Follow

What you need to know about sexsomnia, a bizarre disorder that urges people to have sex while asleep

Published on:20 July 2020, 17:28pm IST
Have you heard about wet dreams? That’s what sexsomnia or sleep sex is all about. But in severe cases, it can have some extreme consequences.
Nikita Bhardwaj
  • 75 Likes
Sleep sex is a real thing. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Listen to this article

Have you ever seen someone sleepwalking or heard someone talking in their sleep? Of course, you must have and then been spooked about it. But what if you saw someone having sex or masturbating in their sleep? Don’t get creeped out, because this can legit happen and it’s known as sexsomnia or sleep sex. 

What exactly is sexsomnia?
Just like insomnia, this one is also a sleeping disorder but of a sexual nature. This happens when your brain is partially up and partially asleep or in a state of parasomnia. 

According to the Brain Research Review, this is an abnormal sexual behavior during sleep. Nocturnal erection, vaginal lubrication, nocturnal emission, and dream orgasms are seen among the people who are dealing with it.

Sexsomnia was first identified in 1996 by three researchers Dr. Colin Shapiro, Dr. Nik Trajanovic, and Dr. Paul Fedoroff.

What are the common symptoms of sexsomnia?
As weird as it may sound, there are certain common symptoms that are seen in cases of sleep sex, like:

1. Foreplay with the partner
2. Pelvic thrusting
3. Mimicking sexual intercourse
4. Masturbation
5. Sexual intercourse
6. Orgasm

“The intensity of sleep sex varies, with some sexsomnia patients merely moaning, groaning, and shaking, while others engaging in sexual activities that are either masturbatory or even with the other person on the same bed as them,” explains Dr. Rajan Bhonsle, Hon. Professor & Head of the Department of Sexual Medicine at K.E.M.Hospital and Seth G.S.Medical College, Mumbai.

He says:

In extreme cases, the person dealing with this disorder can get violent while performing the sexual act.

What is weirder is that, just like with sleepwalking and talking, the person doesn’t realize or remember that they did anything of a sexual nature.

But what causes sexsomnia?
Dr. Bhonsle says that stress is one of the biggest causes of this disorder. Apart from stress, there are other factors that can cause sexsomnia as well:

i) Sleep deprivation or sleep apnea
ii) Consumption of excessive alcohol
iii) Recreational drugs

effects of insufficient sleep on emotions
Yes, insufficient sleep can give you sexsomnia. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Does it have health implications?
“Maybe, maybe not. Some scientists say that there is a genetic component that can also lead to this problem,” he says.

In minor cases, there are no major health implications per se but shame and embarrassment are faced for sure due to the act.

But in severe cases, Dr. Bhonsle says there are some complications that can arise such as restless leg syndrome, sleep-related epilepsy, injuries in case the act is violent, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or migraine.

According to clinical psychologist, Bhavna Barmi, sexsomnia can lead to mental health implications as well.  

She says:

Sexsomnia can lead to depression, lack of concentration, stigma, and can also hamper the orgasm of the person.

Can sexsomnia be cured?
Thankfully, there are therapies and other medical treatments for this disorder, according to Dr. Bhonsle.  

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine says that treatment can take around 6 months’ time for a proper recovery.

Dr. Bhonsle explains that “It is not a very common problem and we see only 8 to 10 cases in a year for sexsomnia. However, due to an increase in stress levels and anxiety, the problem might grow. Therefore, taking care of your mental well-being is required.” 

“Seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist may also reduce feelings of embarrassment and shame associated with sexsomnia. People with sexsomnia may also significantly reduce emotional and psychosocial symptoms by undergoing group counseling sessions with the person negatively impacted by symptoms,” concludes Dr Barmi. 

0 Comments

Please Post Your Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.