Wed | Jul 26, 2017

Why are men horny in the morning?

Published:Wednesday | May 3, 2017 | 5:00 AM

The phenomenon of men waking up with a morning erection is so common that doctors actually have a medical name for it: nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT).

According to recently released research, although men mainly notice this occurrence in the early hours of the morning, they actually get an erection anywhere from three to five times throughout the night while they sleep.

"It's typical of adolescents and young men, due to their peak levels of hormones, which correlate to the frequency of their erections and their need for release," noted Gloria Brame, PhD, sexologist and author of Sex for Grown-Ups. "Naturally, as men age, this occurrence wanes as their testosterone levels and sexual function decline."

But what really causes them? Does the 'wet dream' belief hold true?

"Morning erection has nothing to do with dreams during the night, as spontaneous erections have also been observed in male foetuses in the womb," stated Uta Demontis, PhD, clinical sexologist and relationship coach.

 

SPONTANEOUS ERECTION

 

According to the expert, the male body spontaneously produces erections in the middle of the night to oxygenate his penis with some fresh blood flow.

"I mainly attribute morning erection to hormonal spikes and assume that it's those spikes that bring on the dreams or cause men to suddenly be aware that their penis is sensitive during sleep," stated Brame.

But why does spontaneous erection happen only during sleep at nights and not during the day, while men are up and about?

Brame explained that, "The male brain emits an anti-erection chemical during their waking hours that helps keep them from springing an erection at socially inappropriate times."

He added, "During sleep, this inhibiting factor goes away, allowing erections to come and go freely. Age, libido, cardio fitness, blood pressure, and dozens of other variables mean that any two men could be different."

So, early-morning arousal is actually a natural occurrence.

"If or when a man wakes up without an erection, it could be a signal that there's an underlying problem that's preventing his self-regulating sexual health system from functioning," the expert said.

- yourhealth@gleanerjm.com