Listen, it’s time we talk about our most loyal member who greets us every morning with a standing ovation. Our sunrise detection erection, better known as morning wood, is a key component of being a man. It’s there every morning and sometimes randomly in the middle of the night during sleep.
Let’s shed some light on what exactly morning wood is and why suddenly not having it can be a warning sign of more serious issues.
Morning Wood, AKA Nocturnal Penile Tumescence
That’s right, your morning tent pitching ceremony is called Nocturnal Penile Tumescence, or NPT. It’s a known provider of erections that are on par with even the most arousing nights of fun, all while you sleep.
NPT is actually part of the sleep cycle. Your body will enter the rapid eye movement, or REM sleep, phase which is when dreaming commences and you get to that deep sleep to truly rest. The problem comes when you fully enter REM sleep and your body stops controlling its functions as much.
Just like how you’re able to not wet the bed every time you dream about running water, norepinephrine is responsible to not give you a raging erection all day. While your brain is going wild making dreams, it stops producing this miracle chemical that allows you to not worry about knocking items off a display every time you turn around at the store.
Why Morning Wood Matters
Morning wood is the expectation based on the above science. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about and should viewed as a sign of your health and a reminder that everything still works properly.
It signifies that the vascular system responsible for delivering blood to your penis is still in working order and that your brain is still sending the orders to erect a statue in your honor. Every time you get morning wood, you know your brain and body had a job well done.
If you’re no longer getting the morning paper delivered directly to your lap, then there could be more pressing matters at hand. Erectile dysfunction, or ED, can often show the first signs in the absence of morning wood.
Other Contributors To the Daily Wood
We talked a bit on the balance of stimulating and repressive chemicals that your body produces during the night and how this imbalance leads to the newest edition of The Daily Wood. There are still two other theories that are generally accepted but don’t have enough testing done yet.
Sex Hormones, Fun For Everyone
Sex wouldn’t be sex without hormones. It’s what drives that primal instinct we give into when we find a partner wanting to do the same. Much like the chemicals responsible for controlling our body while we sleep, the male sex hormone testosterone sees increased production overnight.
Don’t worry about too much testosterone though, your body regulates the amount and you won’t wake up looking like a werewolf because your brain went overboard which is good news for those of us who already rock the body hair to that degree.
Now this one may be a stark reminder of time’s unstopping pace, but as we grow older we stop producing as much testosterone which can cause all manner of changes but the softening of our morning wood is one of them.
Thankfully testosterone level issues can be met with supplemental testosterone, giving back some of that energy and sexual performance Father Time decided to take away.
Sleepy Seduction AKA Tossing and Turning
Seduction may be a strong word here as the actual morning wood culprit is simply physical contact of your meat on the sheet. It does sound better than saying your throbbing morning wood is caused by some rather sexy sheets.
If you sleep with a partner then the sweet cuddles and oh so cute spooning quickly turn into sexual stimulation and you aren’t the one deciding to flip that switch.
One Missed Erection Can Happen
It’s easy to get carried away and worried if you don’t wake up with morning wood. It’s been happening to you for as long as you can remember and, at times, provided the only reliability during crazy days.
Waking up with morning wood is still a great indicator of your sexual health, but at the end of the day that’s really all it is. This doesn’t mean the warning signs should be ignored, simply that you shouldn’t rush to the doctor exclaiming about your lack of an erection when you threw the sheets off.
One common scenario of waking up without an erection is that your brain wasn’t able to enter and remain in REM sleep, a prerequisite for your erection protection to take the night off. Keep track of these instances though, as more repetitive lack of morning wood could be a sign of other health problems.
Causes and Culprits of Stolen Morning Wood
The figurative lumberjacks of our morning wood that chop down our sunrise salute come in various shapes and sizes, some more concerning than others.
The top of the most wanted list for stolen morning glory includes:
- Low testosterone which impacts your energy and sexual libido while increasing fat gain
- High blood pressure which could also put you at risk of a stroke or heart attack
- Obesity and type 2 diabetes, an unfortunately common pairing that feeds into other issues blocking morning wood
Aside from these physical conditions, psychological factors such as anxiety and depression can cause ED meaning no morning wood until everything running through your mind has been addressed.
The final two tend to go hand in hand. The older we get, the less morning wood is produced by the mill simply because the workers don’t have the drive they once did. Now take the medication needed to keep the rest of the company going and give it a side effect of lower libido or other morning wood interference and you’ve got a one-two knockout that you don’t want to receive.
How To Address the Elephant (Trunk) In the Room
The thought of not being able to have sex or even masturbate ever again is a horrifying one to say the least. Whether you enjoy late-night adventures with your partner(s) or simply want to keep consistent with your spouse, you’ll need the right tool for the job.
Given this pressure, it’s important to talk to your doctor at the first signs of ED which includes multiple instances of no morning wood. Your doctor is needed because the list of reasons behind morning wood and it’s absence provided here is only the surface of how many factors truly contribute to an erection.
Remember, don’t panic the first time you wake up soft between the sheets. Instead you should just track when it occurs and see if there is a common factor such as a bad night of sleep or an extremely stressful day leading up to the occurrence.
From there just provide your doc with the info if the time comes, otherwise keep enjoying the daily reminder that you’re healthy, your brain is working right and you’re ready and able to do the taboo tango.