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What Does Sleep Orgasm Mean?

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Feeling aroused while asleep? Orgasms in sleep are real and completely natural. They can happen to anyone regardless of sex.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Raveendran S R

Published At March 29, 2022
Reviewed AtApril 13, 2024

What Is Orgasm?

Orgasm is a pleasurable sexual feeling and excitement that usually occur with sexual stimulation of organs like the penis, clitoris, vagina, nipples, perineum, and also the anus through sexual intercourse, masturbation, or other types of sexual activities like oral sex, outercourse, etc. Orgasms mark the peak of sexual sensation. And yes, orgasms can happen to both men and women.

Why Do Orgasms Occur?

Orgasms are a physiological response to sexual activities. Continuous stimulation of erogenous zones of the body leads to excessive blood flow to that part of the body, and the muscles get tensed. Orgasms do not only have to occur only with sex-related activities. People report experiencing orgasms with exercise, the onset of medicines for epilepsy, in foot amputees at the site of amputation, etc. Hence, orgasms are not always linked to sexual activities and desires.

Can Orgasms Occur During Sleep?

Orgasms do occur during sleep in both males and females. However, it is relatively rare in women. Orgasms in sleep are termed “sleep orgasms,” “nocturnal orgasms,” or “nocturnal emissions,” and people love to call them “wet dreams.” Mostly erotic dreams result in sexual arousal during sleep. The rubbing of bedspreads and bedsheets and its pressure on the genitals while sleeping can also result in sleep orgasms. Sex-related dreams do not necessarily have to end up in wet dreams, and not all wet dreams are the result of sex-related dreams.

What Happens During Wet Dreams?

While being asleep, people tend to dream about sex or related activities. Be it a scene from a cinema or after reading an erotic piece of writing, such erotic dreams lead to sexual arousal when in sleep, and the aroused person does not even know they are aroused. Such sexual stimulation due to dreams causes the secretion of vaginal fluids and seminal fluids (ejaculation). A person does not realize their wet dream until they wake up. It is also said that while sleeping, the genital region becomes sensitive due to increased blood flow to the region which readily gets stimulated with a dream that turns you on. The nervous system and hormones in the body play a crucial role in turning you on while you are asleep.

Who Experiences More Sleep Orgasms?

Once, it was widely believed that only teenage boys more frequently encountered sleep orgasms. It is partially true. During puberty, the hormone testosterone levels increase, making teenage boys more prone to wet dreams. But even adult men and women too experience wet dreams but not as frequently as boys of the pubertal age group. The frequency of these sleep orgasms decreases as one ages due to decreased sex hormone levels.

How Can One Identify Whether or Not They Had Sleep Orgasms?

People cannot identify whether or not they are orgasming in their sleep. Once they wake up, they can recollect the dream that turned them on and the eventual orgasm. They cannot differentiate whether their body is experiencing the climax or it is just happening in the dream.

In the case of males, they can find their seminal discharge on their clothes or bedsheets, indicative of a wet dream. But in the case of females, the presence of vaginal fluid does not necessarily mean they had an orgasm in sleep. Sexual arousal without orgasm can also cause vaginal fluid secretion in females.

Is It Fine to Not Have Sleep Orgasms at All?

When it comes to sleep orgasms, there is no hard and fast rule. There is no standard frequency for sleep orgasms to occur. Orgasming in sleep does not decide one’s sexual or mental health. It is absolutely normal to have or not sleep orgasms until it is not distressing to you. If you feel uncomfortable with sleep orgasms and related dreams that turn you on, you definitely need help.

Is It Bad to Orgasm in Sleep?

It is definitely not bad to experience orgasm during sleep. It is neither a sin nor any sexual dysfunction. It is a body’s normal reaction to certain triggers like the pressure of the bedding, erotic dreams, stress, excitement, excessive tiredness, etc. In fact, mental health experts say that one should not freak out for orgasming in sleep; instead, they need to understand what has happened is one of the normal functioning of their bodies. But yes, excess of anything is definitely not good.

What Should One Do to Increase the Chances of Orgasm in Sleep?

If you really want to experience how sleep orgasms feel and want to have one, just give the following methods a try. These methods likely increase your chances of sleep orgasms.

  • Take a shower before your bedtime with warm water.

  • Abstain from orgasm during the day.

  • Sleeping on your back or abdomen increases the chances of stimulating the penis or clitoris.

  • Watching or reading erotic content possibly elevates your chances of having related dreams and orgasms.

What Should One Do to Prevent Sleep Orgasms?

For people who do not prefer having wet dreams, the following methods might be beneficial;

  • Limit the intake of caffeinated beverages and foods after late afternoon. Consuming caffeine before bedtime can stimulate the brain and cause erotic dreams.

  • Take a cold shower before bedtime. This decreases the excessive sensitivity in the genital region.

  • Limit and control your stress levels. Stress can be a triggering factor to anything and everything. Hence to obtain a peaceful night’s sleep keeping a check on your stress levels is necessary.

  • Avoid sleeping on your back or stomach. These positions are known to cause sleep orgasms. Better sleep on your side. People have been benefitted by using and purchasing weighted sleep mask to sleep better.

  • Exercise regularly and keep your body and mind relaxed. Excessive tension or anxiety and body tiredness together elevate your chances of sleep orgasms.

  • Avoid watching and reading erotic content at night. These stimulate both your body and mind and result in wet dreams while you are asleep.

Conclusion:

Sleep orgasms are normal and natural for men and women. These are more common than you think. The social stigmas have made it a topic of taboo to be discussed. There is no shame, and one should not be distressed for having orgasms in sleep. But if you feel your sleep orgasms are making you feel bad about yourselves, talk to a mental health expert now and get a clear insight into the situation.

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Dr. Raveendran S R
Dr. Raveendran S R

Sexology

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