Q. One of my friends talks and laughs while sleeping. Sometimes, he hits the bed with his hands and legs. What is the cause and treatment for this?
A. These are called parasomnias - sleep talking is a very common parasomnia occurring more commonly in kids. In addition, it is possible that he might have other parasomnias (e.g., REM behaviour disorder) as well if he moves his extremities a lot. Some of the parasomnias can lead to an injury to the individual or the bed partner depending on the severity. Please consider evaluation by a physician specialising in sleep disorders if there is any history of injury to him or his bed partner. Also, take adequate precautions, such as bed padding, making sure sharp objects / weapons are inaccessible to the individual during these episodes; make sure doors and windows are locked, etc.