General Sexual Health ProblemsMorning Wood – What is it?

Morning Wood – What is it?

Many men would have noticed that their penis is erect when they wake up in the morning. This is called “Morning Wood”. In medical terms, this is called Nocturnal Penile Tumescence. This is a very common thing and occurs frequently in the case of young men and boys. But, men of all ages, even those in their 70s can experience morning wood. This need not be necessarily due to sexual stimulation but may be because of other factors too.

Morning Wood – What is it?

Causes of Morning Wood

Not many doctors or researchers understand the exact cause of Morning Wood. Here are some of the assumptions they have:

  1. Sexual Stimulation – During sleep, if your partner or items on your bed such as pillow or blankets come in contact with your genitals, they can stimulate the penis and result in an erection.
  2. Increased testosterone levels – Testosterone levels are highest in the morning when you wake up from a good night sleep. This alone is enough to make your penis erect when you wake up. As men get older, when they enter 40s or 50s, the amount of testosterone generated by the body reduces resulting in less frequent Morning Wood occurrences.
  3. Relaxed Brain & Hormones – When you sleep well, the brain is fully relaxed. Body doesn’t release certain hormones that suppress erection. In other words, during the day when you are at school or at work, body releases some hormones that will prevent erection. This doesn’t happen when you are asleep.

When a man or boy is having sensual dreams, erections do occur but researchers and doctors don’t believe that such erotic dreams will result in Morning Wood.

Who experiences Morning Wood?

You may ask, in what age, a man will experience Morning Wood? Well, young boys and men in their 20s and 30s will have frequent Morning Wood. As age takes over, the frequency of Morning Wood comes down. But, that doesn’t mean that men in their 40s or 50s will never have Morning Wood. They too will experience them but occasionally.

When a man is sexually active and having frequent sex, the case of Morning Wood may not arise. This is quite normal and nothing to worry about. However, if the frequency of Morning Wood has dropped to several months even after you abstain from sex, that may indicate some problem such as Erectile Dysfunction.  When you stop noticing that you are not having Morning Wood conditions any more or if it has been quite some time since you had that, you need to verify if you are having erections when you are awake and when aroused.  If yes, then, you don’t have to worry about Erectile Dysfunction.  If you are having problem having erection even when you are awake, then it is time to consult your sexologist immediately.

Some cases when Morning Wood may become very rare

  1. Obesity or Over weight
  2. High Blood Pressure
  3. High Cholesterol Levels
  4. Diabetes
  5. Depression

When you see your doctor, he/she may examine you for these underlying conditions and advise you accordingly.  If you are under any medication or anti-depressants, you must let you sexologist know because, those medications may also be affecting your erection.

If you are having erections or Morning Wood but if the erection is lasting for more than 30 minutes, you should see your doctor immediately. This can become a painful condition and affect your penis.

Morning Wood is good

Having Morning Wood is good and indicates that there is good blood flow to your penis and the nervous system is functioning properly. It also indicates that you are having relaxed sleep and waking up fresh.

Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran talking about Morning Wood


  1. I’am 21 years old . I’am not experiencing morning erection. Its been 1 month. But still Iam getting a erection at the time of masturbation. Is this something serious?

  2. Hi sir, I’m 28. I’m not having morning wood since 3 months. But i masturbate 3 times daily. I loose my erection while masturbate.

    • Stop masturbating and see if you have morning wood. It is not a rule that you have morning wood everyday.
      If you are losing erection during masturbation, it could be a mental thing – may be you are stressed out about something or feel guilty when masturbating or may be scared that you have some problem with your penis.

      Don’t worry, relax, stop masturbation for sometime, you will have your morning wood and then you try masturbating without any fear, you should be good.

  3. Can this morning wood result to release of sperm while sleeping? Cause I experienced it and I don’t know if I’m healthy or not

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