REM sleep = Erections
On average, guys get 5 erections every single night
Disclaimer: This information isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should never rely upon this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
Do Guys Really Get Erections in Their Sleep?
Yes, men get erections while they sleep. In fact, on average, most guys get five erections every single night. As with most things having to do with erections, “morning wood” is all about healthy, normal blood flow.
Men spend about 25% of the night with an erection
Why Do Men Get Nocturnal Erections?
When men slip into deep REM sleep, it corresponds with an erection that lasts 20-25 minutes. “Morning wood“ is just the last of these regular nocturnal erections. And contrary to popular myth, morning wood doesn’t have anything to do with having to pee.
The two leading theories behind why men get erections in the morning both center around hormone levels and increased blood flow:
- Norepinephrine production dips during sleep. (This is the chemical responsible for keeping testosterone in check)
- Nitric oxide increases during REM sleep. This is the chemical that relaxes arteries in the penis, increasing blood flow enough to cause an erection
Why is Morning Wood so Important?
“If I could only ask a man one question to assess his health, it would be, ‘Do you wake up with an erection?’” – Dr. Steven Lamm
Regardless of why it happens, morning erections are not only normal—they’re healthy. Your body is hard-wired to wake up with an erection every morning. In fact, lack of regular morning erections can signal a more serious underlying problem with your heart, blood flow, hormone levels, or even sleep patterns.
A lack of nocturnal erections or morning wood is a particularly great indicator of systemic health problems, precisely because these erection are involuntary. They aren’t connected to arousal or a man’s state of mind and aren’t affected by things like stress or performance anxiety. If you’re not getting regular “morning wood,” talk to your doctor to find out if more serious health problems might be causing your erectile dysfunction.