The real reason you get morning woods

by Staff writer

Ever wondered the exact reason men wake up each morning with their members standing firm and strong inside their boxers?

Men of all ages experience morning woods (or nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT), as it is formally called) — but it is most common in young boys.

Though science says that morning wood is an indication of normal blood and nerve supply to the penis, no definite explanation exists yet as to why men get this erection.

Theories suggest morning erection is caused by several factors, but none of them is completely backed by studies.

Top three of these theories are:

1. Hormones

Hormonal changes occur in your body while you sleep. It is known that the average level of testosterone in your bloodstream is highest just after sleep, and this can cause a morning erection.

This factor could also be why morning wood becomes less common with age. As people get older, the circulating levels of testosterone decrease, resulting in a lower sex drive and fewer morning erections.

2. Brain Action

When you are awake, your body releases hormones to suppress erections. This function is chiefly coordinated by the brain and it is less effective when you’re asleep.

3. Physical stimulation

Even when you are asleep, your body is still very much aware of what’s happening around you. During sleep, physical contact with your partner (or even just pressure from your sheets, pillow or clothing) can stimulate your penis and cause you to develop an erection.


Having an erect penis when you wake up is an indicator of healthy blood and nerve supply to the penis. The presence of a morning erection also likely indicates that you’re physically capable of getting and maintaining an erection while awake.

If you stop experiencing morning woods or notice that you’re not waking up with an erect penis anymore, this may be an early sign of an underlying medical problem.



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