Sex with eyes wide shut!-Sexsomnia

  • By Team TDO

“Sex comes so naturally to me that I could do it with my eyes closed”! This statement can come back to haunt you especially if you are a sexsomniac.

Mind you, that’s not the same as being a sex-o-maniac. Sexsomnia is a combination of the term sex as in sexual intercourse and somnambulism which is sleepwalking. So sexsomnia is a disorder where people with sleep disorders can actually sleepwalk their way to another person, engage in sexual intercourse and the beauty of it is – have no memory of it in their waking hours.

So is it just a front for sexual assault or is there some validity to sexsomnia?

According to an article in the, Sexsomnia first surfaced as a legit condition in the 1990s and was mentioned in the 2003 issue of The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry where it was classed as a ‘parasomnia’, which refers to any unwanted behaviour such as sleepwalking, talking, teeth-grinding or even getting up and vacuming — while the sufferer is asleep.

Is a sexsomniac the same as a sex-o-maniac? Can you actually have sex in your sleep and treat it all like the “best dream you ever had”.

So if you vacuum in your sleep you might be paid overtime as an earnest worker but if you sleepwalk your way into sexual intercourse there is likelihood of a sexual assault charge slapped against you.

Yes, sexsomnia is one of the several different types of sleep-pattern-aberrations that are fast becoming a concern worldwide. However sometimes it is also used conveniently as a defence against rape charges, so to be diagnosed as having sexsomnia the person should have a history of sleep pattern disruptions or abnormal behaviour in sleep (sexual or asexual).

Most times this condition goes undiagnosed as the person involved is a spouse or regular partner who doesn't think anything is amiss. To make light of the matter, a woman from West Bedfordshire actually thinks her husband is less demanding when he makes love to her in his sleep. Jokes apart, this situation can be acutely embarrassing especially if the sexsomniac is outside his house and chooses an inopportune moment to sleepwalk in to a complete stranger’s bed.

Research has shown that sexsomnia is more common in men than women. Could it be because men think of sex all the time? Moreover sexsomniacs also show the same fatigue and stress levels as in people with other sleep disorders. Caffeine addiction a common culprit in sleep disorders could also play a role in Sleep Sex, though it’s not confirmed.

If you wonder how people with sexsomnia can hone in on their sexual quarry if they are not even conscious is a matter of great curiosity. It is not even necessary to have a human being at the receiving end of the sexsomniac’s fascination, as they have been found to simulate sexual movements and thrusts lying on top of boxes and even banisters. Sometimes conditions like epilepsy can make patients simulate sexual thrusts and hip movements, which can also trigger orgasm or ejaculation.

Sexsomnia requires medical attention and a sleep lab as it is called to treat it as a sleep disorder. A test called ‘polysomnography’ can be conducted to diagnose if the person is really asleep while being sexually stimulated or not.

It is bad enough to have sleep disorders and sexsomnia can only add to more trouble for people with sleep disorders. If you notice anyone with such a problem it is absolutely necessary to speak about it and get help rather than stay quiet.