Sexsomnia is a sleep disorder in which sufferers are completely unaware of their actions. We spoke with Aparajitha K. Verma, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Program at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, for one approach to the medical problems you or your loved one may suffer from when trying to sleep.
If you think you might have sexsomnia, use this as a reference point before getting personalized medical advice from your doctor or other accredited sleep expert. --Ed Condron
Sexsomnia is engaging in sexual acts while asleep. Sexsomniacs don't recall anything about the acts they've committed. "This is nothing to be ashamed of if you have sexsomnia," she says. "But it takes a toll on relationships for bed partners."
See A DoctorDr. Verma suggests that patients should seek prompt medical attention. "You need to get professional help as soon as possible," she says.
Do You Have Other Sleep Disorders?According to Dr. Verma, patients suffering from sexsomnia usually have other sleep disorders. "The odds are that they do have other issues," she says. "They may be bed wetters or sleepwalkers. If so, that should also be addressed when visiting the doctor."
Note What Medications You're OnA variable that can alter behavior in bed is medication. Dr. Verma suggests that if patients are starting a new prescription, they should review what the pills can do. "If you're on a new medicine, see what the side effects are," she says. "Each drug has a cause and effect."
Watch Your Alcohol IntakeDr. Verma says you should think before you drink. According to Dr. Verma, alcohol is not a sleep aid. "Alcohol disrupts your sleep and has a significant impact on your sleep," she says. "Monitor how much alcohol you drink."
Seek Help For Any Psychological IssuesMental issues could have an impact on sexsomniacs, according to Dr. Verma. If you're depressed or suffer from anxiety, that could be part of the issue. "If you're having psychological problems, seek help," she says. "This could cause an impact in the bedroom."
Aparajitha K. Verma, M.D., earned her degree from Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute in Chennai, India, and is the director of the Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Program at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Have you ever suffered from a sleep disorder? What worked for you?