This is a disorder that is not often recognized that involves sexual behavior while sleeping. Specifically, this type of problem happens not during REM sleep. Most problems or behaviors while sleeping are the opposite and occur during REM sleep which sets sexsomnia apart from the norm. Usually, people with sexsomnia don’t even remember the actions they made while sleeping which can be scary or stressful.
There have been lots of problems that stem from sexsomnia including legal struggles, clinical, or personal consequences.
What Are Parasomnias
Sexsomnia is considered a parasomnia. Parasomnias are actually sleeping disorders that are defined by having strange or abnormal actions during sleep. They can include sleep paralysis or REM sleep behavior disorder. These strange reactions can have absolutely no basis in the persons day to day life or could be triggered by stress, purpose, goals, or even have importance to the person performing them.
This type of behavior can actually happen at any stage in the sleep cycle, though many happen during REM sleep. Sexsomnia does not. It happens during REM usually because people dream of the actions they are performing and then do them in reality as well.
When that happens, the person can vaguely remember what may have happened or at least have an idea of it. When it doesn’t occur during REM sleep though it can be impossible to remember what happens and the person goes back to sleep afterward. Some similar issues involve sleepwalking or sleep driving.
Signs And Symptoms Of Sexsomnia
There are different signs and symptoms for many people. Here are a few common signs of sexsomnia.
– Dirty talk
– Sexual fondling
– Sexual intercourse
This can be alone or with someone else and can turn violent or overly aggressive, and the person doing it doesn’t even remember because they fall asleep afterward.
There can be a lot of wicked problems associated with sexsomnia, including bruising or another injury to either the person with sexsomnia or the person they are partnered with. It can be scary for everyone involved especially because of the amnesia afterward.
Consequences often occur because of sexsomnia like breaking up or distancing themselves from each other during sleep for their safety.
Cause Of Sexsomnia
Like many disorders of this type, a clear purpose cannot always be found. When it comes to sexsomnia it is shameful and rare, so fewer people report or talk about it which means less research is done about it. It can happen randomly without any underlying causes.
Often sleep deprivation stages can contribute to levels of sexsomnia, meaning if a person has been sleeping deprived overall, it can occur. It is essential to see a sleep specialist if you believe you have sexsomnia to try and help your sleep patterns. Obstructive sleep apnea treatment is one way that might be able to help keep you from your nightly actions depending on how severe they may be.