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Why Guys Wake Up With an Erected Penis (Morning Wood)?

  • 2 min read

Every guy has woken up from a deep sleep and, with tiny song birds chirping outside his window and his elderly neighbor whistling merrily in the garden next door, looked down with blurry eyes to be greeted by…a massive erection.

It can strike at the most awkward times. Morning wood doesn’t care if you’re spending the weekend on your grandma’s couch and she’s just walked in to surprise you with Mickey Mouse pancakes. It doesn’t care if your girlfriend went to bed angry and likely would not appreciate being saluted by Mini-You first thing in the morning. But, despite its tendency to show up uninvited, morning wood is completely natural and actually indicative of a healthy penis.

The Misconception
Unsurprisingly, people often associate morning wood with sexual arousal. After all, it is an erection, which would seem to imply some degree of provocation. However, that’s not always the case. Morning wood, or nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT), is more commonly linked with your body’s natural progress through the stages of the REM cycle. It has nothing to do with being so obsessed with sex that you can’t even sleep without thinking about it. So, what exactly is going on?

Wood-ology 101
There are a few different reasons why you might wake up with an erection. The most common explanation has to do with your REM cycle. The journey through this cycle involves increased blood flow to certain parts of your body, including your penis, resulting in 3 to 5 erections during the night and early morning. Also, some scientists believe that, while you sleep, certain neurons that would normally prevent you from getting an erection aren’t being discharged. Their absence lets your hormones have a field day, resulting in NPT.

There is also evidence suggesting that a full bladder can cause morning wood. The bladder can start to press against nerves that control erections. Not to mention, you know how hard it is to pee when you have an erection. Morning wood could be Mother Nature doing you a solid and preventing you from wetting the bed.

Why It’s a Good Thing
Even though it can be embarrassing, you should be thankful for your morning wood. If you never experience it, it could mean that you suffer from erectile dysfunction.

Or, if you already suspect that you have erectile dysfunction, morning wood can be used to determine if your problem is psychological or physiological. If you get an erection in your sleep but not when you’re expected to perform, it could mean that you have an anxiety problem.

Next time you wake up with morning wood, don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed of it. It doesn’t mean you only have one thing on your mind, and it doesn’t mean your body is expecting any kind of favors. It just means things are in physical working order down there, which you will probably agree is a good thing.

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