To most men, “sleep sex” (officially classified as “sexsomnia”) is something that is treated as a joke. For example, many a man has described himself as being so “ready for action” that he could engage in intercourse during his sleep. Yet for the men who actually do suffer from this disorder, it is a very real – and potentially dangerous – situation. While practicing proper penis care is always a good idea, men with this condition require specialized sleep disorder treatments to address the problem.
What is sexsomnia?
Doctors and researchers have long known that people frequently experience various forms of sexual arousal and activity during sleep periods. All men are familiar with wet dreams, or periods of sleep during which they ejaculate. Also called nocturnal emissions, wet dreams most often occur during early stages of puberty, but they can occur at any time in a man’s life. Often, wet dreams are relatively “spontaneous” – a man has an arousing dream, becomes erect and ejaculates. Other times, the man while asleep may rub his penis with his hand or thrust his penis against his bedding, in essence masturbating while asleep.
A man with sleep sex engages in such sexual activity in a more marked way. He may more actively masturbate while remaining asleep; for example, some men may lower their pajamas or strip naked and masturbate. In some instances, a man may rise from his bed and stand or sit while masturbating. He may even leave his room and wander to another location and masturbate – all while remaining asleep.
Sleep sex is not necessarily limited to masturbation. Some men have been known to engage in intercourse with a partner in their bed while never awakening; in some rare instances, men have been reported to engage in non-consensual sex with someone not his partner as a result of this condition. Needless to say, this can have serious consequences. Although this article focuses on men, sleep sex can occur in either gender.
Why does it happen?
Sleep sex is classified as a non-rapid-eye-movement (non-REM) parasomnia disorder. This is the same class of disorders which includes the much better known sleepwalking, talking in the sleep, teeth grinding and night terrors. This category also includes sleep eating, in which a person consumes food in his sleep, as well as the very dangerous driving while asleep. Most people with a sleep sex disorder also have one of these other parasomnias. As with other sleep disorders, people with sleep sex issues remain asleep while they are engaged in the sexual activity and usually have no memory of it.
Several factors can bring about sexsomnia. Alcohol can be a trigger, especially in people who already experience one of the other parasomnia disorders. Sleep deprivation, in which one is deprived of sleep for an extended period of time, is another factor. Probably the most common cause is sleep disruption, in which the sleep is interrupted. Interrupted does not necessarily mean that the person returns to a state of wakefulness; it can mean that a person is thrust out of deep sleep at inappropriate times but not into total wakefulness. Sleep apnea is probably the most familiar form of sleep disruption.
How is it treated?
A doctor doesn’t treat sleep sex issues themselves; he treats the thing that is causing it, such as sleep apnea. A continuous positive airway pressure machine is often used to help people with sleep apnea (and those with sleep sex problems). Anti-anxiety drugs are often effective for many parasomnia disorders.
Sleep sex is fortunately a fairly rare disorder, however, this and any other unconscious sexual activity can sometimes result in a manhandled penis. Any time rough handling leads to a sore penis, the member can and should be treated with a quality penis nutrient cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil). Men with sore penises should look for creams capable of both soothing (through the inclusion in the cream of a high end emollient such as Shea butter) and restoring penis sensitivity that may have been damaged by rough treatment (via the use of a cream that includes acetyl L carnitine, which provides neuroprotective support).