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Is Sexsomnia Real?
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Exchange_Blogs_Admin posted:
Is sleep sex for real? Our sleep expert explains what it is and who may be a "sexsomniac" . Have you ever experienced this behavior? Read the latest blog post from Dr. Breus . Then return here to share your comments and questions.
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An_206876 responded:
yes, i know this is real, as i have experienced it more than once. Didnt know there was a name for this. Its not exclusive to men only. Not a recent development, been going on for several years. Something i dont like to admit, but it is real.
 
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regturb responded:
My boyfriend suffers from this. His bouts happen when he is stressed and very sleep deprieved. We have been together for almost 8 years now and they have happened the entire time we have been together. Sometimes he is violently agressive to the point where he actually rips my pajamas and underclothes off. Other times, he is gentle and loving. Either way, he is asleep. I know this because he is nonresponsive and when he does wake up, he gets extremely embarrassed. I wish he could get over it because it has seriously affected our relationship.
 
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An_206877 responded:
It is real in my case. Each time I am dreaming about a sexual episode and not aware I am actually having intercourse. This happened more when I was in my twenties but continued until my disability, at age 48, which keeps me from sleeping with my wife.
 
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shrtfatdad responded:
Does the person know it is happening? Do they remember? Do they wake up
 
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vesuvius13 replied to shrtfatdad's response:
I didn't know it unless I woke up during intercourse or my partner said something to me the next morning. I just thought I had a very sexy dream.
 
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An_206878 responded:
My husband also has been exhibiting this bizarre behavior. I thought he was just masturbating in the middle of the night, but he has actually been snoring while doing it! It happens many times a night, so there has got to be something amiss. Why so much sex on his mind (even after we make love) and why does he do this all of a sudden? It has been going on for long enough that I am not sure how to handle it.
 
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DUKE MEDICINE
Aatif M Husain, MD replied to regturb's response:
Dear regturb,

Whereas there has been some controversy about whether "sexsomnia" is a separate disorder or a variation of a common sleep disorder known as an arousal parasomnia, there is no doubt that it does happen. During this the patient is typically in deep sleep and will perform sexual acts on a bed partner or him/herself. Of course these episodes are very distressing to both the patient and partner. As you note, the episodes happen during periods of sleep disruption. This might be due to stress, alcohol intake, irregular sleep schedule, a sleep disorder, etc. In each patient such inciting factors should be sought and corrected where possible. A sleep physician should be consulted to determine if there might be an underlying sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, that might be causing sleep disruption leading to these episodes.

Best,

Aatif Husain
 
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StormAndNorm replied to An_206876's response:
I've never heard of this before. However, after reading about it I realize I very well may have had it many years ago before I began taking various medications for fibromyalgia. My wife once commented (smiling) about it happening. I remembered the event for the most part but to me it seemed like I was in a trance of some sort. I was more aggressive than when we had sex normal way and it sort of embarrassed me. I didn't see myself as a guy who "has his way with her." I do remember being very aroused. I'm glad she didn't mind but I understand this could be a serious issue if the person with the behavior becomes too rough or even hurtful to the other person. Otherwise, I'd say maybe the partner on the receiving end should just enjoy it if possible and not consider it too "abnormal." As long as there's no emotional or physical abuse being received.
 
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greendust replied to shrtfatdad's response:
No, people like me, suffering from that sleep disorder, don?t know until our spouse or bed partner make a coment about it, let me tell you, that it?s very embarrassing, because when I travel or am visiting friends or relatives, I feel very unconfortable, specially when I have to share either a room or a bed with somebody else. It happens to me almost every night, since I was very young, I always belived it was a "teen thing" but it has lasted for years! in contrary of the other sufferers, when it happens, in my dreams I have the "urge to go" feeling. hopefully scientists find the cure or treatment for this horrible sleep disorder.
 
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An_206879 responded:
I had never heard about this before but if I had it would have saved my ex & I from an argument. He was having a stressful time & we weren't getting along the best anyhow. That night he had insisted on sex before we went to sleep but I didn't oblige After we had gone to sleep he later was on top of me trying to have sex with me. Had I known about this I wouldn't have been nearly as scared, hurt, with feelings of defilement.
He was very much more aggressive. I felt like I was being raped in fact. I was able to push him off & he laid down & started to snore.
He acted as if he was asleep but I thought he was faking it. I pushed him some more & he then acted like he was waking up.

When I read these
o Alcohol ingestion
o Sleep Apnea
o Sleep deprivation
All would describe him with the addition of him smoking pot too.
We had issues for weeks after that. He kept saying that he was dreaming about having sex. I guess he was. I kind of feel bad now. I wish I had known.
 
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sallyzb54 responded:
I do know it is real. I have experienced it many times and it is so real to me.
 
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Tandiana replied to shrtfatdad's response:
I know that I don't remember anything unless I happen to wake up during and I don't always wake up doing it. The only reason that I know it was happening is because my partner told me that I was doing it. Most of the time I don't even remember dreaming anything and wouldn't have any clue that it had happened at all if he didn't tell me about it.
 
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An_206880 replied to Aatif M Husain, MD's response:
My husband did this during a time when he was under a lot of stress and we were not getting along. At that time I was going through a period of not getting enough sleep nightly. So when he disturbed my sleep and was feeling me I was very angry and felt violated because we were not getting along and was very angry about my importantly minimal sleep being disturbed. Later I heard about sexsomnia on dr. oz or web md. and felt I understood it more.
 
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gin12345678 replied to Aatif M Husain, MD's response:
dear doctor, what if I was a very light sleeper? i wake up very easily at sounds.... is it possible for me to have slept walked and also have sex with a stranger without waking up?


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