The following is a visitor-submitted question or story. For more, you can submit your own sleep story here, or browse the collection of experiences and questions other visitors have shared here.

Talking In My Sleep and Sleepwalking

by Marijane
(New York)

When I sleepwalk I do not remember a thing. However, I remember talking in my sleep, but not being able to make any sense. Shouldn't my experiences be equivalent?

The first time someone woke me up while sleepwalking was in 4th grade. My family took a vacation to Death Valley (leave it to my dad to think up this vacation) and it was over 100 degrees that night. Apparently, I got up in the middle of the night and went to the fridge, and just stood there. I came to with my mom pushing me. "What are you doing?" I looked around and felt very disoriented, but somehow it made sense that I was in front of the fridge. This was an odd sensation - simultaneously being able to make sense of the situation, but yet feeling unfamiliar. My mom questioned me further and decided that I had been sleepwalking. I was surprised, but on the whole, I was sleepy, tired and didn't really care. I went back to bed.

I have no idea how often I sleepwalk. It's only when someone brings up an interaction that I did, but don't remember, that I realize I was sleepwalking. One afternoon while in graduate school, my roommate came home from work and acted stand offish. I thought she had had a bad day at work and needed to be left alone. After a while I asked her what was wrong. She seemed surprised and said, "I thought you were mad at me. You didn't talk to me last night."

The thing was, I had come home exhausted from final exams and went right to sleep. So there was no way she could have seen me. Apparently, she had gotten up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water and I was just standing in the kitchen (not sure what my thing is with kitchens). She started talking with me casually, but I didn't answer. Instead, I turned my back to her and started acting like I was doing the dishes, when in fact there was nothing in the sink. She took this as an insult, like I was making it obvious that I was ignoring her, and went back to her room.

When I sleep talk, it is usually when I'm sleeping and someone is awake watching T.V., or doing something else in the room. I experienced this a lot because I grew up sharing a room with my sister. I usually remember what transpired, although I suppose if I don't remember a sleep talking incident there would be no way for me to know.

If someone is talking, I will respond, but without making sense. Sometimes I remember vaguely what I was trying to say, but it is like my brain is making my mouth speak real words, just all out of order.

For example, my boyfriend was watching a movie and I remember that I wanted him to turn off the light. But I said something like, "The girl...ship metal. Underneath!" When I really wanted to say, "Turn off the!" The inflection was the only thing that was correct. And it is not gibberish like other people have written here, but real words without grammar. It was like I was dreaming that he was watching a movie and I wanted him to turn off the light - except it was real. I remember feeling frustrated that he didn't understand. I tried multiple times to say, "Turn off the light" but to no avail. Finally, I gave up and tried to talk about something else, but again only said things that didn't make sense. My boyfriend said I went back to sleep after that. But from my perspective, I started actually dreaming a whole different storyline, which I assume is when I actually went back to sleep.

I'm not sure why I remember sleep talking but not sleep walking. A piece of the puzzle may be that I am sometimes a lucid dreamer. This means that at least once a week I have a vivid dream, and I am AWARE that it is a dream and this awareness allows me to have some control over it. This is different from usual dreams where I am a passive participant or observer - e.g. things happen to me and I do things that I cannot control.

This argument fails in its logic though. If I remember sleep talking because I am lucid dreaming, why do I never remember sleep walking?

Comments for Talking In My Sleep and Sleepwalking

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 19, 2015
Bob Mills Furniture NEW
by: Rusty H

Great information here. I have looked at the Bob Mills Sleep Spa in Oklahoma City and found a mattress that really helped my quality of sleep and I keep finding more information on the subject like yours that helps me sleep better.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Sleepwalking Stories.

Enjoy this page? Please help us pay it forward to others who would find it valuable by Liking, Sharing, Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or Voting below.

About This Site

Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?

A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

More Questions:

Ask | Answer

The Stanford Sleep Book

Stanford Sleep Book Picture

Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

Important Disclaimer

Please Note:

The information found on this page and throughout this site is intended for general information purposes only. While it may prove useful and empowering, it is NOT intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgments of healthcare practitioners.

For more info, see our
Terms of Use.