I always feel better when I wake up with a morning erection.
I write content for my blogs 5 days a week, and when I wake up with wood…the words literally fly off the keyboard.
The brain chemicals and hormones responsible for AM wood are closely tied to those of verbal fluency, so this is no big surprise
Of course, my sex drive is always higher on morning erection days, which is a very good thing…
Because it’s impossible to have a bad day when your sex drive is high, because the hormones your body produces in this state are conducive to happiness.
So I guess you could say that boners in the morning make a man happy.
On the other hand, the chemicals your body produces when you have no morning erection are closely tied to those of depressed, anxious or stressed mental states.
So you could also say that no morning boner…makes a man unhappy.
Lets look at a couple of examples to demonstrate this….
Think of a time when you weren’t seeing too many morning erections…a time when life wasn’t going so well for you.
Let’s say you had work stress and female problems both going on at the same time.
And to make matters worse, you were also doing way too many right arm curls alone in the dark.
Now add all of these things up….
Then think of the exact hormonal state you’d be in after you logged off your computer to go find yourself a tissue.
Think depression, anxiety and stress would be front and center? Damn right they would be.
And when you go to bed with these emotions riding shotgun…it’s HIGHLY unlikely an erection will be there to greet you the following morning.
Because erections are driven by brain chemicals…and you’ve got the wrong kind
Example number two:
You wake up with no morning erection, but you’re determined to fix this situation…because you want to be happy.
(we all make this decision daily)
And you’ve decided that today is going to be a good day…
So instead of worrying about the work problem that has you stressed out…you develop a clear plan of action to address the situation.
Then you go out there and kick some ass and try to get it done.
In other words, you torch the fear based emotions. And replace them with emotions that drive motivation.
You seek a reward…because reward is dopamine’s favorite word.
The reward in this case being Achievement…followed by the Recognition of your peers once you’ve knocked this beast out.
And even if you’re not successful, the mere act of seeking a solution will fire up the dopamine pathways in your brain.
You also decide to shut down the female negativity that’s been eating you…and you go about this in the best way possible…
You seek a sexual reward…from the girl who can only give you one of two things….
Stress or Pleasure.
And YOU get to chose which emotion you’re going to get.
Make up sex is one of the fastest ways to get the good kind…because there’s some risk involved.
She could reject you, she could get hostile, or she could terminate the relationship entirely.
So the risks are much higher compared to a normal sexual situation….and out of the stratosphere when compared to a wanker session in the dark.
And dopamine responds to risk like this…in dramatic fashion, which explains why make-up sex is so incredibly intense.
So the key to this dopamine / morning erection pathway is reward seeking…especially rewards that are novel and involve a certain amount of risk.
It’s important that you open this pathway in every single area of your life…
Because this is the only way to keep boredom at bay…and nothing destroys dopamine (or happiness) faster than chronic boredom.
This simple shift in perspective, attitude and energy that we’ve just outlined, if maintained consistently…..
Will bring back the morning erections in the vast majority of you (unless your blood vessels are sick)…
IF…you don’t have excessive levels of E2 in your blood relative to testosterone.
If you do, I highly suggest you read this material (page 13)
So lets quickly summarize….
Lack of morning erections are usually brought on by hormones and neurotransmitters linked to stress, fear and anxiety.
To put these brain chemicals in park, you need to change your perspective, and start seeking a reward that involves some risk.
And you can amplify this situation dramatically by going after a reward of a sexual nature.
This seeking behavior will spike dopamine levels rapidly…and they will remain elevated as long as you have the fortitude to reject the dark room when your sex drive goes up.
This last point is critical, because compulsive right arm madness will reduce your sensitivity to dopamine…
And when you become less sensitive to this neurotransmitter…your morning erections die.
So there you have it…
I’m going to kick things over to Brian now who has more to say on this subject…
As you’ve gotten older, you’ve probably noticed some…changes in the morning.
Once upon a time, you used to wake up with sturdy erections. These days, you rarely wake up with morning wood at all. What’s worse is that, whenever you do, it’s not nearly as stiff as it used to be.
Now, if you can’t seem to get/maintain that morning erection, your first instinct might be to blame it on your testosterone levels.
While it’s true that nocturnal penile tumescence (the scientific name for those spontaneous erections you get while asleep) is largely testosterone driven (1), the morning wood issue is a bit more complicated than that.
Yes, your nocturnal wood relies heavily on testosterone while you’re asleep. But during the daytime, there are other factors that can affect your erection. Even if you tried to use pharmaceuticals to increase your testosterone levels, you probably wouldn’t end up addressing the real issue.
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of getting/maintaining that morning wood. Before you decide to put any drugs in your body, consider some of these simple tips. Mastering your morning erections may be easier than you think!
Dopamine is a compound in the body that helps control your brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Beyond that, dopamine heavily affects your daytime erections (and how long you’re able to maintain them). So, if you wake up with weak morning wood, lack of this neurotransmitter may be to blame.
