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Sexsomnia? [Ask Dr. Miro: What You Didn’t Learn in Health Class]

Dear Dr. Miro,

What’s wrong with my husband? At least once a week he’ll wake me up for late night sex, and the next day he won’t remember! Sometimes it even happens multiple times in a night and I have to push him away. How can he not recall this? Could it be me? Am I so unmemorable? We love each other but when I mention it he refuses to believe me. Another thing, the sex is actually really amazing with him more (ahem) attentive and, uh, giving, so I don’t exactly want it to stop completely but sometimes it’s way too much and I feel pressured and yucky. Mainly, I just want him to remember it. We aren’t on any medications and hardly ever drink so that isn’t it.

Would Like to Make An Impression


How crazy making for you! Sounds like your hubby may actually suffer from a condition called Sexsomnia, one of the newest classifications of sleep disorders. We all accept that there are folks who walk, talk and eat in their sleep, right? So, being intimate is not that far of a leap from all of those others. The first paper recognizing this rare disorder was not published until 1996 and labeled the condition “Sexual Behavior in Sleep” or SBS. Generally, SBS is triggered by lack of sleep on previous nights, stress, excessive alcohol or drugs. Since the latter two can be ruled out, see if there is a pattern in regards to his stress levels.

Alert your betrothed to this and make sure he understands the serious implications in a frank and open discussion without any finger pointing. This can be just one manifestation of other sleep issues he is facing. Unfortunately, there is often a lot of blame and shame in these situations for both the “perpetrator” and the “victim”. Although it may go without saying, I must mention it anyway: if he is attempting sexual relations with you against your will that is rape. You may not see it as that serious and actually enjoy some of the encounters but what you will start to see are resentments and feelings of negativity build-up against your partner. Some folks who suffer from SBS also sleep walk, talk and become violent. Fortunately, you seem to have a man who is a good lover in his unconscious state! Nonetheless, try to avoid anyone feeling like a victim in this dynamic. There are some medications that have had somewhat good results like Clonazepam and sometimes people have been greatly helped by Melatonin. Before you put him on anything, PLEASE find a Psychiatrist or Psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders.

Lust & Happiness,
Dr. Miro

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