If I ever buy a boat, I’m going to name it Morning Wood. The name has a ring to it, doesn’t it? But in all seriousness, I received a Twitter question last night asking about the science of this phenomenon, so I thought I’d share the response with my readers:
Morning wood, also known as nocturnal penile tumescence, is part of your regular sleep pattern and you likely get erections four to five times per night. When you’re awake, the neurotransmitter norepinephrine constricts the blood vessels of the penis to restrict blood flow and prevent erections. But while you sleep, your levels of norepinephrine drop and allow extra blood to flow to the penis resulting in those friendly boners you wake up with each morning.
But why oh why does this happen? Believe it or not, your sleep-induced hard-ons actually serve a purpose. The extra blood flow promotes oxygenation to repair cells and reflex erections can stop you from wetting the bed.
Sexual health practitioners actually use morning wood for diagnostic purposes to differentiate between physiological and psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. As a general rule, if you get hard in your sleep, it is less likely that your erection loss is due to a physical/medical issue.
So embrace your morning glory and make use of it! Morning sex has many benefits including elevating your mood, taking advantage of high testosterone levels that can help with stamina and strengthening your immune system.
Here’s to pitching tents at dawn!