According to a study in 2001…
“…the release of dopamine at the level of the nucleus accumbens (innervated by the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway) positively regulated the anticipatory/motivational phase of copulatory behavior.” (2)
Translation? The more dopamine your body releases into your brain, the more you experience that rush of sexual desire. Unfortunately, if your dopamine levels are too low, it’s going to be harder for you to…..well, get hard.
While it might seem strange, there is a notable connection between your dopamine levels and your ability to consistently get erections. Dopamine is more than just the “feel good” neurotransmitter that elevates your sexual desire.
By increasing your dopamine levels, you increase your chances of getting strong erections in the morning.
Of course, in today’s modern society, it’s no surprise that most men have depleted dopamine reserves. After all, a sedentary lifestyle is terrible for your dopamine levels. (3) Aside from having a negative effect on your erections (and morning wood), low dopamine levels can cause everything from anxiety to aggression and even depression.
When it comes to increasing your dopamine levels naturally, start with the basics. At this point, you should be cutting out foods that lower your dopamine levels. Sugar (meaning everything from high fructose corn syrup to agave) and high glycemic carbohydrates (like cake, crackers and white bread) have no place in your diet. (4) Replacing those foods with nutrient dense alternatives is a no-brainer.
Once you’ve dealt with your nutrition, it’s time to get a bit creative. If you’re looking to raise your dopamine levels, focus on keeping things exciting in bed. Let’s face it: boring sex is the worst kind of sex. If you do the same thing over and over again in bed, it’s natural for your dopamine levels to start dropping. After all, dopamine loves novelty.
So, you want that spike of dopamine? Try something different! Don’t be afraid to try new positions, experiment with toys or start role playing. Constantly spicing things up in the bedroom is one of the best ways to get that dopamine rush! (5)
Another neurotransmitter worth paying attention to is acetylcholine. Have you ever wondered how you can get physically turned on just by seeing something? Well, acetylcholine is a dedicated chemical messenger that gets sent along the spinal cord from your brain to your penis.
Think of it this way: dopamine is in charge of getting you excited about sex, right? Well, acetylcholine is in charge of actually stimulating your erections. (6) If your acetylcholine levels are too low, you’re going to have a tough time getting/staying erect.
Now, acetylcholine is made using a B vitamin called choline. So, if you’re suffering from a choline deficiency, your ability to maintain a solid erection is going to be compromised.
There are few reasons why someone might have a choline deficiency. Honestly, most men probably aren’t getting enough choline from their food. If you’re worried that your choline deficiency might be diet related, here’s a short list of some foods that have high levels of choline:
If you haven’t been eating enough of those foods (or other foods that are high in choline), there is a good chance that your morning wood issues originate from low acetylcholine levels. Now, you may be thinking to yourself “wait a minute… I eat those foods already!” Unfortunately for you, in times of stress, choline can be depleted faster than normal. (7)
Even if you’re getting enough choline from your diet, there are still a few ways you can develop a choline deficiency. Consuming alcohol, for example, causes an increase in your bodies’ choline requirement. If you were to abuse alcohol without paying attention to your choline intake, it’s completely possible that you’d end up with a choline deficiency. (8) Excessive exercise can cause a choline deficiency in the same way. (9)
If you need to find a new way to get more choline into your system, you could always give supplements a shot. CDP-Choline, for example, releases choline into the body upon ingestion. (10) Lecithin and phosphatidylcholine are also great supplements if you’re looking to get more choline into your system. (11)
If you’re looking to restore your acetylcholine levels to their optimal point, make sure you’re consuming 550 mg of choline daily. (12) If you’re eating these foods and using these supplements, you should have no problem getting that much choline in your system.
Here’s one of the biggest issues you might be ignoring: your prolactin levels. For those of you unfamiliar with this term, prolactin is a hormone that your body releases as a counterweight to dopamine. While dopamine is responsible for sexual arousal, prolactin is responsible for the feelings of sexual gratification. (13)
Generally, prolactin is an accepted aspect of the sexual experience. Unfortunately, high blood prolactin concentrations actually interfere with the function of testicles as well as the production of testosterone and sperm. (14)
If you’re looking to manage your prolactin levels, you’re in luck. According to a study at the University of Virginia, dopamine is actually an inhibitor of prolactin secretion. Translation? The more dopamine you have, the lower your prolactin levels will be. (15)
So, as long as you’re raising your dopamine levels (like we mentioned earlier), your prolactin levels will drop too.
If that doesn’t work? Try using some supplements. Everything from a lack of Vitamin B6 to a magnesium deficiency can cause your prolactin levels to rise. Getting enough Zinc (50 mg a day) and Vitamin E (300 mg daily) in your diet should help you drop those prolactin levels.
Dealing with poor morning wood is clearly something no one enjoys addressing. While all of this new information may feel a bit intimidating at first, your only chance at naturally mastering your morning erection is to pay attention to your body. If you’ve started noticing a distinct lack of morning wood these days, you owe it to yourself (and your partner) to take care of this issue.
Remember: focus on raising your dopamine levels (by keeping things exciting in the bedroom), increasing your acetylcholine levels (by getting enough choline in your diet) and reducing your prolactin levels (by keeping those dopamine levels high). After all, at the end of the day, your sexual health will end up relying on one thing: your overall health.