This Is Why Men Wake Up With An Erection
Most mornings the majority of us lads will wake up in a rather strange pitched tent. Eventually, when enough blood has made its way to our head, after being occupied elsewhere, it's obvious that we're being treated to the phenomenon known as 'morning glory'.
What you do to relieve the early burst of wood is up to you, though I reckon we all have similar techniques because it happens pretty much every day and are very used to it.
The good news is that if you do wake up with a raging boner, it means your penis is healthy. If you aren't stiff in the morning, it could be a tell-tale sign of erectile dysfunction.
As it goes, we have as many as five erections through the night, which isn't that much of a surprise if you think about what you've dreamed about.
"The reason men wake up with an erection may be related to the fact we often wake up coming out of REM sleep," Sergio Diez Alvarez, of the University of Newcastle, said, writing for The Conversation. "During REM sleep, there is a shift in the dominant system that's activated. We move from sympathetic stimulation to parasympathetic stimulation. This is not found during other parts of the sleep cycle."
The actual name for morning glory is nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT). It isn't as catchy, but basically it means 'sleepy throbber'. It all starts in utero (in the womb), according to Men's Health, which technically means we've all had a hard on inside our mothers.
Women also have a similar experience during sleep, as they get clitoral erections and vaginal engorgement (distention of a body part or organ with blood or other fluids) during sleep.
"It's more likely the reason for the morning erection is that the unconscious sensation of the full bladder stimulates nerves that go to the spine and these respond directly by generating an erection," Alvarez says. "This may explain why the erection goes away after emptying one's bladder."
This video is also helpful to explain why we have wood harder than pine in the mornings, including a discussion on testosterone levels on other factors.
The whole random erections and morning wood thing can get a little tedious sometimes, and rather impractical in certain situations. But the act of it actually helps to prevent cavernous fibrosis, which is a condition that can lead to erectile dysfunction. Big up the random boners, I say.
Featured image credit: DreamWorks