Sex While Sleeping Is Real, And May Be No Joke
"An extreme form of sleep-walking-having sex while asleep-is probably much more common than physicians have previously suspected, researchers reported here.
"The important message is that this is a real entity," said Colin Shapiro, M.B., ChB, Ph.D., of the University Health Network in Toronto at Sleep 2006, the joint meeting of the Sleep Research Society and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. and others, including prosecutors, need to take this reality into account, he added. "It's a more common problem than people have hitherto recognized."
"I look at it as one form of parasomnia," he said in an interview. "People walk in their sleep, they talk in their sleep, they drive their motorbikes in their sleep, they eat in their sleep, and they have sex in their sleep."
Dr. Shapiro and colleagues reported the results of an anonymous 28-item Internet survey that had 219 validated responses. "It's not huge," Dr. Shapiro said, and like all Internet research it has limitations, "but for me it's a proof of principle." A more directed survey, among 300 patients at Dr. Shapiro's Toronto sleep clinic, is under way, he said.
"The problem with an Internet survey," he said, "is that you don't know who you've surveyed." So, for instance, the researchers say they have no idea how prevalent sex during sleep—dubbed "sexomnia"-actually is among the general population.
On the other hand, the Internet survey appears to show that the problem-once thought to be predominately found in males-actually is more broadly distributed: Thirty-one percent of the 219 respondents were female.'