What is ‘Morning Wood,’ and Why Does it Happen?

Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) is not a result of sexual arousal or having a dream relating to sex. Instead, it is a normal function of the male reproductive system.

In fact, regular episodes of NPT are a sign that the nerves and blood supply to the penis are healthy.

If a male does not have NPT regularly, it can indicate a health issue, such as erectile dysfunction (ED), which involves having trouble getting or keeping an erection. Not having regular NPT can also suggest other problems with the nerves or the blood supply to the male reproductive organs.

A hormonal imbalance, such as a decrease in testosterone, can also affect how often a person experiences NPT. A lack of regular NPT can sometimes result from not getting quality sleep.

As a person gets older, they can expect to experience NPT less often. This change should happen gradually, as hormone levels shift. Anyone who notices a sudden drop in the number of their NPT episodes should speak with a doctor to rule out any potential health issues.

Causes

“Morning wood” is a common occurrence for most men.

NPT is not a typical erection because it is not related to sexual thoughts, dreams, or stimulation. It is simply a result of sleep cycles, combined with healthy nerves and blood flow in the body.

NPT tends to happen when a person is in a rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep. REM sleep can occur several times during an 8-hour sleep cycle. The erection may go away on its own as a person enters deeper sleep. Thus, a person may have erections several times during the night but may not be aware of them.

Often, a person wakes up at the end of a REM sleep cycle, which explains why NPT seems to happen in the morning. In addition, testosterone levels tend to be elevated in the morning. Males have high levels of this hormone, which contributes to sexual function.

An erection caused by NPT may be physically different from one caused by arousal. One study found that some men experienced pain when they had NPT, but not when they had typical erections.

How often should morning wood occur?

Males of various ages, from children to older adults, experience NPT. Usually, younger adults, who have the highest levels of testosterone, will experience nocturnal erections more frequently than children or older people. Young adult males may have NPT every morning and a few times during the night.

The peak of sexual maturity generally happens when males are in their late teens to late 30s, and this may correspond with higher testosterone levels. It is normal for people in this age range to experience frequent episodes of NPT.

As a person approaches their 40s and 50s, they may notice fewer episodes of NPT. This often occurs because testosterone levels are naturally declining. However, the episodes should decline gradually, not suddenly. A gradual decline in NPT with age is customary.

A hormonal imbalance, especially one that affects the penis and testes, can result in few or no episodes of NPT. This is one reason why having regular erections in the morning is an important indicator of healthy male sexual organs.

One study found that men with hypogonadism, which prevents the sexual organs from fully functioning, experienced an increase in NPT after they had received testosterone therapy.

Some research says that a person’s quality of sleep can affect the frequency of NPT. If a person is not getting good sleep and entering the REM cycle, they may not experience nocturnal erections.

A study of 61 men with obstructive sleep apnea and ED found that getting better quality sleep resulted in more frequent NPT. The participants who used continuous positive airway pressure devices had more frequent nocturnal erections than those who did not.

Other studies have used NPT as an indicator of hormonal or sexual health, especially when treating ED.

For instance, if a person has NPT but cannot get or maintain an erection during sexual activity, doctors can rule out issues such as insufficient blood flow or nerve responses in the penis. If this is the case, ED may be a psychological issue, and a health professional can treat it accordingly.

However, if a person has no nocturnal erections and has trouble getting or keeping erections related to sex, doctors may determine that there is a physical cause of ED.

When to see a doctor

A person should speak to a doctor if they notice changes in how frequently NPT occurs.

Because NPT is an indicator of quality sleep and the health of sexual organs, it is helpful to pay attention to how often NPT happens.

If NPT suddenly stops or is happening much less frequently, speak with a doctor. They may wish to discuss possible health conditions, such as sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, and ED.

It is important to see a doctor about a lack of NPT, as it can be a symptom of ED. This condition can indicate serious health issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, especially in younger males. A health professional can help treat these conditions, including ED.

Certain medications, such as antidepressants, can make it more difficult for a person to get or maintain an erection. They may also cause a decrease or sudden stop in NPT. Some of these medications include:

  • high blood pressure medications
  • muscle relaxers
  • hormonal medications
  • seizure medications
  • antidepressants
  • histamine H2 agonists (which can help treat some types of ulcers)
  • chemotherapy drugs
  • medications to treat heart arrhythmias
  • diuretics

If a person has recently started a new medication and notices changes in the frequency of NPT, they may wish to speak with their doctor. Sometimes, the doctor can prescribe a different medication to help address this side effect.

See a doctor if NPT or erections in general are painful.

Seek emergency medical help for an erection that does not go away after 4 hours. If this occurs, it can cause tissue damage in the penis and problems with sexual function.

Summary

Morning wood is a healthy function of the male body.

