Sexsomnia...the latest sleep disorder

According to new study many sleep disorders involve sexual behaviours and people with sleep disorders might also suffer from abnormal sexual behaviours.

The report by psychiatrists at the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Minneapolis suggests that a wide range of sleep disorders are associated with a tendency to perform numerous sexual behaviours from masturbating and moaning, to actually making a sexual advance towards your partner, while in a state between sleep and wakefulness.

The researchers call such behaviors Sexsomnias, and believe that some chronic insomniacs also exhibit signs of a surge in libido and "compulsive sexual behaviours".

These are recognized as subtypes of parasomnia, which is a group of disorders including sleepwalking, sleep talking and night terrors.

The report says that virtually all known categories of sleep disorders carry a risk for inappropriate sexual behaviours and can affect a wide range of people with sleep disorders.

Dr. Carlos H. Schenck, the lead author of the report and a senior staff psychiatrist at the Center says sexsomnia can occur after a "disorder of arousal" which refers to people who are sleeping becoming aroused, entering into "twilight sleep-wake state" where they act without any form of judgment.

He says more reports are emerging of abnormal sexual behaviours surfacing during sleep.

He says that in some cases sexsomnia behaviour can be upsetting or frightening for the person's partner and he suspects many sufferers delay seeking help because they fear that doctors will not believe their behaviour is really unconscious.

The report is published in the Journal Sleep.

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