What is sexsomnia? What are the causes of this sleep condition? How can we deal with and resolve those intimate urges that take place while we are asleep?
Sexsomnia is defined as the participation of an individual in sexual acts while they are asleep.
It is a type of parsimony that takes place during the deep sleep phase, but the truth about the causes, symptoms or prevalence of this behavior or experience is still not fully understood to this day.
We have usually heard of people walking, talking, and even driving in their sleep.
But a disorder that is not usually talked about much is one that involves sex during sleep. This is known as sexsomnia And, like sleepwalking, it is a parasomnia. It is the state in which the brain is trapped between the different stages of sleep.
That is, at this stage the individual may act as if he were awake, while in reality he is still asleep.
In the case of sexsomnia, people who suffer from it can experience intimate and sexual behaviors that can range from masturbation to full relationships.
The good news is that there is a treatment for related underlying disorders that may be beneficial in treating sexsomnia as well.
How to identify sexsomnia?
Sexsomnia generally manifests itself through sexual movement or personal contact. When the individual seeks intimacy with other people without realizing it, so it is usually his partner, his roommate or a relative who is the first person to detect the symptoms of this condition.
Some common behaviors of sexsomnia include:
- Stroke or perform pelvic movements in bed.
- Behaviors that simulate intimate relationships.
- Onanism or complete intimate relationships.
- Spontaneous orgasms.
- Absence of memories of sexual events.
- Sleepwalking with or without conversation.
Along with the previous physical symptoms, sexsomnia can be accompanied by emotional, psychosocial and, sometimes, criminal effects.
What Really Causes Sexsomnia?
Sexsomnia, like sleepwalking, has its origin in the interruption of the brain during its movement in deep sleep cycles
While the causes are unknown, sexsomnia has been linked to lifestyle habits, medical conditions, jobs, and medications that can affect normal sleep patterns.
Among some of the activators of sexsomnia we can find the following:
- Irregular sleep patterns.
- Increased stress.
- Excessive alcohol consumption.
- Extreme exhaustion
- Lack of sleep.
- Sharing a bed with someone.
Similarly, there are some underlying medical conditions that can become risk factors for triggering sexsomnia. Conditions that can affect normal sleep patterns include concurrent sleep disturbances (such as talking while sleeping or sleepwalking), restless leg syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux, migraines, sleep-related epilepsy, or obstructive sleep apnea.
How to treat and manage sexsomnia?
A healthy and regular sleep-wake schedule seems to be the best way to treat sexsomnia.
When people sleep more consistently and with high quality, the symptoms of sexsomnia can be reduced and even disappear.
The symptoms of sexsomnia are difficult to register in the long term, which makes the real effect of its treatment quite unknown.
Sometimes sexsomnia can be treated through drug-based treatment used for other conditions. The same treatment is often used to reduce or resolve cases of sexsomnia as for underlying conditions associated with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.
In most cases of sexosmnia, part of the treatment focuses on readjusting lifestyle patterns. When sexsomnia is potentially negative for other people, it is usually treated by night isolation.
Locking themselves in a room at night or placing an alarm system on the bedroom door can be helpful in resolving the most troublesome symptoms of this condition.
Consulting with a specialist, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, can also be beneficial in managing feelings of shame related to sexsomnia.
Group counseling sessions with the person adversely affected by symptoms can also reduce the emotional and psychosocial symptoms of the affected individual.