Source: BBC News Magazine
Date: 14 October, 2004

Sleeping woman 'seduced strangers'

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- A woman seduced and had sex with strangers while she slept and later had no recollection of her infidelities due to a sleeping disorder, according to her Sydney doctor.

The middle-aged woman had no idea that she was sneaking from her house at night in search of sex with random strangers until her partner awoke, discovered she was missing from the bedroom, and found her having sex with another man, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital sleep medicine physician Peter Buchanan told The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

Her partner was already aware that she was a sleep walker and also had been confounded by condoms he found strewn around the house, Buchanan said Thursday.

Buchanan will discuss the case when he lectures on sleep sex -- the disorder has yet to be given a formal title -- at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Sleep Association in Sydney at the weekend.

"It is very complex, elaborated motor behavior during sleep," Buchanan told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"People are often stunned and overwhelmed when they're told what they've been doing," he added.

The partners and doctors of people suffering from the disorder often do not believe the acts were committed while they slept, he said.

"It's very stressful both for them, for their partner or for their relationship," Buchanan said.

"It also promotes an intense sense of embarrassment on their part, their partner's behalf and this inhibits people coming forward to seek potentially helpful professional intervention."

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