Some sleepers hope to put an end to these strange behaviors.
It is widely known that people walk and talk in their sleep (some even have sex); These are just a few examples of parasomnias, which are unusual movements and behaviors that occur while you are falling asleep.
A new study from Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, discovered that Women are twice as likely to manipulate electricity or kitchen utensils or perform similar complex activities compared to men while sleepwalking.
And younger adults and children are more likely to sleepwalk compared to older people. The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience in November.
Between January and July 2022, researchers searched for terms related to abnormal sleep behaviors on YouTube, such as “sleepwalking,” “sleepwalking,” “sleep eating,” “sleep sex,” “sleep talking,” and “sleep aggression.” in multiple languages. , including English.
Their searches produced 758 video results, of which they chose 224 to study. 68 children, 116 adults and 40 elderly people participated in the videos.
The most common behaviors observed during sleep were sleepwalking, crying or laughing, moving the hands, and speaking in complete sentences or gibberish.
Researchers found that older men are 40 times more likely to be physically aggressive in their sleep compared to adults and children and 70 times more likely to perform complex movements in bed.
The elderly were less likely to cry in their sleep than younger adults, and women cried in their sleep twice as often as men.
Older people are also less likely than younger adults to take risks by driving while they sleep or when leaving home.
Meanwhile, adults speak in complete sentences more often than the elderly and children.
The causes of parasomnias vary. Some reasons include incomplete transition from being awake to another stage of sleep, lack of sleep or irregular sleep cycles, certain medications, genetics, health problems or psychiatric disorders, stress, and alcohol or substance abuse. according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Parasomnias affect approximately 10% of Americans and are more common in children than adults. according to Northwest Medicine.
Sexsomnia, in particular, can pose problems for the sleeper and their bed partner regarding issues of consent.
Some may not mind their partner initiating sex while they sleep, like one woman who talked about her husband’s sexsomnia on a 2022 episode of the “Healthy-ish” podcast and joked that it improved her marriage.
For others, sexsomnia could lead to time behind bars.
Dr. Guy Leschziner, neurologist and author of “The Night Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep,” once detailed the case of his sexsomnia patient, Tom. He attempted to initiate sexual relations with his partner Sarah, who described the encounter as more “awkward and upsetting” than anything else.
But then he made a connection to the time he spent in prison: three and a half years for raping his ex while she slept.
Tom and Sarah had access to a sleep doctor to help them solve their problem, but not everyone is so lucky. In the most extreme cases, this ultra-rare condition has been used in the legal defense of accused rapists.