Partner talks in his sleep? Here’s how to have a healthy snooze

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Parasomnia: It is a general term for disturbing behavior that wreaks havoc on your sleep. A third of American adults get less than the recommended amount of sleep, a nationwide struggle linked to chronic diseases ranging from depression to type 2 diabetes. However, some parasomnias don’t just affect the sleeper; they can influence others within earshot.

A common parasomnia that Americans suffer from is somniloquy, better known as talking in your sleep. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, it is a condition that affects up to 65% of the population at some point in their lives. And it can be significantly disruptive to bedmates.

“There are a number of things you, the bed partner, can do to save your sleep,” Dr. Carlos Schenck, professor and senior staff psychiatrist at the University of Minnesota Hennepin County Medical Center, told CNN. “But first make sure there are no hidden issues that could be causing the problem.”

The academy reported that sleep talking itself is harmless. But it can also be a symptom of another, more harmful sleep disorder.

“If your sleep-talking episodes increase in frequency, occur with age, or are accompanied by other symptoms such as limb movements or daytime sleepiness, you should talk to your medical provider,” the academy said. “In many cases, treatment is not necessary. If sleep talking is a symptom of another sleep disorder, your medical provider will treat the underlying condition.”

Jennifer Mundt, assistant professor of sleep medicine, psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, told CNN that the first line of defense against sleep loss from a bedmate is a white noise generator — a loud fan will do. .

“Earplugs or comfortable noise-canceling headphones can also help,” she said. Schenck added that it can be helpful to go to bed earlier than your sleep partner. Once you are asleep, it will be harder for them to keep you awake all night.

There’s no way to predict when someone will develop parasomnia, but a little detective work can help reveal a partner’s sleep cues.

“The person who sleeptalks has to be very attentive to the partner,” Schenck said. “If sleeping on your back makes it worse, buy a nightgown where you can put a tennis ball in the back of the shirt so you can’t sleep on your back.”

Common triggers include stress, alcohol, lack of sleep, disruption of sleep patterns or sleeping in a new environment.

2024 The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Quote: Partner talks in his sleep? Here’s How to Sleep Healthily (2024, May 11) Retrieved May 12, 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-05-partner-slumber.html

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