Arousal Parasomnia

Sleep sex, or sexsomnia, is a form of non-rapid eye movement parasomnia that causes people to engage in various sexual acts while they are asleep. This condition falls within the broad classes of sleep disorders known as parasomnia.


Sleeping Woman

Sexsomnia can include fondling, heterosexual and homosexual intercourse, masturbation, and oral sex. In extreme cases sexsomnia may allegedly even include sexual assault and rape.

The proposed medical diagnosis is NREM Arousal Parasomnia – Sexual Behaviour in Sleep. Sexsomnia is considered a type of non-rapid eye movement sleep parasomnia. Sexsomniacs tend not to remember the acts they perform while they’re asleep.

Sexsomnia could also co-occur alongside other sleep disorders such as sleepwalking, sleep apnea, night terrors and can be triggered by stress, previous sleep deprivation and excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs.

Sleep related epilepsy may be associated with sexual arousal, pelvic thrusting and orgasms, though in these sorts of cases the acts are often remembered. Sexsomnia episodes could also be triggered by physical contact with a bed partner.