These are the most common words that people say in their sleep

These are the most common words that people say in their sleep

Sleep talking can often be a pretty embarrassing experience to endure due to the fact that you have absolutely no control over what it is that you are muttering at that moment in time. Not only can sleep talking be embarrassing for you, it can also be pretty bad for the person who is sleeping in the bed next to you at the specific time, especially if you happen to be mumbling about them.

However, while you may think that sleep talking is completely harmless and that you're more than likely to be talking complete nonsense, it turns out that if you're a regular sleep talker, you're probably saying offensive and nasty things about a particular person.

Live Science reports that, according to a new study carried out by Dr Isabelle Arnulf, it has been revealed that the words spoken during sleep talk tend to be negative, vulgar and directed at a specific person. The team in charge of the research analysed 232 adults, of which 129 had REM sleep behaviour disorder, 87 had experienced sleepwalking or some form of night terrors, one had sleep apnoea, and the other 15 participants had no sleep-related disorders.

The research was carried out over the course of two nights' sleep and the researchers recorded what the participants uttered while they were asleep. Across the two nights, the researchers recorded 883 incidences of sleep talk and 3,349 understandable words. After looking at the results, they concluded that the most common word said during sleep talk is "no".

According to the study, 24 percent of the sleep talk was found to contain negative content, 22 percent included nasty language and almost 10 percent of sleep talk including the use of swear words.

Woman Wearing Eye Mask Sleeping In Bed Credit: Getty

In terms of why we use negative language while we're asleep, researchers believe that this happens due to the fact that sleep talk occurs while we're in REM sleep, a stage of sleep where we are likely to have intense and emotional dreams. The dreams may contain threatening or emotional situations, which may go some way to explaining the use of negative language.

However, weirdly, the grammar seems to remain fairly solid throughout sleep talk.

"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," Dr Arnulf told MNT.

"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."

If you are single and are a regular sleep talker, it may be best to warn your dates about your offensive habits before they spend the night at yours. Otherwise, you might have trouble convincing them that you're not a negative, rude and inconsiderate a**hole.