BY ANGELA POMPELLI-BUTLER
Morning wood is likely the response your body has to one of several natural occurrences.
Have you ever wondered why men wake up with a hard on every day? What really is morning wood? It is formally
known as nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) and is a common occurrence for many boys and men. From time
to time, most men may wake up with an erect penis. This is most common in younger men, although men of all ages
may experience this. Many people assume a morning erection is a sign of sexual stimulation; however, this is
not always the case. Morning wood is likely the response your body has to one of several natural occurrences.
Though your eyes are shut, your body is still very much aware of what’s happening around you. If you or your
partner accidentally touch or graze your genitals, you may become erect. Your body senses the stimulation and
responds with an erection.
Your testosterone level is at its highest in the morning after you wake up. It is highest immediately after waking
up from rapid eye movement sleep stage. The increase in this hormone alone may be enough to cause an erection,
even in the absence of any physical stimulation. As men get older, usually between ages 40 and 50, natural
testosterone levels begin to fall.
There are also other variables that can affect morning wood, which include being overweight, high blood
pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and depression. Medications may also affect your ability to experience
morning wood. Painkillers and anti-depressants have a heavy effect on this as well.
During your waking hours, your body releases hormones to suppress erections. When you are asleep, your body
releases less of those hormones. Combine this fact with the other reasons you may experience an erection in your
sleep, and NPT becomes more likely.
Men may experience an erection three to five times each night, and it may last from a few minutes to a few hours.
Although you are sleeping, this may have nothing to do with what is actually in your dreams and most erections
will ease within a few minutes of waking up.
Getting morning wood is actually a very healthy part of your sexual health. It means that your hormones are in
line and everything is working properly. If you stop having morning wood or it ever gets painful, it’s time to see a