Sexsomnia, also known as sleep sex, is a real disorder that afflicts approximately one percent of the population. George Schafer, a sufferer of sexomnia, and his partner, Chelsea Pettit, talked to Huffpost Live's Nancy Redd about strange sleep behaviors that include demanding sex and becoming violent while sleep.
"I was very confused for a while actually," George told HuffPost Live. "She would talk about things I did in my sleep and I had zero recollection of it. It was very strange and jarring."
For George, the behaviors went beyond sleep sex.
"I thought he was completely awake," Pettit said, talking about her initial reaction to George's sexsomnia. "The breaking point for us was really when he started becoming violent in his sleep. There are mornings that I woke up with a black eye or bruises, and the absolute breaking point for me was when he tried to assault my face."
It was then that Chelsea and George turned to Dr. Rosenberg, a board certified sleep medicine specialist and physician. It turned out George had two disorders, sexsomnia and a REM behavior disorder which caused the violent behavior.
"George had additional sleep related issues which were actually triggering his sexsomnia," Dr. Rosenberg said.
Sleep apnea, the breathing disorder that brings people "partial arousal" in a state between sleep and wakefulness, can be a trigger to sleep walking, sexsomnia, night terrors, and other sleep disorders.
Watch the Full Segment on Huffpost Live.