Morning Wood

I read an article about a couple having sexual problems because the husband was not able to obtain an erection in the morning.

I thought this would be an interesting topic, so I reached out to Amy Goldenberg, Consumer Research Analyst, SurveyStud, Inc, and this is what the data indicate.

Many people assume a morning erection is a sign of sexual stimulation, however this isn’t always the case. Morning wood is likely the response his body has to one of several natural occurrences.

Goldenberg mentioned, during his waking hours, his body releases hormones to suppress erections. When he’s asleep, his body releases less of those hormones. Combine this fact with the other reasons he may experience an erection in his sleep, and nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) becomes more likely.

What’s clearer is what doesn’t cause morning wood. For example, needing to urinate isn’t responsible for morning wood. Some people believe a morning erection keeps them from urinating during their sleep, but this is not true. Morning wood also isn’t always a sign of sexual stimulation. In many cases, NPT isn’t caused by dreams or thoughts of a sexual nature.

Having an erect penis when you wake is an indicator of healthy blood and nerve supply to the penis. The presence of  NPT also likely indicates that you’re physically capable of getting and maintaining an erection while awake.

If you stop experiencing NPT or notice that you’re not waking up with an erect penis anymore, this may be an early sign of an underlying medical problem.

Most likely, this is a sign of physical erectile dysfunction (ED). You may have something happening within your body that’s preventing adequate blood or nerve supply for proper erectile function. You may be more likely to experience ED if you:

– are overweight
– have high blood pressure
– have high cholesterol levels
– have diabetes
– have depression
– Certain physical disabilities may also make ED more likely.

Medications may also affect your ability to experience morning wood. Painkillers and some antidepressant medications may prevent NPT.

NPT may become less common as you get older, but if you’re young and are not experiencing a morning erection or if your erections suddenly stop, it may be time to see your doctor.

Who gets morning wood?

Men of all ages can experience NPT. It’s healthy at any age and is a sign of a properly functioning blood and nervous system in and around the penis. Young boys may experience NPT as young as 6 to 8 years old. NPT may also occur in men in their 60s and 70s. It will become less frequent as ED issues begin to occur, and those issues become more frequent with age.

Men may experience an erection three to five times each night. Unrelated to what’s in your dreams, NPT can last up to and even longer than 30 minutes. Some men may experience an erection as long as two hours during their sleep. Most erections will ease within a few minutes of waking up.

You stop having morning wood

If you frequently experienced morning wood but now aren’t experiencing it at all or have fewer erections, you should talk with your doctor. While it’s natural for episodes of NPT to occur less frequently with age, a sudden drop in frequency may be a sign of an underlying medical problem.

Bottom line

Morning wood is very common. It’s an indication of normal blood and nerve supply to the penis. Most young men will experience morning wood several times per week. As men grow older, however, they begin experiencing it less frequently.

If you stop experiencing NPT, this may be an early sign of an underlying medical problem. Pay attention to how often you experience morning wood and if it stops, speak with your doctor.

Now you know…

SurveyStud: In the App Store

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