There are all sorts of reasons people are unable to sleep: menopause, depression, guilt, insomnia, discomfort, sleep apnea … the list goes on and on. Believe it or not, a new issue has been added to the list: sexsomnia.
What is sexsomnia, and how does it keep sufferers up at night? Sexsomniacs are people who initiate and / or engage in sexual activity while sleeping.
Awareness of the disorder is fairly new; This first of its kind study was done at a Toronto, Canada sleep disorder center. The study focused on 832 sleep disorder patients and found that 7.6% of patients had or reported having sexsomnia. The rate of sexsomnia is nearly three times as high in men as it is in women. A just published study brought light on this issue.
Although 7% seems like an outrageously high number for such an issue, it's not when taken in context: the only people polled were those who admit to suffering from sleep disorders. The number, although not tested, can be assumed to be significantly lower in general populations.
Researched by Toronto's University Health Network, the findings were presented at SLEEP 2010, an annual sleep professional convention. In the study, each of the 832 patients answered questions about sleeping and nighttime behavior. Sexsomniacs had similar symptoms to other patients relating to fatigue, mood, caffeine and nicotine intake and insomnia. The major difference came with illic drug use: sexsomniacs were twice as likely to use drugs. Of the 428 men and 404 women involved in the study, only 4 complained about the issue during meetings with sleep specialists.