Sexsomnia is a type of parasomnia characterized by abnormal behavior or sensations while sleeping. Because it occurs outside of awareness, this sleep disorder can be detrimental to the sufferer himself and his partner.
Sleep disturbances can appear in various forms. One of them that many people may not know about is sexsomnia, a sleep disorder that causes sufferers to engage in sexual activity while asleep!
Just like sleep walking, sexsomnia is also included in a type of sleep disorder known as parasomnia. The term refers to unusual sensations and behaviors, such as walking or having sex in sleep, that a person may experience or exhibit while asleep. Come on, get to know more about sexsomnia here.
What is Sexsomnia?
Sexsomnia, also known as sex sleep, is a rare type of sleep disorder that mostly affects men. It is estimated that only 7 percent of cases of sexsomnia are reported to sleep disorders clinics, but the actual percentage may be higher than that because some people may be embarrassed to seek help.
In the case of sexsomnia, a person may engage in certain sexual behaviors while he is asleep. For example, masturbation, sexual gestures, sexual aggression or initiating sex with other people.
However, although the sufferer's eyes may be open and he may make sexual noises, the patient falls asleep during the activity and usually does not remember the behavior once he wakes up.
According to most studies, episodes of sexsomnia usually occur during non-rapid eye movement (NREM), the deepest stage of the dreamless sleep cycle. Please note, sexual dreams are not considered a type of sexsomnia because they do not involve any physical action or behavior, apart from arousal and ejaculation.
Know the Cause
The exact cause is still unknown, but this sleep disorder begins after puberty and people who are sleepwalking or talkative during sleep are more at risk of experiencing sexsomnia than those who don't.
In addition, this condition can also be triggered by the following factors:
- Depression, stress and anxiety.
- Lack of sleep before.
- Poor sleep hygiene practices.
- Excessive alcohol or drug consumption.
- Take sleeping pills.
That way, changing your lifestyle and sleeping habits for the better can reduce the incidence of sexsomnia.
Symptoms of Sexsomnia
Symptoms can involve anything from touching oneself or sexual gestures to seeking sexual intimacy with another person without realizing it.
This type of sleep disorder can also occur in conjunction with other parasomnic activities, such as sleepwalking or delirium.
Well, here are the common symptoms that can occur:
- Stroking or rubbing.
- Heavy breathing and increased heart rate.
- Pelvic thrust.
- Initiate foreplay with other people.
- Have sexual intercourse.
- Spontaneous orgasm.
- Blank stares during activity.
- Unresponsive to the outside environment during activities.
- Do not remember about sexual events that occurred after waking up.
Effects of Sexsomnia
Sexsomnia can have a major impact on both the person who has it and their partner. This is because people with this parasomnia may engage in sexual behavior beyond their conscious control and do not remember it.
In some couples, sexsomnia may be part of an enjoyable sexual activity. However, sufferers can also become very aggressive during sleep disturbance episodes, which may hurt their partner. In extreme cases, sexsomnia can lead to charges of sexual assault, including rape.
Therefore, for those of you who suffer from sexsomnia and your partner, it is important to talk to a sleep specialist and therapist to confirm a diagnosis and get the right treatment.
How to Overcome Sexomnia
Here are some ways you can do to overcome sexsomnia:
- Avoid triggers for this sleep disorder, such as excessive alcohol consumption and illegal drugs.
- Try to treat the underlying sleep apnea. For example, by losing weight and quitting smoking.
- Be careful if you want to take sleeping pills, because they can activate parasomnias.
That's the explanation of sexsomnia. Well, you can try to check your health to find factors that could be the cause of sexsomnia.