Sexsomnia, Sleeping With The Enemy

Just imagine waking up in the middle of a sexual act, and you weren’t even aware that you were participating, at least not willingly, but this is exactly what happens to millions of couples who sleep next to someone suffering from sexsomnia. In fact it has become so problematic that many popular news stations and shows are featuring the touchy subject as their main topic of conversation, inviting sufferers of sexsomnia as guests to talk about this strange phenomenon.

What is sexsomnia?

Many victims say that it is like sleeping with the enemy because this disorder causes them to perform sexual acts, masturbation, and sexual assault while they are sleeping, and most sufferers have no control over their memory or of the episodes. Most victims are terrorized while the sexsomnia sufferers haven’t the first clue that anything out of the ordinary has occurred, or at least that is what they claim. Many couples are embarrassed by the events surrounding this disorder, so the problem continues due to the fear of talking about it. Unwanted sexual behavior has lead many victims into filing assault charges against their partner, which can ultimately lead the couple straight into separation or divorce due to the lack of understanding and knowledge of sexsomnia. Information on aggressive sexual behavior can be found at

Anderson Cooper of CNN views sexsomnia as serious rather then as a joke. Their research on the subject touched on the effects it has on both victim and sufferer including people who were tried in court for initiating unwanted sexual acts. It is looked upon as a fascinating condition that gives us an updated look at our views about sex. One of the biggest fears that the victims talked about was that many men will suddenly develop this “sexual syndrome” and feel entitled to act however they want, because there is no way to actually prove or disprove a person’s claim that they are a victim of sexsomnia due too absolutely no recollection of the act ever happening, other than the victims claim that it in fact did happen.

Is It Rape or a Sexual Disorder?

Most of the victims reported have been women, and the majority of them claim that the men became aggressive in nature during the sexual act, but appeared to be totally asleep during the attack. It is a fine line to call sexsomnia rape when the sufferer claims that they had no idea that the events were even taking place, sometimes on a daily basis. Researcher Mike Mangan seems to defend sexsomnia as just another type of sleep disorder like walking or talking in your sleep. His claim is that it is just another type of behavior that occurs when you sleep.  (Read Dr. Mangan’s book [amazon_link id=”1401037666″ target=”_blank” ]Sleepsex: Uncovered[/amazon_link])  (Sexsomnia Triggers)

What Causes Sexsomnia?

It is presumed to be caused by abnormalities in the brain’s arousal mechanisms or the biological processes that play a role in waking from sleep. It has been suggested that undefined emotional problems may be an underlying cause of sexsomnia episodes.

Treatment for Sexsomnia

Research on the subject has lead experts to believe that Valium can be used to treat the more aggressive violent sufferers. Many couples have been forced to sleep in separate beds, and in some cases, separate rooms. Most sufferers fear that they will be laughed at or not believed which makes the problem even worse. Many doctors are still unaware of this growing problem, but specialists familiar with sexsomnia treat the disorder with cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, sleep restrictions which include scheduled sleeping times and sleep medication.  (About Sexsomniacs)

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Source:   Granato, S.  (2006) Sexsomnia, Sleeping With the Enemy Yahoo Contributer Network, Yahoo Voices                                            

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