Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Sleep behavior

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Question
I am 27 year old male.  Straight.  The other night, as I was right about to fall asleep, I felt an unusual, uncontrollable urge to hug and kiss my room mate, who I am not attracted to.  I went ahead and did just that without realizing what I was doing.  The urge was completely uncontrollable.  When I came to, I became extremely embarrassed and grossed out.  Should I see a doctor?  Is this a serious problem?  I am worried. My room mate is obviously weirded out.

Answer
You didn't realize what you were doing because you were not awake.  Of course you're worried, but sleep talking, walking around, doing things, sometimes all three together, are not uncommon, and not at all understood, so the meaning of any activity has no known significance. No, it is not considered a serious problem, and straight or not, attracted or not, is irrelevant because there is no scientific validity in the interpretation of dream content, and this is like a waking dream.

Sometimes an episode occurs once in a lifetime, so there's no reason to expect a recurrence. These sleep disturbances are a bit more common during periods of stress -- like the beginning of a school year away from home (if that's the case with you). But if it happens again, or if your roomie remains freaked out, you could tie a line from an ankle to a bed-leg so getting up will wake you up.

If you want to learn more, I'm sure that googling "sleepwalking" will bring plenty of info. (You can believe any descriptions but not necessarily the explanations.)

Hope that helps a bit. Thanks for asking us, and good luck in your studies or whatever.

Alan

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Alan Auerbach

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Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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