Sexsomnia is a recently described parasomnia, or unusual behavior that occurs during sleep. Sexsomnia has recently been added to the DSM -5 or Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which lists most recognized mental health disorders.
Individuals who exhibit sexsomnia symptoms often demonstrate sexual behaviors during sleep. Moaning, body thrusting, and self-pleasuring have been described with this condition. It is believed to occur during slow wave sleep, when most parasomnias occur. Because it occurs during the deepest stage of sleep, those associated with sexsomnia often are unaware of their unusual behaviors. It is usually observed by bed partners.
Sleepwalking is another slow wave sleep parasomnia that occurs during deep sleep. Like sleepwalking, the individual is usually completely unaware of night time events.
Diagnosis is made by health professional based on symptoms.
Like other parasomnias, the potential danger of sexsomnia is related to unintentional injuries that occur during sleep movements.
© 2021 American Sleep Association.