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From REM Sleep to Testosterone: Understanding Morning Erections

Every man has experienced it - that surprising "morning wood" phenomenon. But what's the science behind morning wood? This intriguing aspect of male physiology, scientifically known as nocturnal penile tumescence, is deeply connected to our sleep cycles and hormonal balances. Let's unravel this mystery.

The REM Sleep Connection:

Morning erections aren't just random events; they're closely tied to our REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep phase. As we cycle through various sleep stages at night, it's during REM that dreams occur and several physiological changes take place, leading to the science of morning wood.

man having a morning erection

Neurotransmitters and Morning Erections:

As we transition into REM sleep, our brain begins to regulate neurotransmitters. One such neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, plays a pivotal role in controlling erections. In non-REM phases, norepinephrine restricts blood flow to the penis. However, during REM, its levels decrease, allowing testosterone-related actions to lead to morning erections.

Why the Morning Surprise?

The connection between REM sleep and erections explains nocturnal events, but why do we often wake up in this state? The answer lies in our sleep cycle. We often wake up right after REM, with its effects still active. Moreover, a full bladder can stimulate a spinal cord region, causing a reflex erection, further emphasizing the role of neurotransmitters in morning wood.

Testosterone's Role in Morning Erections:

Morning wood isn't just about sleep; it's also about hormones. Testosterone plays a significant role in ensuring increased blood flow to the penis during the REM phase. This not only results in an erection but also aids in tissue oxygenation, ensuring optimal penis health.

Man having a morning erection

Morning wood, or nocturnal penile tumescence, might be a source of amusement for many, but it's a complex interplay of sleep cycles, neurotransmitters, and hormones like testosterone. So, the next time you experience this phenomenon, remember - it's your body's intricate science at work!


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