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Is It Unhealthy to Not Get Morning Wood? Taking an In-Depth Look

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Morning wood occurs when a person gets an erection in the middle of the night or early morning.

Morning wood is a natural process in men or Assigned Males at Birth (AMAB).

It is scientifically known as Nocturnal Penile Tumescence (NPT).

An individual can experience morning wood without any sexual stimulation or arousal.

It is important to have morning wood because it indicates a healthy sexual function in an individual.

If you are not getting morning wood, it is natural to worry.

In these cases, individuals often ask,  “Is it unhealthy to not get morning wood?”.

If a person stops experiencing NPT, it may have several causes, including an underlying medical problem.

In most cases, a person who does not get morning wood might have Erectile Dysfunction (ED).

However, ED is not always the cause, and it might also happen due to psychological and lifestyle factors.

This article will discuss whether it is unhealthy to not get morning wood.

Is it unhealthy to not get morning wood

It is not necessarily unhealthy to not get morning wood occasionally.

Under normal circumstances, a person can get morning wood several times weekly.

The frequency of morning wood can vary for every individual, which depends on several factors.

These factors include age, overall health, hormonal levels, and individual differences.

However, it is unhealthy if a person does not get NPT consistently. It can indicate an underlying medical problem.

One can link its absence to medical problems like Erectile Dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, and psychological and lifestyle factors.

A person with ED may face difficulty in getting and maintaining an erection, which results in the absence of NPT.

The psychological factors include stress, Anxiety, and Depression.

According to a study, a person with stress and Anxiety usually gets inadequate sleep.

When a person is under stress, the body releases Cortisol (stress hormone), which interrupts Testosterone production.

Inadequate sleep and low Testosterone levels result in the absence of morning wood.

Research states that a person who has Depression does not usually get NPT.

A person may also not get morning wood when they overuse alcohol and drugs.

It is always advisable to consult a doctor if you are frequently not getting morning wood.

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  • What causes morning wood

    The morning wood, or NPT, is a result of the sleep cycles of an individual.

    According to a journal, NPT usually happens when a person is in a Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep phase.

    The brain sends signals to the nerves present in the penis during REM sleep.

    These signals increase blood flow to the penis and result in an erection.

    Additionally, Testosterone levels in men or AMAB are usually high in the morning. 

    High levels of Testosterone also result in morning wood.

    To learn more about high Testosterone levels in men, read High Testosterone in Men: Unleashing the Power Within.

    Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep phase is a stage of sleep in which there are rapid eye movements, vivid dreaming, and heightened brain activity. One can associate REM with thinking, memory formation, and emotional control.

    How to promote healthy morning wood

    Man taking pillSource: shironosov_from_Getty_Images
    Man taking pill

    A person should maintain a healthy lifestyle to promote morning wood naturally.

    Maintaining a healthy lifestyle includes performing regular exercises and maintaining a healthy diet.

    Kegel Exercises and Pilates can help a person promote healthy morning wood.

    These exercises help a person to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. 

    Since pelvic floor muscles are responsible for maintaining proper blood flow to the penis, it will help with NPT.

    A person can choose to go to therapy if they are experiencing the absence of NPT due to stress, Anxiety, or Depression.

    Although exercises and therapy are effective, they may not work for everyone.

    If doctors suspect that ED is the cause behind the loss of morning wood, they might suggest medicines.

    They often prescribe Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors like Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), and Vardenafil (Levitra).

    The PDE-5 inhibitors increase blood flow to the penis and help a person get or maintain an erection.

    The increase in blood flow is the reason why PDE-5 inhibitors might be effective in promoting healthy morning wood.

    Always consult your doctor before using any medicines to promote healthy morning wood.

    Always consult a doctor before using any medicine to promote healthy morning wood.
    They can provide proper diagnosis and prescribe a safe and appropriate medication dosage depending on an individual’s need.


    Morning wood refers to a person getting an erection at night or early morning without sexual stimulation or arousal.

    Morning wood usually shows healthy blood flow to the penis and proper nerve function in men.

    One may get NPT due to an increase in blood flow during the Rapid Eye Movement phase of sleep.

    It may also happen since Testosterone levels are usually high in the early morning.

    If a person is not getting NPT often, it is natural to wonder is it unhealthy to not get morning wood.

    It may indicate hormonal imbalance, psychological problems, or an underlying medical condition like ED.

    One can perform Kegel exercises and Pilate or opt for therapy to promote healthy morning wood.

    Doctors usually suggest medicines like Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), and Vardenafil (Levitra) if they suspect the loss of morning wood as a sign of ED.

    If a person is not getting morning wood frequently, they should consult a doctor immediately.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is morning wood?

    Morning wood is also known as Nocturnal Penile Tumescence (NPT). It is a natural phenomenon in men or AMAB where they experience an erection upon waking up in the morning or during sleep. Morning wood is a normal physical response and a sign of healthy sexual function in men.

    Why do men experience morning wood?

    Men experience morning wood due to several physiological causes. Blood flow to the penis increases during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep phase.
    The Testosterone levels are also high in the morning. Both of these factors are the reason why men experience morning wood.

    Is not getting morning wood bad?

    Not getting morning wood can be bad because it may indicate an underlying medical condition. These underlying health issues can include hormonal imbalance or Erectile Dysfunction. If you are not getting morning wood regularly, it is best to consult a medical expert.

    What are the potential causes of not getting morning wood?

    There are several potential causes of not getting morning wood. These include physical factors such as hormonal imbalances, Erectile Dysfunction, certain medications, and underlying health conditions. Psychological factors like stress, Anxiety, and relationship issues can also contribute to the absence of morning wood in some cases.

    Is the absence of morning wood a sign of Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

    While ED can be a potential cause behind the absence of morning wood, there might be other underlying factors. 
    These factors include age, overall health, medications, and lifestyle choices in men. It is best to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and a suitable treatment for your condition.

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    Photo of author Janet Fudge
    Jim Carson is a highly skilled and dedicated medical writer passionate about advancing medical practice. With years of experience in the field of medical sciences, Jim has made significant contributions to various studies aimed at improving healthcare outcomes. He currently writes for, providing expert insights and knowledge on various topics. Jim's expertise extends to various areas, including drug interactions, dosages, side effects, and best practices for medication use. In Los Angeles, Jim lives with his loving wife, children, and beloved pets. He deeply values spending time with his family and cherishes their presence. When he's not writing, Jim enjoys watching football games and staying updated with the latest sports news. Jim's writing shines through his commitment to advancing medical practice and improving healthcare outcomes. Readers can trust Jim's articles to be informative, accurate, and reliable, making him a trusted pharmaceutical information source for the website's audience.
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