We’ve heard of sleepwalking and even sleep-eating…but what about sleeping and having sex? According to AOL Health, the condition is more common than researchers realized. A new study from a sleep clinic in Toronto found that almost 8 percent more than 800 patients surveyed at the clinic reported “sexsomnia,” or having sex while sleeping.
Nearly three times more men than women reported having sleep sex, 11 percent versus 4 percent, according to the study, the abstract of which was published in the online version of the medical journal Sleep.
“There have been no previous studies of how frequently sexsomnia occurs,” said Sharon A. Chung, a sleep research laboratory staff member at the University Health Network in Toronto. “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.”
According to WebMD, a 2003 study looked at 11 cases of sexsomnia, and also found that the behavior was more common in men than women. Most people who exhibited the behavior were known sleepwalkers.
Sexsomnia sufferers had similar symptoms of insomnia, like fatigue and depressed mood, as other patients at the sleep disorders center. Both groups also had similar rates of smoking and caffeine consumption. But people who reported having had sleep sex were twice as likely as other patients to admit using illicit drugs — 15.9 percent versus 7.7 percent.
Sleep clinic patients often chose not to talk with their doctors about their sexsomnia. Perhaps they didn’t realize how many other patients were battling the same thing?