Sleep orgasm 101: Here’s why it is totally normal for you to climax while you’re asleep

Published on:5 December 2019, 19:16pm IST
Also known as wet dreams or nocturnal emissions, sleep orgasms in women happen and absolutely normal. Here’s what you need to know about them
Sonakshi Kohli
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Sleep orgasms are involuntary, triggered by subconscious desires while you sleep. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The good news is that finally the time to see men and women as equals has arrived. The better news, however, is that this equality happens to be applicable even when it comes to enjoying your own sexuality. Yes, you read that right.

Just like men brimming with testosterone in their bodies, women too can orgasm during their sleep. In fact, according to a research conducted by renowned American biologist Alfred Kinsey, nearly 40% of the women (he interviewed) experienced several sleep orgasms in a year.

That’s not it. A research published by Barbara L Wells in the 1986 Journal of Sex indicated that around 85% women experienced it before turning 21.

Now that you know they’re real, let’s understand what they exactly are
You might have heard other fancy names for sleep orgasms like wet dream, sex dream, or say, night visitor. Just so we’re clear– all of them mean the same, even though the medical term for it is nocturnal emission.

The Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health defines it as a “reflex emission of semen during sleep.” In our case, it is vaginal discharge.

sleep orgasm
Yes, sleep orgasms are characterised by vaginal discharge. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Basically, it’s an involuntary orgasm while you’re snoozing away to glory and quite literally so.

Why does it happen?
See, most probably, a nocturnal emission could be the result of an erotic dream. But you all know how dreams may be a reflection of what we subconsciously want. Hence, your unfulfilled sexual fantasies/desires could be to blame for it.

“Sleep orgasms can represent gratification of unacceptable disguised sexual wishes and can therefore occur after intercourse and orgasm experienced when awake,” a study published in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association established.

But how is it even possible to actually orgasm during sleep?
Not all sex dreams may result in an orgasm. However, the ones which do get to happy endings do so because of the blood flow in your body.

sleep orgasm
GIF courtesy: Giphy

A study conducted in 2008 explains this reaction as a result of a “decrease in relative blood volume and increases in relative pulse pressure within the vagina during REM periods.”

For the uninitiated, REM aka rapid eye movement is a sleep stage that occurs approximately 90 minutes after you’ve fallen asleep. This 10-minute phase of deepest sleep involves the movement of your eyes in all directions and this is right when the most powerful dreams occur.

During REM changes in blood flow and pressure makes the vagina quite sensitive.

If during this time, you’re having a dream that turns you on, get set to get wet. In fact, sometimes during sleep, your body could find a contact with the pillow or even the bed arousing.

Can you “make” yourself orgasm in your sleep?
Sadly, this phenomenon is an involuntary one, so matters aren’t exactly in your hands. However, you can increase the probability of it happening to you.

Research published in the American Psychological Association suggests that sleeping on your stomach can facilitate sleep orgasms.

It even states: “Sleeping in a prone position may promote dreaming of sexual, erotomaniac, and persecutory material, such as themes involving ‘having a sexual relationship with a big wheel or celebrity’, ‘being smothered, unable to breathe’, ‘being locked up’, and ‘being tied, unable to move’.”

Also read: Does the G-spot exist? Here’s what science has to say

Sleep orgasms are absolutely “normal”
What’s also funny is how the society’s bias against female sexuality can make you question the normalcy of a natural, involuntary orgasm! If you’ve experienced one, congratulations! You’re just as normal as a teenage boy or an adult man with high levels of testosterone in his body–or simply a woman who has never had a sleep orgasm.

Though the frequency of such wet dreams could decrease due to a decrease in our hormonal levels as we age, but there’s always room for a sleep orgasm in a woman’s life. So, orgasm or no orgasm in your sleep, you’re absolutely “normal”, okay?

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Sonakshi Kohli Sonakshi Kohli

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.