Morning wood: we’ve all heard about it before. A man wakes up in the morning pitching a tent in his pants.
It’s a normal function, and it has nothing to do with a man having an erotic dream or even thinking about another person.
What Causes Morning Wood?
Morning wood is a natural function, scientifically known as nocturnal penile tumescene (NPT). Young boys and men will have this condition, and it’s more common in younger men than it is in older men.
Men of all ages can experience this condition.
If you’re like most men questioning “why do I have an erection in the morning?” it’s normal.
And the truth is that doctors are still not sure why this occurs. There are a few theories available as to why NPT impacts a lot of men:
- Physical stimulation. There’s a theory that physical stimulation may be to blame for your morning wood. A theory is that the eyes may be closed, but the body is aware of your surroundings. So, when you roll over to hug your partner and your penis rubs against them, your body is aware of this occurring. The result is stimulation which leads to an erection. As a man, I can tell you that as a teen growing up, I would get morning wood without a woman being in the bed next to me.
- Hormones. A theory which sounds good to me is that there are hormonal shifts while you sleep. There’s proof that testosterone levels in men are at their highest levels when a man wakes up from REM sleep. The theory is that testosterone levels are enough to cause morning wood even if there is no physical contact present.
- When awake and alert, it’s suggested that the body releases hormones that will suppress erections. These hormones are thought to decrease when a man is asleep leading to morning wood.
So, why do guys get morning wood?
No one knows with 100% certainty. But, the three theories above are the three that are getting the most research and consideration. Hormones are the most likely cause, and it makes sense in the long-term view.
Teens have a lot of hormones flowing through their body before hormone levels begin to level out.
And when a man hits his 40s and 50s, he may have less occurrences of morning wood. The reason for the drop in morning wood is that the man’s testosterone levels start decreasing causing less of a chance of morning wood.
Based off of this information, it’s safe to assume that testosterone does play some part in the existence of morning wood occurring.
Do All Guys Get Morning Wood?
At some point in a man’s life, he’ll get morning wood. Morning wood is a sign of health in respects to the nervous system and blood flow. You may even find this occurring in boys as young as 6 years old.
Men in their 70s will also have bouts of morning wood.
Morning wood can last 30 minutes or up to two hours in some cases. Despite its name, this occurs two to three times in the middle of the night when a man is asleep. You may also have morning wood when you awaken, but there will be times when you’re dead asleep and get an erection.
It’s perfectly normal, but there is a concern when morning wood stops.
What does it mean if you stop getting morning wood?
If you stop getting morning wood, this is an indicator that you may have problems with:
- Blood flow
Doctors also claim that getting morning wood is an indicator of being able to get and maintain an erection while awake. When morning wood stops, and its frequency will lessen as you age, this is often a sign of an underlying medical issue.
The bad news is that, in most cases, this is a sign that you have erectile dysfunction, or ED.
Erectile dysfunction is often a sign that you have an issue with the nerve signals going to the penis or blood flow to the penis.
How to get morning wood back?
Men that want to get morning wood back will have to focus on the main causes of the condition:
- Weight. A man that is overweight is at higher risk of losing morning wood. A healthy diet and exercise will help a man maintain a healthy weight, improve blood flow and boost testosterone levels.
- High blood pressure. Proper diet, medication, meditation and exercise can also help a man maintain adequate blood pressure levels.
- High cholesterol. Again, another issue related to weight and diet. Exercise and a healthy diet can help combat high cholesterol.
- Depression. A man that is depressed is going to have a harder time getting erections. Find an activity you enjoy, meditate and do something that gets you out of your funk.
Diabetes has also been attributed to ED. Medication is the key to controlling diabetes. If caught early on, proper weight management and loss may be able to reverse diabetes.
Medications may have an impact on erection, too.
Men that have stopped experiencing morning wood should consult with their doctor. This is especially true when a man notices a quick drop off in morning wood. If a man has healthy morning wood one week and it stops completely the next week, a visit to the doctor is likely to reveal an underlying medical condition.
It’s also difficult to define morning wood because some men will have it daily and others won’t.
The concern arises when a man stops having morning wood completely. Older men will naturally notice a decline in morning wood frequency.
Low testosterone may be the cause of older men losing their morning wood. Supplements and medication may be able to help balance out testosterone levels and restore morning wood.
Consulting with your doctor is recommended. Your doctor will likely conduct a physical exam, ask you to take blood and urine tests and may also ask you to undergo an ultrasound or MRI. Additional tests may be required to better pinpoint the cause of you losing morning wood.