'I’ve broken up with three men because I couldn’t remember having sex in my sleep' Says sexsomnia victim Chelsea, 24
時間 2012年03月21日 Wed. PM 02:31:27
SLEEP should be a time for rest and relaxation.
But for Chelsea Harold it is the time when she changes from a normal girl into
a sleeping sex addict — with no memory of her behaviour.
The 24-year-old's rare medical condition, sexsomnia, has ruined several
relationships and she is now too scared to get into bed with a new man.
Chelsea reveals: "It has turned me into a sleeping sex addict but in the
morning I cannot remember a thing.
"Boyfriends in the past have been really offended when I tell them I was
asleep the entire time and that I have no memory of what we did the night
"My sexsomnia has broken up three of my relationships and it's making my
dating life hell.
"I am worried about the next romance I have as I know how difficult it is for
men to understand."
For many sufferers like Chelsea, the condition causes them to touch themselves
intimately or have sex with a partner and have no recollection of it
Chelsea says: "Trying to explain to a man that I cannot remember makes me
sound mad. I don't drink alcohol very often so I can't blame that.
"Doing all these sexual things without memory makes my confidence plummet and
I feel isolated. It also makes a man feel like a failure in bed."
Sexsomnia was recognised as a sleep disorder in 2003. Sufferers will often
also sleepwalk, talk, grind their teeth and even clean the house while
In Britain, four per cent of people suffer from the condition.
Chelsea says: "I often sleepwalked as a child, but I think my sexsomnia
started in 2007.
"I had a boyfriend, Tom, and we were in a happy relationship. One evening he
started talking about the sex we'd had the night before and how much he had
"I thought he was joking, as I had been far too tired to have sex. As far as I
could remember we'd only had a kiss and a cuddle.
"Tom started to get upset and asked if I was accusing of him of being bad
in bed. We ended up having a huge row."
Tom told Chelsea how they had made love twice during the night — once at 1am
and again at 2.30am — and that she seemed to have an insatiable appetite for
sex. "I could tell Tom was telling the truth," she says.
"He went into great detail about everything we had done and how confident and
liberated I had been in bed.
"He wasn't a liar and it made me feel very scared. I racked my brain to
remember doing anything, but there was nothing.
"It was terrifying to realise that I hadn't been in control of my body during
Chelsea and Tom's relationship broke up a month later but his revelation had
made her aware of her condition.
After doing some research on the internet, Chelsea discovered the condition
known as sleep sex or sexsomnia. She says: "Finding the information was such
a relief. The fact it is a real medical condition gave me the confidence to
talk to my GP about it.
"My doctor said that my sexsomnia could be linked to my sleep-walking and may
be made worse if I'm under stress in my daily life.
"She told me to keep a diary of my sleep patterns and I also decided to have
Chelsea also has counselling to help build her confidence and to stop her
feeling so scared of the condition.
She says: "I have had two boyfriends since Tom and although I was open and
honest with them about my sex-somnia, they both found it too difficult to
deal with. When I am awake we had a very healthy sex life but it was when I
was asleep that they could not deal with it.
"They felt very uncomfortable having sex with me and that it was a slight on
their performance when I couldn't remember it in the morning.
"I have tried to explain it to them but I know they felt like lesser men. I
know it must be confusing for them as I always initiate sex while I'm
According to Chelsea, the sleep sex episodes occur more often when she's
feeling stressed by her work as a retail manager or by a relationship.
She says; "I now try to control my stress levels. I have taken up yoga.
Whenever I feel worried about something, I have to talk about it in
"Otherwise I'm worried the stress will show itself when I'm asleep." Chelsea's
family are naturally worried about her sexsomnia. She says: "I hated having
to tell my parents about my condition.
"No parent wants to hear about their daughter's sex life, let alone that she's
having sex in her sleep.
"But they realise how difficult it is and are very supportive."
Chelsea, from Carnon Downs, Cornwall, has bravely spoken out about her
condition as she feels other women should not be ashamed of living with
sexsomnia. She says: "I am sure many people reading this will find it funny
or make sleazy comments about it but it is not that fun to live with.
"I have learned over the years that I cannot be ashamed of this and want other
women to know they should be not be ashamed, either."
Chelsea has provided support to other sufferers on forums and is currently
working on launching a support group for women who suffer sexsomnia.
She says: "I am doing Skype chats with other girls all over the world and we
all help each other."
She also hopes that by talking about sexsomnia, she will one day find a man
who is able to live with it. Chelsea says: "My confidence is slowly
increasing and, although I will never be in complete control, I want to feel
happy when I'm awake.
"I hope that one day I can enjoy the sex life of a normal woman."
MyVIEW — By Dr Carol Cooper
SEXSOMNIA may sound like a laugh but it's a recognised – and rare – condition.
It's a type of "parasomnia" which can include a range of things that happen
during sleep other than getting in a few zeds.
With sexsomnia the sufferer is in deep sleep yet their eyes may be wide open.
They may pleasure themselves or engage in sex with their partner, which can
be enthusiastic or even frenzied.
The partner may be delighted at first but this can turn to anger when the
sexsomniac denies all knowledge of it the next morning.
Sexsomnic behaviour rarely happens every night and is more likely during
periods of anxiety, sleep deprivation or celibacy.
There's often a history of sleepwalking. In fact most experts would hesitate
to diagnose sexsomnia in someone who never sleepwalks.
Although there have been medical reports of sleep-related sex for many years,
it was not recognised as a disorder and called sexsomnia until 2003.
If simple measures like stress management don't help, taking muscle-relaxants
at night may work.
Above all, though, the sufferer needs an understanding partner.
※ 作者: ott 時間: 2012-03-21 14:31:27
※ 編輯: ott 時間: 2012-03-21 14:35:10