Yes, sexsomnia is a thing—here's what the experts want you to know about it

'Many people who experience sexsomnia may have their eyes open and act awake, however they won’t remember anything'

Most common sex dream
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There are downfalls to not catching enough Zs—sexsomnia being one of them. The term might seem foreign, or even impossible, but the rare disorder is not something to ignore. Both sex and sleep are pleasurable, but the combination of the two can be quite serious. 

Sexsomnia, or sleep sex, is a type of parasomnia where people engage in sexual behaviors while they're not awake, from orgasms during sleep to masturbation, fondling and even intercourse. It is actually possible to carry out these acts while you're not entirely conscious, much like sleepwalking or sleeptalking. 

"Many people who experience sexsomnia may have their eyes open and act awake, however they won’t actually remember anything," the experts at Mega Pleasure say. 

Like other sleep disorders, sexsomnia is oftentimes flagged by someone else, which could make the whole in-between stage of sleeping and consciousness even more problematic. 

How does sexsomnia start?

"Subtle changes in sexual behavior may be a sign of sexsomnia sleep disorder," the Mega Pleasure team adds. "Others include sweating, heavy breathing, an elevated heart rate and masturbating. If with a partner, initiating foreplay in the middle of the night is another sign to look out for."

There are a variety of reasons for the occurrence. They include but are not limited to: anxiety, fatigue, sleep deprivation, dramatic lifestyle changes and changes in medication, according to Healthline. The outlet also indicates that underlying issues, including sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and sleep-related epilepsy, are all factors that can contribute to sleep sex. 

How do you deal with sexsomnia?

"To deal with sexsomnia, improving overall sleep hygiene can help," according to the pros at Mega Pleasure. "Following a strict sleep schedule, ensuring a relaxing bedtime ritual, not looking at a screen past 10pm and getting enough sleep can all help improve symptoms."

Should you or a partner, roommate or family member notice these symptoms, they are not something that should be self-diagnosed. Always opt for medical advice in moments of uncertainty. You'll have to seek the assistance of a sleep specialist to determine the underlying issue before making any adjustments to your habits or medications. 

"In some cases of sexsomnia, medication such as antidepressants might be prescribed for a person with sexsomnia but this approach should be carefully monitored," the Mega Pleasure team adds.

The scary side of sexsomnia

Sleepwalking or sleeptalking are certainly serious, but what particularly worries experts about sexsomnia is the fact that it has been used as a rape defense, according to Healthline. This is another reason why it's imperative to have a medical expert assess the situation. 

Is sexsomnia common?

Although yes, it is in fact an actual medical issue, Healthline reports that the likelihood of experiencing sexsomnia is not all that great.

However, hearing about these types of conditions should force you to take your sexual health and wellbeing seriously. Always seek help when needed and confide in a partner you can trust. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.