Sleep-sex is a disorder, not a dream

On June 7, researchers presented their findings at SLEEP 2010, the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) in San Antonio, Texas proving that ‘sexsomnia' or sleep-sex is a real self-reported sleep disorder.

Those suffering from sexsomnia, a parasomnia -where a person appears to be awake while asleep, begin a sexual act while still sleeping; it is apparently similar to sleepwalking, eating and other uncontrollable acts.

Sharon A. Chung, PhD, a scientist in the Sleep Research Laboratory at the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada, explained to LiveScience, a science news site, "there have been no previous studies of how frequently sexsomnia occurs."

Chung surveyed 832 people seeking help at sleep disorder clinics and found 63 (7.6%) suffered from sexsomnia. The survey asked the participants (428 men, 404 women) about their sleep disorders symptoms, behaviors during sleep, sleepiness, fatigue and mood.

"While our finding of 8 percent of people reporting sexsomnia seems really a high number, it should be stressed that we only studied patients referred to a sleep clinic. So, we would expect the numbers to be much lower in the general population," cautioned Chung.

The survey showed men (11%) are more likely to be sexsomniacs opposed to women (4%) however Chung also noted that "it seems that patients generally don't discuss this with their doctors."

The sexomaniacs were also twice as likely to mention their use of "illicit drugs" compared to others suffering from a different sleep disorder whereas smoking and caffeine intake was the same.

For more information on SLEEP 2010, go to: http://www.apss.org

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