleep talking is almost always not an issue to be concerned about, including conversation with a sleep talker. Here's a quote from Dr. Dement's Stanford Sleep Book that hits straight home to the point:
Dr. Dement

Dr. D's Sleep Book Says...

"Sleep talking is usually spontaneous but can sometimes be elicited, resulting in a dialogue with others. The occurrence of two sleepers having a dialogue none of which is recalled by either on awakening has also been reported."
I can just imagine to sleep talkers holding a conversation with each other! Oh, the comedy that would ensue.

The take away point though is that sleep talking is almost always not harmful really in any way. It only becomes a problem really if it is frequent enough or loud enough to disturb the sleep of others.

I'm not sure if sleep deprivation (i.e. "not enough sleep at camp") helps elicit episodes of sleep talking. I imagine it could very well play a factor, but I haven't ran into any evidence yet to confirm or deny that point.

Thanks a bunch for sharing this fun story! Hope this information proves useful :-)


P.S. Your descriptions remind me of a hilarious website Alex Carney, the head Teaching Assistant in Sleep and Dreams in 2010 & 2011, showed me last year. It's called Sleep Talkin' Man. Check it out!

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