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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Sleepwalking


 katebot - Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:20 pm

My boyfriend has talked in his sleep for as long as I have known him. (4 years.) I couldn't say how regularly he does so, but it's regular enough I've heard him do it over the years. Last night, after we'd been in bed a few hours, I was awake trying to get comfortable (we've been experiencing really high temperatures in the area and have no a/c--hard to get to sleep and stay there) when I heard him talking in his sleep. It was nothing coherent, and I didn't think anything of it. Then, I rolled over in the bed facing away from him and he suddenly jerked onto his side facing me and started rubbing against me in a sexual manner. It was very scary for me, because I could tell he was still asleep, and I immediately started yelling at him to wake up.

He woke up, but it took him several minutes to get fully awake and he had no recollection of doing what he did. He was so horrified he even asked if maybe I'd been having a nightmare and dreamed it. I had not. I had been awake for some time.

I'm kind of concerned about this, and I'm wondering if there is anything I could or should do to prevent this in the future. Thanks.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:38 pm

Hello, katebot,

I very much apologize for the late response to your post. I hope information will still be useful to you, and to others who may read your post.

What you describe really isn't unusual, although it hadn't happened to you before. When a person is sleeping and dreaming (thus talking in their sleep), they may physically act out some of the dream content. Have you ever seen a sleeping dog moving their feet as thought they were running? It's much the same principle. Erotic dreams are common, and males experience multiple erections throughout the sleep cycle. Most are not even aware of them, nor are their partners, who are also usually asleep. Some couples actually wake up in the middle of having sexual intercourse. Your boyfriend's actions of rubbing against you in a sexual manner is well within the limits of normal, and it's also normal that he might not recall either the dream or his actions. If he was rough or threatening and such events continue, it may be helpful to speak with a therapist. You didn't mention why you found this event to be scary, but your fears may also be helped by speaking with a therapist.

I hope you are doing well, and I wish you the best.

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