What Causes ‘Morning Wood’, Anyway?
Rise and shine! Although some mornings it’s more ‘rise’ than ‘shine’, am I right or what?
For the fellas clicking into this article, you’re no doubt familiar with the situation: your eyelids creak open to a slanted ray of sunlight coming through your window blinds. Birds outside are chirping as you yawn and pull away the covers and notice that it’s not only the sun that’s come up: so has your penis. Well congrats my dude, you’ve got yourself a little morning wood going on!
Morning wood, AKA Nocturnal Penile Tumescence is a natural phenomenon in all men’s lives, from young to old. Waking up with an erection, many people go on to assume that it is due to sexual stimulation or arousal, but this isn’t always necessarily true – morning wood can be a natural bodily reaction to a number of things.
So what causes ‘morning wood’?
Funny thing about that ol’ nocturnal tumescence is that actually – nobody knows, without a doubt, what causes it. There’s no one cause of the phenomenon that can be pinned down and filed under ‘THIS IS THE CAUSE OF MORNING WOOD’, but it’s believed that there are many things that can bring about a hard-on as you rouse yourself from a good night’s sleep.
While you may be all ‘lights out’ during sleepy time, your body is still very much aware of what’s going on around it. Your body – specifically your penis – will respond to stimulation even when you’re in repose, so if you’re sleeping in a position that puts some pressure on your penis, or if your PJs brush against it, you may get an erection as your penis pops its head out to find out what’s what.
Another reason your rod can be rock hard in the morning is hormonal shifting. In the morning, especially as you rise from REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle sleeping, your testosterone levels are at their highest. An increase in testosterone levels is sometimes enough to cause an erection. As you get older and your testosterone levels begin to dip, you’ll notice your instances of morning wood also happen less frequently.
And speaking of hormones, just like there are ones that can make your dick hard, there are some that will inhibit you getting an erection. During our waking hours, our brains are giving off hormones responding to stressors that have the side effect of making a spontaneous erection less likely. When you’re sleeping and in your most relaxed state, your brain isn’t pumping these hormones out which allows the blood to flow and your peen to grow!
So now that we’re talking about the factors that might cause your morning wood, here are some that probably do not, such as the fact that morning wood occurs in order to keep you from urinating in your sleep. This is in fact not true, as you can urinate through a hard penis just as easily as you can when it’s flaccid. It may however be a byproduct of clenching your pelvic muscles so as not to urinate, thus stimulating bloodflow to your genitals.
Another thing that your morning wood is probably not is a reaction to a sexual dream. During a normal night’s sleep, men can have multiple erectile periods throughout the night, not related to sexual ideation. However if you wake up with a partner, make the most of this natural gift with some great morning sex to get the day started right!
Check this out: Sex Toys Designed for Men
Colin Hanna is a Volonté contributor and freelance writer who lives in Shanghai, China with his wife. He’s written extensively about sex and human sexuality for LELO since 2010.