A rare medical condition in which the victims unintentionally demand, or actually have, sex while asleep, has left the doctors and researchers confused.
Research into this condition called sexsomania has been affected by the sufferers' feeling of awkwardness in admitting it. This disorder usually causes problems in relationships. It does not have any cure so far.
Several researchers believe sexsomania to be a variant of sleepwalking. "While sleepwalking affects 2 percent to 4 percent of adults, sexsomnia is not thought to be as common a problem," said Nik Trajanovic, a researcher at the sleep and alertness clinic at Canada's Toronto Western Hospital.
"With no cure, addressing triggering factors — stress or sleep deprivation — can help," said Michael Mangan, a psychologist at the University of New Hampshire who has a Web site, www. sleepsex.org, to help sufferers