You might have heard of sleepwalking but not much about 'sleep sex'. It's actually a very rare condition known as sexsomnia, where a person suffering from it engages in sexual activities while he/she is asleep.
In a recent report on sexsomnia, BBC narrates the case study of a man named Tom who allegedly raped his ex-girlfriend, Sarah in his sleep.
The victim revealed that one day when she was sleeping with Tom, he started behaving in an unusual way like 'fondling her breasts' and more. Since it was early days of their relationship, she decided not to say anything about it.
But again, one day, after they'd been to a party and both were drunk, Sarah woke from a deep sleep to find Tom trying to penetrate her.
It was disturbing for her and on the very next day, she told him that she would like to end the relationship. However, Tom's response surprised her.
"He didn't know what I was talking about so he was quite defensive. And I was really angry having been woken up and him just completely oblivious to the whole thing," Sarah says.
Later, she encouraged him to see a doctor. He was diagnosed with something unusual. The consultant neurologist in charge of Tom's case, Dr Guy Leschziner said: "His brainwaves in his sleep study show something very unusual."
Dr Guy Leschziner further added: "He appears to be awake and deeply asleep at the same time. During brief periods we can see the large slow brainwaves of deep sleep, with superimposed fast rhythms, suggesting simultaneously that he is awake."
The results of Tom's sleep study and Sarah's description of Tom's behaviour led Leschziner to diagnose him with sexsomnia.
However, "without having electrodes attached during the night of the rape, it's impossible to be sure whether it was as a result of Tom's sleep disorder," says Leschziner.
Nevertheless, Tom was found guilty by a jury. But in the last few years, there have been several court cases involving sleep disorders, including sexsomnia, which have resulted in acquittals, BBC reported
In these cases, the law decides whether someone had a criminal intent or was acting without conscious awareness.
The names were changed to protect identities.