Most men have experienced it and many men still do. We are talking about ‘morning wood’ or more accurately, nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT). Do not worry if you experience it as it is totally normal for healthy men to have NPT. In fact, even women experience a similar phenomenon where their clitoris becomes erect during sleep!
(Photo Cr: Ben's Tips)
While many of us refer to it as a morning erection, it actually happens throughout the night. The majority of men experience erections 3 to 5 times throughout the night with each one lasting around 30 minutes. The one that says hello to you in the morning is what’s left of the final one from your previous night’s sleep.
Why does NPT take place? Many studies have been conducted on why NPT occurs but none have been able to conclusively explain why. There are however, interesting theories which all seem plausible.
When we are awake, our brains releases noradrenaline which helps us control our erections. Imagine the inconvenience of going through the day without being able to control our erections. The opposite happens when we sleep as the brain goes to rest and stops releasing noradrenaline.
It is said that NPT happens usually during the REM stage of the sleep cycle and this is when we experience vivid dreams. It is therefore logical that your brain becomes more excitable thus resulting in erections.
Erections occur when blood flows to the penis and this is a sign of healthy blood flow. The rush of blood to the organ helps to oxygenate the tissues which in turn keeps the organ healthy. This oxygenation is also said to help prevent erectile dysfunction.
One interesting theory of why we get morning erections is that the body triggers an erection when it senses that the bladder is full. For some people, the sensation from a full bladder may not be sufficient to wake them from their sleep so the erection occurs to prevent bed-wetting. Ever notice how difficult it is trying to pee while having an erection?
Whatever the reason is, there is nothing to worry about if you’re experiencing NPT. It is more worrying if it is not getting up in the morning. This could be a sign of erectile dysfunction so make sure you take proper care of your manhood to keep it in tip top shape!
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