The wonderful Dave Erasmus recently invited me to collaborate with him in a YouTube video, exploring the purpose of sleeptalking and somniloquies, so here’s what we made.

On listening to Matt’s night ramblings at first, they seem to be ridiculous, meaningless, and hilarious, just a man lying in bed, unconsciously muttering to himself. If Matt was fully awake when expressing himself in this way, it would be termed a word salad, an attempt to communicate an idea that just emerges in a confused jumble of seemingly random words and phonemes.

With Matt being asleep, however, what he is saying is actually revealing something quite fascinating about what happens when we sleep and dream. One of the main functions of sleeping, and dreaming, in particular, is to integrate what we have experienced in waking life with what we hope to experience. To understand who we have been, so we can realise the person we yearn to become.

We do this in dreams by working through our waking life experiences and reconnecting them in new and unique ways. This is a very creative process taking an element of experience and working with it in different contexts and with different connections. You can hear this in how Matt iteratively forms and reforms words and phrases. With rhymes and rhythms like bith mother wuther moan mother both. Or deconstructing and reconstructing where Erasmus becomes assramoss.

The found poetry of Matt’s apparently nonsensical night ramblings is actually the automatic poetry of the dreams that we all create. An autopoesis, a self-poetry that reflects our instinctive and natural process of instinctively creating our selves. And this process doesn’t just stop when we wake. What we consciously speak might make more sense but unconsciously we are constantly creating and recreating aspects of ourselves as we explore ways to really be the person that we we have always dreamt of being.