Sleep Masturbation

Updated: JULY 21, 2022
Reviewed by Kinkly Staff
on April 30, 2022

Sleep masturbation is a form of sleep sex, or sexsomnia, in which a person engages in masturbation while they are asleep. All forms of sexsomnia, including sleep masturbation, are a form of parasomnia, or sleep disorder. Other parasomnias include sleep walking and sleep eating. In all cases. the person is not conscious while engaging in these activities, and in some cases cannot be roused. In most cases, people also do not remember engaging in these activities when they wake up the next day.

Sleep masturbation was first reported as a clinical disorder in 1986.

A 2010 study found that sexsomnia may be more common than many people think; it found that 7.6% of patients at a Toronto sleep laboratory reported sexsomnia, including sleep masturbation. That said, this study examined people at a sleep disorder clinic, not a broader population.

More About Sleep Masturbation

Contributing factors for sleep masturbation and other sexsomnias appear to be similar to those that impact other sleep disorders, including stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, irregular sleep patterns, and the use of alcohol and certain drugs (both prescription and recreational.)

If sleep masturbation does cause issues for the person suffering from it, treatment is available. This usually involves treating other underlying sleep disorders, examining any medications the person is taking, and perhaps also treating the person for other disorders like depression or anxiety.

Although sleep masturbation is relatively benign, it could cause relationship problems if the person's partner is troubled or threatened by it. Sleepsomnias that involve others can lead to incidences of sexual assault. Sexsomnia has even been used as a defense in a number of rape cases.


Latest Sex Positions

View More Positions More Icon