Knock, Knock, Knock…On Morning Wood

Written by: Dr. Joshua Gonzalez

While the first alarm clock was invented in 1787, men have had a built-in wake-up call since the dawn of time: morning wood. Perhaps if you live on a farm, a different kind of cock entirely wakes you up every morning, but for most men, the cock in their pants provides a slightly less abrasive wake-up call. But what exactly causes us to pitch a tent first thing in the morning? Today, Popstar is here to give you the scoop on your morning salute. Read on to learn why you get morning wood.

REM Before Morning Wood

Science shows that morning wood has very little to do with the morning. It isn’t our bodies telling us to get our butts in the shower before we are late for work; most of the magic occurs at night, and morning wood is just the aftermath. Research points to your pecker pitching its tent during the REM stage of sleep. REM stands for rapid eye movement, the dream stage of sleep. When transitioning into REM sleep, we move from sympathetic (fight and flight) stimulation to parasympathetic (rest and digest). As our bodies slip into the REM stage, it creates a nerve response that causes an erection. When we wake up with an erection, it isn’t our cock telling us it is time for coffee; we are likely coming out of REM sleep. Perhaps the M in REM should also stand for morning wood. Because we experience many different stages of sleep throughout the night, some people can experience up to five erections per night, most of which they sleep through.

High Testosterone

Unlike the sun in the morning, our testosterone levels are high right when we wake up. Our elevated testosterone levels can contribute to morning wood. Although our penises may make us feel otherwise, you may not feel any sexual drive in the morning. Being at full mast first thing in the morning is a good sign that your testosterone levels are right where they should be.

Full Bladder, Full Mast

Getting a glass of water or filling up a water bottle on your nightstand can be just as vital a part of your bedtime routine as your skincare regimen or brushing your teeth. If you have a tall drink of water before bed, before having a tall glass of water in bed, chances are you’re going to have to use the restroom when you wake up. Waking up with a full bladder can also contribute to morning wood. When your bladder is full, it can stimulate nerves that lead to erections.

Sun Salutes, Good Signs

Say it with me: morning wood is good! Pitching a tent first thing in the morning is positive and something to celebrate. Morning wood is a sign indicating healthy blood flow and nerve health. An erection is ultimately due to changes in blood flow to the penis. If you are experiencing nocturnal erections, especially without direct sexual stimulation, it shows that everything is working the way it should be down there. Because nocturnal erections are caused by the parasympathetic nervous system, if you are experiencing morning wood then clearly your nerves are firing like they should.


The sun will always rise in the morning; your penis, however, is not a guarantee. Not everyone experiences morning wood every single morning. Sometimes your pecker needs some extra beauty sleep. Your penis sleeping in every now and then is nothing to be concerned about. That being said, if you have a sudden and consistent absence of morning wood, it is good to consult your primary care physician or urologist. It may be a sign of a health issue or erectile dysfunction. It is also important to consult a doctor if your morning wood lasts long after breakfast or you are experiencing painful erections. Regular checkups are a great way to keep tabs on your internal alarm clock!