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Feb 4, 2008
This week's theme
Words related to sleep

This week's words

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with Anu Garg

Sleep has been called temporary death, but there's so much that goes on during that time of repose. While visiting that other world one might walk, talk, grind teeth, and sometimes dream.

Your brain is more active while you're asleep than when watching television. And that's even when you don't walk or talk in sleep. No wonder our language is rife with sleep-related idioms. You can sleep in, on, out, around, with, and over. You can lose sleep over things.

You can go without food for a while but you can't cheat on sleep. It demands its dues. According to a report, you would be 25% less alert on the loss of just an hour's worth of sleep.

This week's five words are all about sleep.


(som-NIL-uh-kwee) Pronunciation Sound Clip

noun: The act or habit of talking while asleep.

[From Latin somnus (sleep) + loqui (to speak).]

Read about a man whose nighttime soliloquies sold as LP albums: Dion McGregor

"Somniloquy can occur in all stages of sleep (both dream and nondream sleep), though individuals awakened while talking in their sleep will often recall dreaming. Sleep talking usually does not result in significant problems for individuals; however, it may be embarrassing if noted by family or friends."
Sleep Talking Usually Not Serious; The Cincinnati Post; May 4, 2004.

See more usage examples of somniloquy in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.


We all have handicaps. The difference is that some of us must reveal ours, while others must conceal theirs, to be treated with mercy. -Yahia Lababidi, writer (b. 1973)

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