A person should talk with their doctor if they notice a sudden change in the frequency of nighttime erections. This can ensure that a person receives prompt treatment for any underlying health conditions.

 

Five Things to Talk About on a First Date

Ah, the first date. Could anything be more exciting? Or perhaps maybe even a little nerve racking? Almost everyone is nervous upon meeting a stranger for the first time so if you feel the tickle of butterflies in your stomach or perhaps knots, do not despair this is only natural. Making a good impression on the first day is of the utmost importance. As important as it is to look your best and be well groomed, it is equally important to be equipped with what you will say on the date. A lot of factors play into whether or not a first date will go well. Spilling your guts out on the first date can overwhelm the other person.

On the first date it’s important to keep the conversation interesting but also light and fun. Talking about the wrong topics could butcher a first date. It is important to have at minimum a mental list of questions and topics to bring up that are safe to talk about. You don’t want to arrive on a first date looking sharp but also be at a loss for words for the duration of it. Luckily, here is my go-to list of the top 5 Things to talk About on a First Date that will ensure that you get that second date.

1. What is a surprising fact about yourself?
Asking this question will provoke your date to open up without having to dig deep for their answer. It will also help to get some of that initial awkwardness to subside. This question will also prevent the conversation from dragging and becoming dull. They might share a special talent they have or a unique hobby. They might have an embarrassing habit or interest. They might be able to wiggle their ears. Maybe they collect dead bugs or play an unusual instrument? You will never know unless you ask. This question will promote closeness without asking something too personal. It is a good safe question you can use especially if you run out of things to say because you can most likely get away with asking it at any point during the date. After the two of you share the surprising facts about yourselves hopefully a natural chemistry will begin to flow between you.

2. What is something you are passionate about?
It’s important to ask this question on a first date. Having a few things in common with someone certainly does not mean that the two of you are a perfect match. However, sharing a common interest with someone does tend to make the first date go smoother. It will give you a chance to talk about something you are highly knowledgeable or at least passionate about. It will give both of you the chance to relax and talk about your passions with ease. What better way to get to know someone than to watch someone’s eyes light up while you listen to them chatter with enthusiasm about their passions. It also might give you an idea for an activity for a second date. If a hobby or interest is shared between the two of you there is a chance you might want to do that activity together. Or perhaps they have a hobby that you have not yet tried but are interested in. This will give them the opportunity to teach you and you the opportunity to learn something new. It could very well create a bonding experience between the two of you.
3. What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?

If there was ever a question that would shake those first date jitters, it would be this one. I really love this question because it will cause the other person to open up and reveal a part of their genuine self and unravel any false fabrications they may have been using as a front. Every single person has at least a few embarrassing stories and while I’m sure we would all like them to stay buried, it’s an integral step in the process of opening up to someone. Being open and truthful is important even on a first date because trust is built on a foundation of honesty. Being dishonest on a first date will lay the groundwork for a rocky relationship if one is ever to develop. This question will cause both of you to expose a more vulnerable side of yourself, all while sharing a chuckle or two.
4. What are you most afraid of?
This is an interesting question. I think it is an important question because it is one that is not typically asked on a first date or first encounter. It’s a question that might lead to other interesting questions. It will force the conversation to delve a little deeper. While you can’t possibly know someone completely on a first date, this might allow you to catch a glimpse of a person’s real self. Some people have ordinary fears such as snakes, spiders or heights. Others might have a fear that might be considered more unusual such as clowns, drowning or mice. It’s interesting to hear what a person is afraid of and the stories behind the fears that they may use to justify them.

5. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
If you ever run out of things to say, talking about your past travels or dream vacation spots might be a way to get the conversation back on track. The world is wide and beautiful. Who doesn’t dream about going out and seeing it? The destinations that your date selects will also tell you valuable information about their personality. Does their dream destination involve a daring adventure or an athletic activity? Or does it involve a relaxing day at the beach with a cold drink? Knowing if your date is laid back and calm or outgoing and energetic will reveal whether or not the two of you will be compatible in the long run.

 

 

Rebecca – Chapter 16 – Reprise

“I never want to retire. I’m not a workaholic, but I love to be busy. I want to have something to do every day for the rest of my life until my sister Janice pats me in the face with a shovel.”

Please go back and read: (Rebecca – Dark Wings of Destiny – Chapters 1 through 14) to fully understand the history I have with this person.

Present Day

Just when I thought everything had gone to shit with Cherie, I get a text.

It’s Rebecca.

I haven’t heard from her in over two years. I don’t even know what she’s been doing. I thought she was gone forever.

So much has changed in my life since meeting Rebecca. I’ve been on a million dates, I’ve changed jobs, I’ve had a sort of girlfriend for over a year and a half. That’s what it is and has been well documented here.

