Our textbook explained sleepwalking and what actually happens to sleepwalkers. I have always been told that I sleep talk so I decided to do a little research. My parents told me that when I was younger I had a consistent pattern of sleep talking. After about 20 minutes of sleep, I would begin to sleep talk, however; it was almost always slurred and difficult to understand. As it turns out, sleep talk, as well as sleepwalking, both occur during non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM). I also found out that some people sleep eat. Basically, sleep talking occurs when someones brain is half awake, and the other half is asleep. The half of the brain that is awake will begin to talk, although the person sleep talking will not remember it, which I can attest to. This phenomenon can occur due to a lack of enough sleep, an irregular sleep schedule, or eating a large meal before going to bed. It is also more likely for children to sleep talk that adults. I found this website helpful for information on sleep talking: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleeping-angels/200905/why-do-people-sleep-talk.
I found it very interesting that sleep talking occurs during non-rapid eye movement sleep because I always thought I would sleep talk in response to something going on in my dreams, however; it is not as common for people to be dreaming during NREM sleep as it is during REM sleep. The sleep talking occurs while we are in a light sleep and seen below are the brain waves of our different sleep stages. As can be seen, the REM brain waves are the most similar to those of which we are awake, which is why we dream during this stage. The sleep talking occurs during stage 2 of our sleep.
Image URL: http://www.alleydog.com/images/sleepwaves.gif