We’ve all had sex dreams and if you say you haven’t, I do not believe you. Haven’t you woken up at least once wanting to do your partner? If you’re lucky, you get to do just that and if you are single, you go back to sleep a little disappointed and pretty much just as unsatisfied as you previously were. While wet dreams are an annoyance, there is something out there that is much much worse - Sexsomnia!
Sexsomnia, also called ‘sleep sex’, is a type of parasomnia that causes people to engage in sexual activity in their sleep. Just like sleepwalking and sleep talking, this happens in the non-REM stage of the sleep during episodes called ‘confusional arousals’. People with Sexsomnia may grope, masturbate or even have intercourse in their sleep. It is more common in men than in women and may even be genetic!
There is a difference between waking up in the middle of the night to have sex and unconsciously and uncontrollably doing it in your sleep. The main problem is that people suffering from this have no recollection of indulging in any sexual activity in the night! Thus, this problem is first red-flagged by the partners instead of the people suffering from it.
Like with everything else, there are people who misuse this problem for their benefit as well. Sometimes, Sexsomnia has been used as an excuse for sexual assault as well and there is no way of telling one apart from the other!
Absolutely yes! Just like with any other issue, people suffering from Sexsomnia do not speak up about it out of shame and embarrassment. Even though many people have isolated cases of Sexsomnia, recurring episodes must absolutely be reported to a specialist!
Depending on the underlying cause, Sexsomnia is absolutely treatable. The doctor will analyze the cause depending on what medicines you are taking, your stress levels and sleep cycles and advice the best course of action to help resolve the issue. If you live with a partner, they will be advised to sleep in a different room till the issue is sorted.
While having sex in your sleep might sound funny, it is a serious issue that requires immediate medical attention and must be treated like so!