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Erectile Dysfunction & REM Sleep
Good morning wood is something you want to see every single day when you wake up.
And if you’re not seeing this wood three to five times Every Night, starting around 2 am and running all the way until daybreak, you need to fix the situation.
Because morning wood is a benchmark of reproductive health. A signal that your hormones, your vascular system and your brain are all functioning properly.
Good Morning Wood And REM Sleep
When you’re in a rapid eye movement (REM) sleep cycle, your body shuts down the production of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that constricts the blood vessels leading to your penis.
It does this so it can begin the repair and rebuilding process of your pipes.
So if you miss out on this REM sleep cycle, or fail to stay in it long enough, norepinephrine will stay elevated all night long, which will impact your wood the following morning.
This happens because norepinephrine constricts blood flow, which prevents the vasodilation of your corpus cavernosa, and if you can’t dilate the cavernosa, you can’t get an erection.
Morning, noon or night!
This lack of nighttime blood flow will also cause other problems, because the rush of blood into your penis at night oxygenates and repairs vascular smooth muscle cells while you sleep.
This process is so hard wired into humans, it even happens to women in a process called Nocturnal Clitoral Tumescence (clitorial erections) when they’re in REM sleep.
Ideally, you should spend about 25 percent of your sleep in REM, and if your morning wood is lacking, this is the very first thing you should work on.
35 percent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep per night, meaning most of these people are falling well short of their REM sleep requirements.
And this lack of REM sleep not only impacts erections, but it also increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, depression, insulin resistance and obesity.
It also increases your risk of premature death from all causes.
How To Increase REM Sleep
- Cut the caffeinated beverages by 12 noon.
- Limit use of prescription and OTC meds, especially decongestants.
- Stop drinking alcohol 4 hours before bed (booze interrupts REM sleep).
- Sleep in a cool (by not too cold) room.
- Darken your room, with blackout drapes if necessary.
- Supplement with ZMA, which will enhances REM sleep.
- Set up sleep rituals and schedules and follow them every night.
- Take an evening walk to de-stress and calm your mind before you go to bed.
- Turn down the lights at sunset, especially LED lights which mimic natural sunlight.
This last point is critical, but one of the hardest to follow because blue light is emitted from mobile phones, computers, tablets, televisions and the lighting inside your home.
And the problem is, blue light mimic’s natural sunlight, and when you expose yourself to this wavelength after sunset, your body stays in daytime mode…on a hormonal level.
It actually reduces the secretion of melatonin from your pineal gland, a hormone you need at night so you can fall into REM sleep.
All the items listed above are important, but none of them will help much if you don’t limit your exposure to blue light after the sun goes down.
Pure red light has the least impact on circadian rhythms and melatonin.
Orange and yellow light, the dominant wavelengths in fire, gas lamps and candles, don’t reduce melatonin production too much either….
It’s the blue light that you need to worried about most, and there’s a very simple way to see if you’re exposing yourself to too much….
Stand in front of your home at night, and take note of the color coming through the windows. If your home looks like most do at night, it will be shrouded in blue light.
Also, if you spend your evenings in front of the television or on your electronics, you’re definitely overdoing it with the nighttime blue light.
Any electronic device with a self-luminous electronic display is going to put out enough blue to negatively impact melatonin secretion if you use it after dark.
Here are a few things you can do to get a grip on this…
How To Reduce Blue Light Exposure
- Go to bed early at night, and get up early in the morning.
- Put blue blocking software on your electronic devices (I use f.lux)
- If you watch television at night, wear blue blocking sun glasses ( improves REM sleep)
This final step will go a long way to normalizing your circadian rhythms, which will lead to more testosterone and human growth hormone secretion while you sleep.
It will also dramatically increase the odds that you’ll get enough REM sleep, especially if you’re out for 7 plus hours, as this is a sign of optimal melatonin production.
When you wake up, it important that you expose yourself to blue light to get the daytime hormones going again…and natural sunlight does this best.
And remember, if you wear sunglasses when you’re outdoors, you limit the amount of blue light that hits your retina which will disrupt your internal clock, and lead to less high quality REM sleep that night…
And if this REM sleep deprivation happens chronically, it can even lead to blatant erectile dysfunction during daylight hours, especially in older men.
Most of you will experience an immediate boost in nocturnal erections once you start hitting your REM sleep mark.
And the key to quality REM sleep is optimizing the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that influences sleep the most.
So make sure your expose yourself to natural sunlight during the day…
But when the sun goes down, turn the lights off and avoid any light in the blue spectrum until you get up in the morning.
According to Harvard sleep researcher Stephen Lockley, a mere eight lux of light – only about twice the amount put out by a small night light – is all it takes to disrupt your circadian rhythms and melatonin secretion.
Amber lenses to block blue light
Sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction
REM erections and sexual impotence
Noradrenaline in rapid eye movement sleep
Blue blocker glasses & melatonin production
Sleep disorders insulin resistance and obesity
Treatment of melatonin deficiency and dysfunction