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Why Do Men Get Morning Wood? Understanding the Phenomenon

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Morning wood is the natural occurrence when men or Assigned Males at Birth (AMAB) get an erection during the night or early morning.

It is scientifically known as Nocturnal Penile Tumescence (NPT) and is common in men.

Some people may wonder, “Why do men get morning wood?”

A person gets morning wood due to the increase in blood flow to the penis during sleep.

It may also happen due to high Testosterone levels during the morning.

There are several other factors that result in a person getting morning wood.

These factors include hormones, neurological, developmental, aging, and psychological factors.

This article will discuss the reasons why a man gets morning wood.

Understanding morning wood

Morning wood, or NPT, refers to a person getting an erection during sleep or after waking up in the morning.

A person usually gets morning wood as a result of their sleep cycle.

The Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep phase during one’s sleep cycle can cause a person to get an erection.

During the REM sleep phase, the brain sends signals to the nerves in the penile region.

These signals increase the blood flow to the penis, resulting in an erection.

Most men get morning wood when they wake up early due to high Testosterone levels in the morning.

A person can get morning wood due to hormonal, neurological, psychological, and health factors.

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

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  • Why do men get morning wood

    Multiple factors can impact the occurrence of morning wood in men or AMAB.

    These factors include sleep, hormone, physical, neurological, and psychological causes.

    This section will discuss these factors in detail.

    Sleep and Hormonal Factors

    A man is sleepingSource: Prostock-Studio_from_Getty_Images
    A man having a calm sleep

    Morning wood often occurs during an individual’s Rapid Eye Movement sleep phase.

    It happens during REM because one can experience vivid dreams and an increase in brain activity during this phase.

    During REM sleep, the brain becomes active and releases neurotransmitters.

    These neurotransmitters sometimes help the penis to become enlarged with blood, leading to an erection.

    Testosterone, a male sex hormone, plays a significant role in inducing morning wood in a person.

    Higher testosterone levels boost sexual desire and the occurrence of morning wood. 

    This increase in Testosterone levels enhances communication between the brain and the penis.

    This enhanced communication between the brain and the penis significantly helps in the blood flow that results in an erection.

    Thus, sleep and hormonal factors play a significant role in getting morning wood.

    If you are not getting morning wood, read our article Is It Unhealthy to Not Get Morning Wood? Taking an In-Depth Look.

    A good sleep cycle is necessary for getting morning wood. It gives a person adequate time to go through the REM sleep phase, which helps increase blood flow and production of Testosterone.

    Neurological and Psychological Factors

    There are several neurological and psychological factors that can influence one’s morning wood.

    The Autonomic Nervous System controls blood flow to the penis in an individual. 

    The Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) increases blood flow which causes erections in an individual.

    The Parasympathetic Nervous System remains active when a person is usually asleep.

    This results in Nocturnal Penile Tumescence in several men during the night.

    According to a study, high Cortisol (stress hormone) levels can reduce the production of Testosterone.

    When a person is under stress or Anxiety, there is a high production of Cortisol.

    This may prevent a person from getting an erection.

    However, low stress and Anxiety levels increase Testosterone production, which helps a person get morning wood.

    When a person is relaxed, it reduces sympathetic nervous activity.

    The low activity promotes the functioning of the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which enhances blood flow to the penis.

    This results in a person getting morning wood.

    Autonomic Nervous System controls the involuntary body functions in a person. It includes the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic nervous systems, which help regulate heart rate, digestion, and sexual responses.
    Parasympathetic Nervous System is a branch of the Autonomic Nervous System that relaxes a person. The system increases blood flow to the penis and helps in getting erections.

    Age and Developmental Factors

    Getting morning wood can vary from person to person, depending on their age.

    Younger individuals are more likely to get morning wood, especially during adolescence and early adulthood.

    However, this frequency may decrease as people get older.

    A study states that the frequency of morning wood decreases due to the drop in Testosterone levels with age.

    Most people can observe an increase in Testosterone during puberty which plays a huge role in morning erection.

    This hormonal change is also essential for sexual development in an individual.

    Thus, age is a huge factor in a person getting Nocturnal Penile Tumescence.

    To learn more about the effect of age on morning wood, read Debunking the Myth: Does Morning Wood Stop When You Get Older?


    Morning wood, or Nocturnal Penile Tumescence (NPT), refers to the natural occurrence of an erection during the night or early morning.

    There are several hormonal, neurological, psychological, and developmental factors that can help a man get morning wood.

    A person may get NPT during the Rapid Eye Movement sleep phase due to an increase in blood flow to the penis.

    The increase in Testosterone levels during the morning also causes NPT.

    The Parasympathetic Nervous System increases blood flow in an individual. 

    A person with low stress and anxiety levels has high Testosterone production in their body, leading to morning erections.

    The frequency of morning wood in any person varies according to their age.

    Younger individuals, particularly during adolescence and early adulthood, experience morning wood more frequently. 

    Since Testosterone levels play a huge role in erection, elder people can notice a lower frequency of NPT.

    If a person is regularly not getting morning wood, it may indicate underlying health conditions like Erectile Dysfunction or hormonal imbalance.

    If you experience such symptoms, it is best to consult a doctor for a suitable diagnosis and treatment.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is morning wood?

    Morning wood, or Nocturnal Penile Tumescence, occurs when a man or AMAB gets an erection during sleep or when they wake up. 
    It happens when the penile blood flow increases during sleep, often during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Morning wood is normal and doesn’t result from sexual arousal.

    Is morning wood normal in men?

    Yes, morning wood is a normal occurrence in men. It results due to an increased blood flow to the penis during sleep or due to high Testosterone levels.
    The frequency of NPT may vary for every individual. It indicates a healthy erectile function in an individual.

    What is the cause of morning wood?

    One gets morning wood when blood flow to the penis increases during sleep. The blood flow increases due to the increase of brain signals to the penile region and hormonal changes like increased Testosterone levels. These factors result in NPT in men or AMAB during sleep.

    Are morning woods related to sexual arousal?

    Morning wood does not necessarily have any link to sexual arousal. It is a natural physical response during sleep due to an increase in blood flow to the penis. 
    While morning erections can coincide with sexual thoughts or dreams, they can also occur without sexual arousal or stimulation.

    Is it unhealthy to not get morning wood?

    It is not necessarily unhealthy to not get morning wood. However, if the absence of morning wood occurs frequently, it may indicate underlying medical conditions like Erectile Dysfunction and hormonal imbalance. In these cases, it is best to consult a doctor.

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    Photo of author Janet Fudge
    Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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