Morning Wood: Why Waking Up With An Erection is Good News

Ever wonder how in the heck do you get “morning wood”? Or is a good thing? Bad thing? Well, you’re about to get the 411 on why waking up “stiff” is a good thing, especially for your sexual health.

What is Morning Wood All About?

Most men wake up wondering “Why do I have morning wood”? Others wonder why they haven’t had one in a while. Well, this is what morning wood is all about. They’re also called morning erections.

Morning Wood is Another Name for Nocturnal Penile Tumescence

The medical term for morning wood is nocturnal penile tumescence. Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) is a spontaneous erection of the penis while asleep or upon waking up.

It is Natural And Healthy To Occasionally Wake Up With Morning Wood

Researchers suggest that a healthy, virile man will experience morning wood about three to five times through the night. This “stiffening” phenomenon is a tell-tale sign that he has normal testosterone levels. In a 1988 study conducted by the Journal of Gerontology, young healthy men typically experience NPT on a regular basis.

Most guys who are in their 20s and 30s tend to experience morning wood a lot. Consequently, this is the time where most guys have the highest levels of testosterone. As men get over 40, they tend to experience less morning wood. This also may be a signal that their T-levels are declining.

What Causes Morning Wood?

The main assumption of morning wood is that the man is sexually aroused. While that might be the case, there are other factors that likely cause it as well. Health experts have some theories in regards to why a man wakes up with an erect penis. But none of these theories are supported by concrete, medical evidence.

Physical Stimulation Can Cause Morning Wood

If you’re lying in bed with your partner and they accidentally (or purposefully) touch your penis, you could get morning wood. The reason for this is your body is very sensitive while asleep and responds to this simulation by getting an erection.

Testosterone Levels Can Also Be a Cause of Morning Wood

A sign of is high testosterone levels could be morning wood. When waking up, testosterone levels are at their peak. The surge of hormones may be strong enough to cause an erection.

Morning Wood May Be Related To Your Brain Chemistry During Sleep

The reason you don’t walk around with an erection is that our brain releases hormones to suppress it. However, sleep causes our brain to release less of those hormones. Combine the other factors mentioned and this may be the root cause of morning wood.

Researchers are still fuzzy on what these hormones are and how they suppress morning wood. Other alleged causes of NPT such as needing to urinate is unfounded.

Some men believe an erection prevents them from urinating on themselves, but this is not true. The body has other methods in place that prevents you from wetting the bed.

What Does It Mean If You Have No Morning Wood?

Is life as you know it doomed if you don’t wake up erect? Well, not exactly but it could be a sign that your health isn’t altogether.

Morning wood demonstrates that you have a healthy blood flow and nerve function to the penis. This also means that your overall blood flow and nerve functioning is good throughout your body in general. If you can’t remember the last time you experienced NPT, then that may be a warning sign that you have erectile dysfunction (ED).

Men suffering from ED typically fall under one or more of these health issues:

  • Obesity/Overweight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoker
  • Heavy drinker or drug user
  • Take certain medications
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure or hypertension
  • Depression
  • Low testosterone

If You Do Not Have Any Nocturnal Penile Tumescence You Should Consult Your Doctor

Morning Wood

All of the aforementioned problems certainly warrants a doctor visit. Not experiencing NPT anymore may be your warning sign of future (or current) health problems.

However, keep in mind that most men experience less NPT as they get older. If you’re over 40, not having morning wood as much as you use to may be attributed to aging.

Regardless of the reason, get a physical exam from a doctor to verify the root cause of it. And be sure to tell them about it so your doctor is fully aware of your dilemma so they can give you a prognosis. (I know it may be embarrassing to discuss but your health is more important.)

Morning Wood Is Often a Sign of a Healthy Penis And Hormone Levels

If anything else, morning wood is a sign that you don’t have ED or other sexual dysfunctions. It is a clear-cut sign that your penis is functioning properly.

While morning wood serves no specific function, it might be the best indication that you have adequate testosterone levels. In fact, low testosterone and ED have been linked for quite some time.

A 2006 study conducted by BJU International showed that ED is more apparent in guys with low levels of free testosterone. So experiencing an erect penis in the morning indicates your hormones (testosterone in particular) are running at optimal levels.

There May Be An Underlying Health Condition Like Diabetes Or Depression

Not getting morning wood anymore could be due to diabetes. Many men are unaware of how much diabetes affects their sex drive, including their ability to get and maintain an erection. The connection makes a whole lot of sense though.

Getting an erection comes down to healthy blood vessels and nerve functions. Diabetes typically damages the blood vessels and nerves that control erection. What’s crazy is even if you have normal T-levels and the desire to have sex, diabetes may block your ability to achieve a full erection.

If you get morning wood but have issues getting erect during intimacy, then it could be due to depression or emotional stress. Many men think they are suffering physical ED but it’s really mental ED.

If you’ve been going through a ton of stress, it definitely can affect your sex drive. Seeking professional help (i.e., therapist) should rectify your ED.

How To Get Morning Wood Back

After all that has been discussed, it seems like morning wood is more important than one would think. So getting them back will require some lifestyle changes.

Treating An Underlying Condition Could Help You Get Your Morning Wood Back

Some men no longer experience NPT due to an underlying condition. A lack of morning wood could be due to several health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. However, it could be also due to mental issues such as depression.

Going to your doctor and determining what health issues you have is the first step. After that, you should be made aware of what to do to alleviate the problem.

Take a Stamp Test Or Use The Rigiscan To Evaluate What’s Happening

One method you can do to determine if you’re getting morning wood during the night is the stamp test.

The stamp test requires a man to use a postage stamp around his penis prior to sleeping. A length of connected postage stamps connected by perforations allows easy tearing are secured loosely around the male’s flaccid penis just prior to sleeping. If he gets morning wood, then the stamp would tear.

While not the best test, it is a suitable method if you’re too embarrassed to talk with your doctor about possible ED issues. Now, a more suitable method given by a doctor is the Rigiscan test.

The Rigiscan is a portable home device used to evaluate the quality of NPT. You place a device around your penis before you go to sleep. It measures how many erections you have and how strong they are. This method can be repeated several nights in a row. The results from each night are stored on the Rigiscan device so your doctor can download and analyze it.

Some Medications May Be Able To Help With Erectile Dysfunction Issues

Most men with ED issues have turned to medication. Medication such as Viagra and Cialis has been widely known to help a man achieve and maintain a full erection. These medications should be able to help a man get morning wood.

Living a Healthier Lifestyle May Help With Testosterone Levels And Blood Flow

The ideal remedy for men dealing with lack of morning wood, ED, and other sexual dysfunction is to improve lifestyle habits.

Doing things such as:

  • Losing weight
  • Stop smoking or heavy drinking
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Being more active/exercising more

These lifestyle factors will obviously improve your overall wellbeing, including boosting T-levels and blood flow. In addition, they should help you start experiencing morning wood again.

The Final Word on Morning Wood

The topic of morning wood is still a questionable one. Health experts are relatively unsure about the ins and outs of this “stiffening” phenomenon. One thing for sure is morning wood indicates that your penis is functioning properly.

If you’re not sure whether you’re experiencing them, there is an app for that! A smartphone app called Morning Glory helps you keep count of morning erections. It is only available for download in the Apple Store. (Sorry Android users.) Regardless if you experience morning wood or not, get an annual physical exam to get a true gauge of where your health lies.