Sleep talking. It happens to the best of us. Whether you’re stressed out just having an emotional dream, the chances are that you’ll find yourself mumbling in your sleep (or someone else will).
But have you ever wondered what you’re saying when it comes to your snoozy jibberish? It all makes sense mid-dream but what about IRL?
A new study looked at the most common words that sleep talkers use, and the results are quite surprising. According to Live Science, when we talk in our sleep the words we use are often negative and directed at someone who’s winding us up in the Land of Nod.
The study, led by Dr Isabelle Arnulf, analysed the sleepy chat of 232 adults. Of those, 15 didn’t have sleep disorders; however, 129 had REM sleep behaviour disorder, 87 were sleep walkers or experienced night terrors, and one had sleep apnoea.
Researchers collected data for two nights, recording what the participants said while asleep. Altogether, they noted that the subjects spoke in their sleep 883 times, with 3,349 coherent words – the most common of which was ‘no’.
Around 24% of the sleep talk was negative, with 22% including ‘nasty’ or ‘vulgar’ language, and 10% of the chat included swearing.
Why are we so rude in our sleep?
Dr Arnulf told MNT: ‘What we now know is that sleep talking is very similar to talking awake, in terms of correct grammar, with subordinate sentences, and silence for other[s] to answer, as in awake turn of speech.
‘The differences are qualitative: nocturnal language is negative, tense, more vulgar, and addressed to somebody, not to oneself. It suggests that the brain uses the same networks as awake, and that sleep talking translates the concomitant dreaming activity, which is tense, too.’
So the next time you wake up arguing with, well, yourself, just remember it’s all a dream.