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Sleep Disorders

Question
Posted by: SC | 2020/06/01

Q.

Do I have a sleep behavioural disorder, or am I overthinking?

I sometimes have strange experiences during the night which has made me concerned that I have a sleep behavioural disorder. A year ago, I had a destabilising experience where I had a vivid image during the night that I was fondling my bed partner (not a sexual partner and this was a one-time sleeping arrangement). I have the sense that I was half-conscious during this, and was operating with a confused, dream-like logic - however I cannot be sure if I was actually awake or whether I merely had the impression of being semi-conscious. My bed partner had no memory of this in the morning and there was no evidence it actually occurred. However, we had both been very drunk so it is possible she simply didn't wake up - and It is hard to see what evidence would be left anyway. I was deeply anxious about this experience, as it did not feel like a regular dream that I am used to. However, multiple factors meant it had been a strange night sleep: alcohol, jet lag (first day of holiday), stress, different temperature than I am used to etc. Since then, I have had more mild but still odd experiences: I have woken up disoriented from a long nap and felt in a similar state of sexual compulsion and lack of inhibition as in that experience. I have also woken up similarly groggy and confused in the middle of the night, and have pulled down my pants and thrust sexually before coming to full concioussness. This has only happened twice and I wake up fully lucid immediately after (unlike the original experience a year ago). I am not sure whether thrusting sexually when half-awake is a normal occurrence, or whether it may be a sign of something more. Essentially, should I be concerned that I have a behavioural parasomnia (i.e. sexomnia), or am I overthinking the issue? I am on no medication, have no other medical conditions of note, have never sleep walked but do sleep talk. I have never masturbated during my sleep either (which I hear is surprisingly common), nor do I have that many sexual dreams - though of course have had a few. I also sleep alone most of the time, and so have no way of knowing whether I would have the same experience in similar conditions.

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