If a man has spent any time close to one, then they may probably notice the phenomenon of nocturnal penile tumescence which is known as morning erections or, in slang, morning “wood.”
What does morning wood mean?
Morning wood, formally known, as nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT), is a usual occurrence for many boys & even men. On regular basis, men may wake up with erect penile. This is a most common thing in younger men, although men irrespective of their age may experience NPT.
Many men assume a morning erection is a sign of sexual arousal, however, this isn’t the case every time. Morning wood is likely the response your body has to one of many natural occurrences.
What causes morning wood?
The cause of NPT is likely multifactorial. Doctors have some theories that help explain why men wake up with erect penile, but none of these theories are supported by clear medical evidence. These theories include:
Though your eyes are closed, your body is aware of what’s happening around you. If you or your partner accidentally touch or graze your genitals, you may become erect in minutes. Your body senses the stimulation & hence responds with an erection.
Your testosterone level is at its peak in the morning once you wake up. It is highest immediately post waking up from the sleep stage. The growth in this hormone may be enough to cause an erection, even in the absence of physical stimulation. As men get old, between ages 40 & 50, natural testosterone levels begin to go down slowly. As this level goes down, NPT may decrease with this as well.
During your waking time, your body releases hormones to suppress hard erections. When you’re sleeping, your body releases less amount of those hormones. Combine this fact with the other reasons you may witness an erection in your sleeping time too, and NPT becomes very much likely.
What’s clearer is what doesn’t form morning wood. E.g., needing to urinate isn’t responsible for morning wood. Few people believe an erection in the morning keeps them from urinating when they are asleep, but this is not true at all. Morning wood also isn’t a sign of sexual stimulation always. In most cases, morning wood isn’t caused by dreams or sexual nature thoughts.
Who gets morning wood?
Men of all ages can experience NPT which is morning wood. This is known to be healthy at any given age & also this is a sign of functioning blood properly and also a nervous system in and around the penile area. Young guys may experience morning wood as young as 6 to 8 years of age. NPT may also happen in men in their 60s & their 70s. This will become less frequent as ED begins to happen, and those problems become frequent with age.
Men may experience an erection three to five times every night. Unrelated to what’s in your dreams, morning wood can last up to & even longer than 30 minutes. Some men may experience an erection for as long as two hours at the time o their sleep. Many of those erections will ease within a few minutes after waking up.
What does it mean if you stop achieving morning wood?
Having an erect penile when you wake after sleep is an indicator of blood that is healthy and nerve supply to the penile. The presence of morning wood also indicates that you’re physically capable of achieving & sustaining an erection when awake.
If you stop experiencing NPT or notice that you’re not waking up anymore with erect penile, this may be an early sign of a medical issue.
This is a sign of erectile dysfunction (ED). You may have something occurring within your body that’s preventing enough blood or nerve supply for right erectile function. You may be more likely to witness weak erections if you:
- are obese
- suffering from high blood pressure
- or if have high levels of cholesterol
- suffering from diabetes
- have depression
Certain physical disabilities may also make ED very likely.
Medications may also affect your ability to witness morning wood. Painkillers & some antidepressant medications may prevent morning wood. NPT may become less common as you get old with age, but if you’re young enough and are not experiencing an erection or if your erections stop, it may be time to see your doctor immediately.
When to see a doctor
- Morning wood is very healthy, and it’s rarely a reason to see your doctor. However, two situations mean it’s time to make an appointment, that is:
- You stop having morning wood
- If you frequently experienced morning wood but you are not experiencing it now.
At such times should talk with your doctor. While it’s natural for episodes of NPT to occur less with age, a sudden drop in frequency may be a sign of medical problems.
You start witnessing painful erections
Most erections in the morning will subside within half an hour of waking up. If your erections stay more than an hour post you wake up or if they become very painful, you should make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.
It’s tough to declare “too much” & “too little” when it comes to NPT. Few men experience erections in the morning each day. Some experience is less than once in one week. During your annual exam, talk with your doctor about the frequency of your morning wood. If you’re not experiencing it enough, your doctor may be able to help you with a real reason.
Morning wood is common in men and young guys. It’s an indication of blood that is normal and nerve supply to the penile area. Many young men will witness morning wood plenty of times per week. As men grow old, they begin witnessing it quite frequently. If you stop experiencing morning wood, this may be a sign of an underlying medical health problem. Pay attention to how often you witness morning wood & if this stops, speak with your doctor as soon as possible.