Too much sleep can be a bad thing, but too little sleep can wreak havoc on your life, causing you to become more prone to being involved in an accident and even increase your risk of certain serious diseases. When it comes to sleep, there is one particular condition that seems to affect quite a lot of people – and this condition is sleepwalking.
Yes, we have all at least heard of sleepwalking and some reading this article would also have experienced it before. The Sleep Foundation reports that up to 15% of the global population experiences sleepwalking at least at some point in their lives.
In this article, we want to look at something that is similar to sleepwalking in some ways, yet very different at the very same time. It is a condition that affects a relatively small number of people, and it may seem very strange. The condition we are referring to is officially referred to as sexsomnia in the modern day, a condition where a person participates in sexual activities while they are asleep.
What Is Sexsomnia?
Let’s start our article by discussing what sexsomnia is. Similar to sleepwalking, sexsomnia, sometimes also called sleep sex, is a condition where a person initiates in certain sexual activities when they are asleep without being actively aware of what they are doing. The type of sexual activities that a person participates in during these episodes defer from one affected person to another one.
In some cases, a person may only start to exert some moaning sounds while they are asleep – sounds that are similar to the sounds made by people during sex. This is a mild form of sexsomnia and does not necessarily involve further activities being performed.
In more severe cases of this condition, a person may actually initiate in sexual activities while they are asleep, and not only start to make sounds similar to those made by people during sex. Some people would start to masturbate themselves while they are asleep – this is a form of this particular sleep disorder.
The person may also make certain sexual sounds while they are masturbating themselves. In some cases, the person may continue to masturbate until they reach orgasm or stop halfway through.
There are more serious cases of this “sleepwalking sex” condition where the affected person initiates sex with another person while they are sleeping. This can become quite problematic as there have been cases where a person suffering from this condition was taken to court for sexual assault after “raping” someone without knowing that they were actually doing it.
What makes sexsomnia quite a frightful condition is the fact that the person affected usually does not know what is going on at all. After they have gone through an episode of this disorder, the person would return to sleep.
When they awake the next morning, they would not be aware of what happened at all.While this may lead to small mishaps such as masturbating and reaching orgasm; thus leading to waking up to a mess, it could also lead to confusion when the affected person is convicted for sexual assault without being able to know why they are being convicted for this particular reason.
According to Psychology Today, sexual behavior during sleep has been studied since the early 1940s, but these studies considered the effects such as men ejaculating while they were sleeping, often referred to as a wet dream.
Women were also observed and it was noted that they, too, can experience orgasms while asleep. Recent studies, however, were the first to take a deeper look into how people may behave during their sleep sessions in regards to sex – here it was observed that some people do not only participate in masturbation but also initiates sexual intercourse with a partner.
While the fact that some people have ended up raping another person and getting convicted for sexual assault makes sexsomnia seem like a very bad sleep disorder, we should note that some people have experienced positive actions from this disorder – including positive reactions from their partners.
Is Sexsomnia A Real Disorder?
The entire idea of sexsomnia may seem completely absurd to many people. When you look at the condition from afar, it would seem as if this would not be possible – how could a person initiate sexual intercourse with another person and even rape another person in some cases without at all knowing that they are doing it.
According to a report published on Psychology Today, however, recent studies have actually confirmed that sexsomnia is a real sleep disorder that a person can suffer from.
As an example, in 2014, a case where a man was accused of rape was dismissed after the defendant’s lawyers announced that their client was suffering from a condition called sexsomnia. Several reports and scientific studies were referenced in the case, which then led to the conclusion that sexsomnia is, in fact, a real health condition that caused sexual misbehavior in the defendant while he was sleeping; thus leading to initiating in sexual activity with an unwilling partner.
After this conclusion was made, the court dismissed the case since the defendant was considered not guilty since he was not in control of his body or actions during the time of the action.
How To Stop Sexsomnia?
There are many ways to treat and get rid of sexsomnia. The first step is to determine whether any underlying problems concerning an affected person’s sleep may be contributing to their sexual behavior when they are asleep.
Healthline explains that certain types of medication may also cause this type of behavior during sleep – even some over-the-counter sleep medication has been shown to contribute to this particular sleep problems.
Furthermore, it is important to consider whether particular mental issues like high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression may be contributing to episodes of sexsomnia.
Many people have found that taking antidepressants helps them overcome this sleep disorder. There are also some people who have experienced positive results when using some types of anti-seizure medication.
While sleepwalking is commonly known and experienced by the general population, sexsomnia is a rarer sleep disorder that can become much more problematic than sleepwalking. While some people might experience some positive effects from their sleepwalking sex sessions, others have landed themselves in a significant amount of trouble.
Dealing with this sleep disorder if it becomes problematic is essential for avoiding potential complications and taking back control of your sleep.