What is morning wood and why is it important?

5 minutes

What is Morning wood?

“Morning wood” is technically referred to as Nocturnal penile tumescence(NPT) which is a common phenomenon in men where they experience penile erection in the morning when they wake up.

It’s a perfectly normal, healthy phenomenon, and contrary to popular belief, these erections have nothing to do with the content of your dreams.

So you can feel free to reassure your partner that you are not engaged in a subconscious affair with another lover( Even if you are, that’s not the reason for it).

Typically, these erections start in puberty and happen frequently until your 40s or 50s. That’s about when your body’s natural production of testosterone begins to slow down.

What causes morning wood?

  • REM Sleep: Morning wood or NPT( Nocturnal penile tumescence) tend to happen to a person when he is in REM(Rapid eye movement) Sleep. People enter REM sleep within the first 90 minutes of falling asleep and, as the sleep cycle repeats throughout the night, REM sleep occurs several times in a night.
    • The parasympathetic nervous system is the one that dilates the blood vessels and it is very much active at night when you’re asleep. The parasympathetic nervous system is the one that is responsible for sleep and responsible for flushing the body with blood. So during this REM sleep, the whole body gets flushed with blood and the penis also is flushed with blood. So when the penis is flushed with blood it tends to expand and become more rigid. The more chances are that you wake up with an erection because there are many cycles of REM sleep throughout the night.
  • Full bladder: There is also evidence that a full bladder can contribute to morning wood. The increased bladder size for the night stimulates a region around the spinal cord which can cause a reflex erection.
  • Testosterone: Usually testosterone in men reaches its highest level in the morning after waking from REM sleep. This increase may be enough to cause an erection in the morning.

Why is morning wood important?

Morning wood is a useful indicator of general sexual health in men. Morning wood is normally a good indicator that your vascular and nervous system is functioning properly. It is also a good indicator of good erectile functioning.

It is a good sign that your body is physiologically capable of achieving an erection and that you likely aren’t affected by physical Erectile dysfunction(ED).

Having an erection in the morning means that the blood and nerve supply around your penis is working normally. As long as your erections do not cause pain or last around 4 hours it is an indicator of a healthy body.

What if I don’t get morning wood?

A lack of morning erection may be a sign of Erectile dysfunction(ED) or impotence.

If you don’t wake up with morning erection regularly then it means that your blood flow is limited, testosterone levels are low or something more serious like Erectile dysfunction can happen.

It is natural to lose the frequency of morning wood with age as testosterone levels drop with age but if there is a sudden drop in the frequency then there is a need to consult a doctor.

How to regain morning erection?

Sleep: Make sure you get enough sleep because your testosterones develop while you’re sleeping. The burning and busting of testosterone are what fuels erections so more the testosterone you have more and stronger the erections are gonna be. Sleep for an average of about 6.5-7 hours a day.

  • Workout: As testosterone is directly linked with a morning erection, one of the best ways to boost testosterone is my lifting weights. When you lift weights your body will immediately start producing more testosterone.

Food: Green vegetables, like asparagus, spinach, edamame beans, and broccoli, are all good sources of folic acid, a type of B vitamin that improves blood flow, and better blood flow means better morning erections in men. Nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients, including erection-friendly magnesium and zinc.

  • Avoid: Avoid smoking, drinking, processed food, and Stress cause these things tend to lower your testosterone levels which eventually can cause loss of morning wood.

Key takeaway

Morning wood is a sign of good general and sexual health – but it’s almost inevitable that you will get them less and less as you age. However, if a lack of morning wood comes with general difficulties getting it up, it is worth investigating why it’s happening. Nocturnal erections happen due to normal physical processes, and if you’re missing them, it could possibly be a sign of ED.

Some general FAQs on Morning wood

  • Can you get morning wood with erectile dysfunction?

Yes, there are cases where you get morning wood occasionally even when you have Erectile dysfunction because the cause of ED might be a psychological issue and not a physiological one.

  • Can stress affect morning wood?

Yes, Stress and anxiety do directly affect your morning erection and might cause Erectile dysfunction too.

  • How long is morning wood supposed to last?

Morning wood usually lasts about 20-25 mins and it happens in cycles throughout the night.

  • Why is morning wood bigger?

As your testosterone levels are highest just after you wake up from sleep and the increased blood flow in the penis might result in a stronger and harder erection in the morning.

  • Can you get morning wood after a vasectomy?

Yes, you would get a morning erection after a vasectomy.