Waking up with a morning erection might be normal for a young man. Scientifically termed as nocturnal penile tumescence, the phenomenon of morning wood is an indicator of a man’s sexual health.
The boner you roll out of bed with is associated with a lot of myths and theories. Some calculate it to be a reaction to the thoughts one might have had while being in deep sleep, believe that ‘It isn’t you!’.
While for the women, it is a total surprise to find their man having a boner early in the morning. Whereas the guys may insist on it being a ‘pee boner’, the citing has more scientific reasons than talked about.
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What is Morning Wood?
It is a common occurrence where men or boys wake up with an erect penis. Also known as Nocturnal Penile Tumescence (NPT), the phenomenon is called a sign of sleep stimulation where the mind relaxes and morning wood occurs as a natural occurrence!
When men open their eyes in the morning, they notice an erection completely unrelated to what they feel. The phenomenon of nocturnal penile tumescence is termed as nocturnal clitoral tumescence in women where the women experience clitoris and vagina engorged with blood just like it does when one is aroused. However, this too is a natural occurrence unrelated to one’s feelings!
What causes this phenomenon?
There have been numerous theories and myths revolving around the phenomenon of having morning wood. Although there is no research found on the causes or effects of things around to bring an early morning erection, there are many causes attributed to the phenomenon.
Relaxation of brain
During the wake hours of the day, your brain takes care of the functions of the body. As a result, erections are suppressed by the signals sent from the brain. However, when the mind is into a deep sleep and the nerves relax, the erection happens on its own. This is also called REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. During this, the penis gets no signal from the brain and is free to act on its own. As there are no measures to control the erections, the erection stays. Thus, this can be attributed to some hormonal changes, thoughts in deep sleep, or just a natural occurrence.
While you might be asleep, the body is still aware of the things happening around you. If your partner happens to touch you around the stimulating areas or tries to arouse you in sleep, the penis can become erect while in sleep. As the body senses react positively to the stimulation, the body responds accurately.
After having a good sleep, a man’s testosterone levels are very high in the morning. The increase of this hormone leads to an erect penis early in the morning although the person may not be emotionally aroused. With age, the testosterone levels tend to fall and so do the hormonal changes resulting in the morning wood.
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Who is most likely to get morning wood?
Morning wood is a common occurrence in men of all ages. It starts from as early as 6 to 8 years of age when the hormones finally start to make changes in the body. And the occurrence of it lasts for as long as 60 or 70 years of age (sometimes even more).
The occurrence sees a drop after the body has hormonal problems or with someone who has erectile dysfunction. So, any sexually healthy man with balanced hormones is likely to get morning erections.
Is it healthy?
A man is scientifically expected to have at least three to five erections per night. Anything below this is considered a cause of concern. This can be due to several reasons like hypertension, depression, anxiety, diabetes, nerve malfunctions, hormonal imbalance, etc.
If a man gets a morning erection and is not able to perform well in the bedroom – it means that the person is sexually healthy and might have some psychological issues. Therefore, morning wood doesn’t just help in tracking the physiological issues with the body but is a sign of balanced health conditions.
Definitely, morning wood is a healthy sign!
Is it related to Erectile Dysfunction?
It most commonly occurs after a good REM sleep i.e. Rapid eye movement sleep. Here the person wakes right after a deep sleeping stage. However, if the person is waking up after a preceding into light sleep modes, morning wood might not be tracked. This may be taken as no morning erections by the person too.
However, not having it is indeed a sign of erectile dysfunction or impotence. If a man experiences difficulty in spontaneous erections, not having it is a clear sign that they need to take assistance from a doctor.
Having no morning wood might not be a clear indication but when backed with several other instances of erection issues, it can be a sign of erectile dysfunction or impotence.
Things you need to know about morning wood!
There are a lot of myths tied to the concept of men having morning erections. As there is no scientific backup to prove the occurrence, the phenomenon remains debated. Many women when they wake up finding their partner erect early in the morning have their apprehensions too. Here are a few things that need attention when knowing about morning wood.
It’s occurring because the brain is relaxing
As the brain is in deep sleep mode, it isn’t paying attention to the functions it regularly checks on. Where normally the brain is regulating the penis erections and activities, during the deep sleep stage, the penis is actually free to do its own activities. And so it does what it is meant to do – get hard!
It’s happening because of fluctuation in hormones
In the morning, men have the highest levels of testosterone. This is probably also the reason why morning sex is the best. But apart from it, the testosterone levels show their presence in the morning by causing morning boners. This is, therefore, a common occurrence to men who are sexually active.
It’s an exercise for penis
Getting penis hard is all about blood flow into it and holding it for as long as possible. For any other organ holding blood in one area would mean experiencing pain within a couple of minutes. However, the penis is required to trap blood for as long as it can without having pain. This ability in men comes when they are able to do it on a regular basis.
If morning boner wasn’t an occurrence, it would have been impossible for men to believe holding penis erect for more than a minute. Therefore, morning wood might just be attributed to being a form of natural body exercise to keep the penis healthy of performing.
It’s a subconscious stimulation
Morning wood is not a sign of a man being horny early in the morning. As the brain is sleeping, the body is still receptive to physical stimulation and acts accordingly. Rubbing off against a pillow, partner’s hand on the penis, etc. can stimulate the body to have an erection.
It isn’t a bladder control issue
A common misconception is that having a night erection prevents a man from peeing on the bed. While there are plenty of reasons to draw this conclusion, this isn’t true. It is indeed understood that the urge to pee as you get up and experience morning wood occurs simultaneously but they aren’t interconnected.
What does it mean if you stop getting morning erections?
Morning wood reflects a body’s ability to hold an erection. It is a sign of physical ability, nerve functioning, the blood supply to the penis, and the natural occurrence of erection.
However, if a person stops getting morning erections naturally, it underlines a problem. It can be related to erectile dysfunction, stress levels, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, impotency, or any physical ailments.
But if a person stops getting morning erections after a certain age, it might be related to the hormonal levels or their sexual drive. It is common for men above the age of 60 or so to lose their morning boners.
One should also consider taking an insight into the painkillers or medications they take which might have side effects of causing an effect on their erection. Most routine erectile dysfunction problems occur as a sign of side effects of some of the other medicine.
The bottom line!
Morning wood is a common phenomenon in young boys and men. It is healthy to experience it a few times a week. It also starts getting less frequent as a man starts to age.
However, if one stops getting an early morning boner, it could be a sign of physiological or psychological problems where one needs to seek a doctor’s assistance at the earliest. With a healthy diet and medication, erectile dysfunction can be cured and one might be able to experience morning erections again.
The next time you wake up experiencing morning wood, just think of it as a sign of you being sexually healthy!
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