It might not always be practical, sometimes it’s even a bit embarrassing, and yet, guys (since this is generally aimed at you), you can’t do anything about it. Every morning, your penis pitches a tent in your pants. In other words, you have a boner.
It’s useless to ask yourself if you're missing something or trying to remember a dream that got quite spicy. This phenomenon is known as nocturnal penile tumescence or morning wood, and it’s nothing to do with sexual arousal. Don’t worry, we’ll explain.
From REM sleep to an erection
It all starts at night. To be more exact, during REM sleep. Every night, we go through six phases of sleep that last twenty minutes each. During these phases, you’re asleep but your body has its own program to follow: rapid eye movement (also known as REM), electronic currents in the brain that cause you to dream, and above all, complete relaxation of the muscles.
Your muscles suddenly completely relax. But then do tell, how do you get hard if your body is releasing all of its built-up pressure?
In truth, it’s only your muscles that are relaxing. And when they’re active, one of the smooth muscles roles in the cavernous body is to control the blood flow to the penis. And yes, these are the muscles that stop you from having a constant erection! So, during these REM sleep phases, there is nothing left to block the blood flow and bam! You have an erection.
A man gets hard on average 5 times a night
But don’t go thinking that it’s just down to a general relaxation in the body. Morning wood is essential for tissue oxygenation. Furthermore, your morning boner could also be due to a peak in testosterone as well as a full bladder. So jump in the shower and stop moaning.
And here’s something to make you feel better, women also 'get hard' in the night… It’s just less visible for those with a clitoris.
Check out the video above for a full explanation!