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Health & Lifestyle

Sleep Talking States: How To Manage Sleep Talking

In this article

There are few things more annoying than settling down for a good night’s sleep after a long day, only to be rudely awoken by your partner talking in their sleep.

However, despite it being annoying, it’s actually pretty common, with 66% of Americans experiencing episodes of sleep talking. And, with the term “sleep talking” searched for 1,267,840 times over the last 12 months across the USA according to keywordtool.io, it’s clear to see it’s still a common issue for many.

66%
of Americans experience sleep talking
Man snoring or sleep talking, waking his partner who is holding a pillow to her ears sat up in bed next to him.

What is sleep talking?

A type of parasomnia, sleep talking can happen during both REM and non-REM sleep. Often, the person who’s sleep talking doesn’t know they’re doing it, and they could speak in gibberish, or have what sounds like a perfectly normal conversation – so if you’re hearing it for the first time, you might not realise they’re asleep.

While sleep talking is more common in children, it can affect adults too; so, we decided to see which US states are affected by it the most; by analysing yearly search volumes, in relation to population numbers.

Read on to discover the states that are home to the most number of sleep talkers, alongside tips on how to deal with it – whether you’re the one doing the talking, or the partner sleeping next to them!

Infographic depicting the US states with the most sleep talkers based on internet search volume.

Massachusetts suffers from sleep talking the most

With a population of almost 7 million, Massachusetts tops the board as having the most sleep talkers, with a search volume score of 67.03 per 100,000 over the course of a year.

Nevada, Maryland, New York, Ohio, and Washington all fall not far behind, with search volumes per 100,000 of the population above 60.

Oregon, California, Hawaii, and Illinois make up the top 10, showing that sleep talking isn’t concentrated on one specific coast or region, but across the whole of the USA.

If we looked at it based on search volumes alone, then California sees more people Googling “sleep talking” than anywhere else, with yearly searches standing at a huge 22,800; with Texas coming in second place, at 15,600, and New York and Florida in joint third, at 12,000.

However, with their populations some of the largest, it means that when you look at it comparatively, they aren’t quite as high, with California’s 58.42 searches per 100,000 people putting them in eighth place.

In contrast, Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, and South Dakota all saw the least number of searches for sleep talking, at 240 over the course of the year. However, based on their population, whilst South and North Dakota came in as having the least sleep talkers, at a search volume score of 26.38 and 30.8 respectively per 100,000 people; it’s Idaho, Montana, and Alaska that make up the bottom five.

Man sleeping with a smart watching sleep tracker on his wrist.

How to deal with sleep talking

If you’re sharing a bed with someone who actively talks in their sleep, then it can be extremely frustrating if you’re left lying awake because of it!

Whether you’re the sleep talker, or the sleep deprived partner of one, there are things you can do to try and minimise the talking, and ensure you both get a good night’s sleep.

1. Record your sleeping patterns

Your sleep talking might be down to specific triggers or factors, so one potential way to find out the cause is by downloading a sleep tracking app.

If you find that you’re talking at specific times during the night, you might be able to understand the causes behind it, and take actions to eliminate those factors.

2. Use earplugs or a white noise machine

Earplugs can help drown out one-off episodes, but if it’s more frequent, then consider investing in a white noise machine or fan to help drown out the talking. By giving you a noise that’s more soothing to focus on, you could get a proper night’s sleep, no matter how much the person next to you is talking!

White noise helps with insomnia, but if you find it doesn’t work for you, then have a read of our guide to find what colour noise is best for you.

3. Stick to a routine

One of the best ways to reduce your chances of sleep talking is to feel relaxed and ready for bed. Create a bedtime routine that you can stick to – even on weekends – which includes relaxation methods, such as meditation, a ban on screen time in the bedroom, and a limitation of caffeine.

4. Switch out your bedding

Soft bedding, pillows, and mattresses can help to reduce not just noise, but movement disturbances as well, which can be caused by the sleep talker. While it won’t stop the act of sleep talking, softer bedding can help you, as a partner, get a night of uninterrupted sleep.

5. Check your medication

In some cases, sleep talking can be caused by prescription medication. If your partner or loved one has noticed you’ve only started talking in your sleep around the time you started taking a certain medication, then chat to your GP to see if it’s a potential side effect, and see whether or not they need to adjust the dosage.

Whether you’re a sleep talker - or the partner of a person who is one - hopefully these tips will help you to get a restful night’s sleep, every night. For more tips on getting some quality shut-eye, head on over to our blog where you can read guides such as how to stop snoring; or, browse our range of quality bedding, which includes memory foam mattresses, bed frames, and more.

Methodology

This dataset ranks all US states, based on how often they Google “sleep talking”. To do this, we gathered search volume data for every state, and the factors were then normalised, to provide each factor in a per 100,000 population basis. The locations were then ranked from highest to lowest, based on their normalised search volumes. 

The factors used are as follows:

  • Search Volume - The number of searches for the prompt 'Sleep Talking' between Feb 23 - Jan 24.

All data is correct as of 26/02/24. The ranking data shown is a compilation of multiple data sources and may not be representative of real life. All data is accurate with regard to the sources provided.

An image of the author, Martin Seeley, Senior Sleep Expert Martin Seeley, Senior Sleep Expert Bio & articles

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