Cherie and I are teetering between love and loss. I’m fine with whatever way it goes, but it would be nice to retain the passion we once had. I think Cherie wants that and so do I, but our schedules are killing us both.

Cherie’s 40 miles away, super busy and so am I, but when we’re together it sings. But lately it’s been really difficult. Cherie’s texts tell me so.

Her life, the distance, her son, her family, her jobs, school, finals, graduation, and beyond.

We’re in two different worlds right now.

Well, we’ve always been in two different worlds.

Cherie’s a 28-year-old attractive, smart, girl faced with the reality of growing up and going forward in her life.

I’m a middle-aged guy who’s realized that corporate america and sitting in a cubicle is bullshit and would rather work two jobs really hard than work one he hated. I love my life at the salon and the restaurant. I’ve found the happy balance.

My daughter Lorelei works right down the street. It’s great. There’s harmony in that.

But when I got the text from Rebecca it threw me for a loop.

I really like Rebecca and she’s always been flighty, but I always loved her company. I know she was trying to find her way in this world and I was always there for her, like I’ve been for all of my friends… but Rebecca was different.

I kind of loved Rebecca.

I would say in a “phicklephilly way” but I think there’s something more than that here. I know it seems crazy. Rebecca’s 24 years old, but if you’ve read the previous Rebecca posts, I always felt a connection to her.

I’ve never been after her. I’m not after anybody.

They always come to me.

But Rebecca has always had a certain pull that the other ones don’t possess. Rebecca haunts me when she’s gone, but I never feel that depressing loss I have with the others. Maybe because the others are just a dopamine drop and I miss the rush of their beauty once it’s gone, but I’m relieved because they were trouble.

Rebecca was never any of those things.

Rebecca was always herself. Honest. Vulnerable. Beautiful.

She thought enough of me to spend time with me.

I’ve lived a charmed life. I really have. I’ve survived on my charm, sense of humor and skills.

Nothing more.

At my age, I’m delighted at my life. I know so many men my age that are lost and confused. It’s so sad.

I love knowing exactly who I am at my age and what I want. After half a century on the planet I finally got it right and it feels joyous.

I never want to retire. I’m not a workaholic, but I love to be busy. I want to have something to do every day for the rest of my life until my sister Janice pats me in the face with a shovel.

My life is rich in experience and memories. I can wrap myself up in them every night like a warm blanket. It’s really lovely after 50 years of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

I’ve rebuilt my broken self into an elegant old analog machine that runs so well in the digital age. I work with young people. I love that I can inspire them with my experience just like my dad did when he was my age.

I’m grateful that everyday I get to wake up again, and nothing hurts, and everything’s working. (everything!) The sun is shining and I look forward to the day.

For years I was mired in corporate life. Wearing a suit and tie, going to meetings, working for assholes who couldn’t do what I could do, but were only there because they had no where else to go.

All a joke.

I want to work.

My sister Janice says, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

She, like my father is only quoting because they’re not the best in original thought, but yes! She’s right, or whoever wrote that bit.

So here I am, in a relationship that’s been distant but’s still alive. For me this has been a great relationship, because unlike all of my other relationships, this one actually met my perfect relationship model.

I know I’ll feel some backlash on this, but it’s been perfect for me.

All of my other relationships have been traditional. Boyfriend/girlfriend. Living together, and moving towards a destination I’ve already experienced and been killed in virtual immolation, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in child support.

I’m never getting married again. Definitely not having any more kids.

My last three relationships have been with younger women and I know how this looks. I did not pursue these wonderful ladies. It just happened.

But the definition of crazy is, doing the same thing over and over hoping you get a different result.

That’s not me, but, my last handful of girlfriends have been young and beautiful.

The ends were inevitable.

They were all doomed before they began, but they were all wonderful. Thank you one and all, girls!

So here I am at a precipice with Cherie, who is the sweetest woman in the world and whom I love very much, and the prospect that she could shit-can me any day now, simply out of not having any time to see me.

We’re amazing when we’re together and I absolutely adore her. I should probably go to her graduation on Friday, but I know I won’t because I hate getting up early anymore and I don’t really want to deal with the whole event in general.

I probably should go.

It would mean the world to her.

Do I really want to meet her family?

She’s worked so hard for so many years. This could be the thing that fixes us.

I really don’t want to go, but I don’t want Cherie gone from my life.

Ahhh… what should I do loyal readers?

 

I reluctantly texted Rebecca back.

“Hey. It’s been a minute. I feel like we kind of left it all hanging. Hope you’re doing well.”

A day passed…

“Charles…. I miss you. I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch. Been busy with work and life. Up and down. Can you meet for a drink?”

 

 

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