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Definition - What does Sexomnia mean?

Sexomnia is an inter-phase sleep disorder, a subset of parasomnia, characterized by an individual engaging in unconscious sexual behavior during transitional sleep stages. Symptoms of fondling, involuntary orgasm, simulating foreplay/intercourse with a partner, masturbation, impassive expression, and absence of memory of the events are common. Although sexomnia is rare, medical evidence suggests that behavioral habits and physiological disturbances are potential culprits that adversely influence sleep patterns.

SureHire explains Sexomnia

Because sexomnia is a sleep disorder, many individuals realize the nature of their condition through a partner or a third-party source who is privy to unusual sexual activity during sleep. People experiencing sexomnia are likely to display sexual behavior outside the normal parameters when sleeping, disrupting biorhythms and projecting illusions of dissatisfaction from one’s partner. Research studies propose that sexomnia represents a host of underlying causal factors including alcohol consumption, anxiety, chronic fatigue, persistent stress, sleep deprivation, and prescription/recreational drugs.

A polysomnogram is a sleep test study that assesses biometric variables during sleep stage cycles including brainwave activity, heart rate, eye and leg movement, and respiration, and charts sleep pattern deviations. A sleep technologist will monitor a patient, using biofeedback for comparative analysis in verifying sexomnia cases, which can be symptomatic of sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), restless legs syndrome (RLS), and sleeptalking or sleepwalking. Consequently, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices are common treatment modalities in tempering breathing cessation found in sleep apnea patients, in turn, halting sporadic episodes of sexomnia.

In the workplace, sleep disorders can influence job productivity, creating safety hazards where employers incur financial downturns in healthcare costs from accidents and injuries. Individuals with sexomnia should consult a physician who can make a referral for polysomnography to measure the extent of its condition to support potential candidacy for a sleep disorder.

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