Sleep talking: causes and how to transform according to the Buddha’s teachings

Sleep talking is a very common occurrence. Many people talk unconsciously in their sleep. Some dreams are so real that they even cry or act out their dreams.


Sleep talking might be a sign of a bad health condition. If the talking occurs often, it will affect the sleep quality of both sleep talkers and other people who share the same bedroom with them.

In this article, you will find the answers of Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh to your questions about talking in your sleep, from causes to treatments.

What causes sleep talking?

Sleep talking can be viewed from various perspectives. Scientists who study dreams have tried to find the cause of unconscious utterances during sleep.

Scientific explanation

Scientists explain that the brain region that controls speech of sleep talkers is not inhibited like that of normal people. Normally, people don’t speak in their sleep, because their brain areas involving processing speech during sleep are not active. But it is not the case of sleep talkers. That region of their brain still works and they think what they see in their dreams is real, therefore, they talk as if it is real life.

Explanation according to the law of cause and effect

Nothing in our life goes beyond the law of cause and effect. So does the act of speaking during sleep. If you talk in your sleep, it’s the effect of certain causes in the past. 

What’s in your dreams is your personal matter. No one other than you knows what you’ve dreamt about, because you think and dream in your head. If you dream about your lover, it’s also your very private thing.

When you unknowingly speak out even your most private things, what can you conclude from this? Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh said: “From the effect (of unconsciously speaking out our private things), we can trace back to the cause. The causes of sleep talking are breaking the promises to keep others’ secrets, or revealing others’ secrets, thus damaging their reputation.”

Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh in a regular Dharma Talk at Ba Vang Pagoda.
Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh in a regular Dharma Talk at Ba Vang Pagoda.

 

For example, a friend spills their secrets to you and asks you to keep them. But instead of keeping your friend’s secrets, you reveal them to other people, causing your friend to lose their face. That is the cause of unconsciously talking about your private things during sleep.

How can you stop sleep talking?

If you often talk in your sleep, you might have to see the doctor for a physical exam, because during a healthy sleep, people do not talk.

If you are struggling with sleep talking, consult a doctor for medical advice and treatment.
If you are struggling with sleep talking, consult a doctor for medical advice and treatment.

 

However, if you don’t have any health problems, your utterances while sleeping are matters of karma. You must repent of your old mistakes (in this life or previous lives), that is, in the past, you didn’t protect the secrets of others. And from now on, practice keeping your promises. Once you’ve promised to keep a secret, you must respect your own promises and never spill the secrets of others. That is exactly what a good friend should do.

Practicing the Dharma will help you transform your karma (Picture: Foreigners in a Repentance Session at Ba Vang Pagoda in early 2020 when COVID-19 hadn’t emerged in Vietnam).
Practicing the Dharma will help you transform your karma (Picture: Foreigners in a Repentance Session at Ba Vang Pagoda in early 2020 when COVID-19 hadn’t emerged in Vietnam).

 

So, repentance and practicing the Dharma will help you transform your karma. 

>>> The five main precepts in Buddhism that make your life better

We wish you to have a healthy sleep and be able to keep your private thoughts!

 

Read more: 

Four causes of nightmares and the best treatments

Keys to effective stress management

Anger management: Know it to control it

Five must-read lessons on health and longevity from the Buddha

How to meditate for beginners: 3 steps for finding peace of mind

 

3 Comments

  • Laura Bush
    Posted August 11, 2021 9:07 pm 0Likes

    Sleep talking is a hot topic. A broken sleep may ruin our day

  • Antonio Vella
    Posted August 11, 2021 9:32 pm 0Likes

    Can the power of practicing mindfulness stop sleep talking?

  • Huynh Khanh Vy
    Posted August 11, 2021 10:42 pm 0Likes

    I am so unhappy and have been having problems with my sleep for years. Thank you Thay for your advice and support. As always, I am grateful to read your answers

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