Morning Erection and Erectile Dysfunction

Here’s a subject with a tongue-in-cheek nickname that many people can relate to: 

Morning wood.

The scientific term for a “morning wood” or morning erection is nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT), and we’re going to break down the science for you today, including how it relates to erectile dysfunction (ED).

Let’s start with the basics!

Why Do Erections Happen?

Sexuality is more than simple physical stimulation of the genitals.

Our brains can play an active role in sexuality, and erections are most often triggered by seeing, feeling, or thinking about something or someone that is sexually exciting.

This sexual excitement is known as arousal, and it makes the brain send signals to the penis. These signals cause more blood to flow into the penis, and the penis swells and stiffens to form an erection. 

NPTs are different from “wet dreams” (known scientifically as nocturnal emissions) because these dreams often contain sexual imagery that stimulates a person to ejaculate during sleep. 

Puberty causes young people to have more wet dreams when their bodies start producing testosterone, a necessary hormone for sexual development and the ability to have sex.

What’s the Difference With Morning Wood?

NPTs happen during sleep without us being aware of any sexual arousal, and it’s a common occurrence in boys or younger men, although a man of any age can experience NPTs.

Facts About NPTs

  • You may hear that morning wood is the body’s way of keeping you from urinating during sleep. This belief is not true
  • The body can experience an erection during sleep if the genitals get physically stimulated.   
  • NPTs happen at any age, and medical evidence shows that unborn babies can experience an erection in the mother’s womb! 

What Physically Causes NPTs? 

During sleep, the body runs in part through the nervous system.

The sacral nerve (part of the parasympathetic nervous system) is responsible for erections when a person isn’t awake or is still half-asleep.

More To Know About Morning Erections

Morning erections aren’t strictly a morning time occurrence, and the penis may get erect more than once a night: 

  • Depending upon a person’s sleep quality, they can experience up to five erections during eight hours, with each erection lasting up to 35 minutes (although this may not happen every night).
  • Experiencing a morning erection is a good sign that your nerves, blood supply and circulation are healthy, and it can also mean you’re physically able to get and maintain an erection either asleep or awake.
  • Medications for high blood pressure, hormonal issues (including low T levels), diuretics, muscle relaxers, or anti-depressants can cause morning erections to decrease or stop entirely.

A morning erection usually goes soft when you awake; however, if your erection continues for a significant amount of time, it could mean a condition called Priapism that can result in permanent dysfunction of the penis.

On the other hand, if you no longer experience morning erections as frequently, it could be an early warning sign of erectile dysfunction (ED)

Facts About Erectile Dysfunction

As people age, it’s natural for the frequency of erections to decline and the sensation of erections to decrease gradually. 

So you may not be experiencing morning erections as frequently, or perhaps you’re concerned about other symptoms of ED. 

We are specialists in sexual health, and it’s our job to understand and treat the risk factors for ED, including physical, psychological, and lifestyle issues.

These issues are common to many people, including anxiety, depression, pressures at work,  relationship stresses, and fears about sex that can affect your mental health and contribute to physical conditions like ED. 

We Treat All Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

If issues are affecting your mental health, it can feel like too much, and it often feels more hopeless when a psychological issue results in you experiencing erectile dysfunction

We can tell you that treatments are available to help treat all causes of ED effectively, and we get you there.

Our treatment options for ED include private sessions with our psychologist in a confidential clinic setting, and there’s just one thing that we ask of you—your honesty! 

Talking about any health condition, especially mental health, can feel awkward, but we are medical specialists who understand what you’re feeling and experiencing. We appreciate your honesty, and when you share with us, we can offer the best treatment strategy for you.

Whether it’s morning wood or a morning erection, we like to share information with people on maintaining a healthy lifestyle that can help avoid—or even reverse—a case of ED.

When it comes to your healthy lifestyle, here are the most important tips to remember:

  • Eat the right foods and dietary supplements for your optimum well-being.
  • Try to keep your weight under control for your height and age.
  • Try daily, moderate exercise to effectively work out your heart, lungs, and circulation system.
  • It’s always best to cut back on alcohol or recreational drugs.
  • Avoiding cigarette smoking altogether is highly recommended!

The takeaway here is you can do your part every day to fight ED.

Are you hoping for a solution to your sexual problems? The world is yours, and the medical specialists at Oakwood Health Network are here to help you achieve better health and happiness with the most effective methods and medical technologies that treat ED.

Give us a call today to arrange a free consultation! 

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Holland, K., 2018. What Causes Morning Wood?. [online] Healthline. Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/health/mens-health/morning-wood#causes> [Accessed 12 January 2022].

Sharma, M., 2021. What Causes Erectile Dysfunction? Physical and Psychological Factors – Oakwood Health Network. [online] Oakwood Health Network. Available at: <https://www.oakwoodhealth.com/what-causes-erectile-dysfunction/> [Accessed 12 January 2022].

Melman, A. and Serels, S., 2000. Priapism. International Journal of Impotence Research, [online] 12(S4), pp.S133-S139. Available at: <https://www.nature.com/articles/3900592#citeas> [Accessed 12 January 2022].