2
MIN READ
Rise and shine: The science behind morning boners explained
Morning glory is a great barometer of a healthy lifestyle.
Written by
Dan Cable
Medically reviewed by
Dan Cable
Last updated
June 14, 2024

It shouldn’t just be teenagers who enjoy waking up with a hard-on as sleep-related erections (nocturnal tumescence) are a natural event through to old age. It’s a great barometer of a healthy lifestyle, androgen hormones, and cardiometabolic health.

If it feels like morning glories are a distant memory, it might be time to dig deeper.

Why do we wake up hard?

Our morning glories are a confluence of sleep-related erections (SREs) and rising testosterone levels that spike each morning as part of our diurnal, circadian rhythms.

SREs are natural, involuntary erections that occur across the night as we drop in and out of REM sleep [1]. We typically have 3-5 SREs over roughly 30-60 mins across the night; this should persist through to old age [2].

Unfortunately, it’s hard to measure SREs in order to benchmark ourselves. The rigi-scan clinical device is a bit over the top while the DIY ‘postage stamp’ test [3] may not be a good idea given they’re finding PVC and other microplastics in our testicles.

Our testosterone peaks in the early morning and remains elevated until waking. It is closely tied to REM sleep [4]. We often wake up in REM sleep as it’s a “lighter” stage of sleep compared to non-REM sleep.

Your early morning salute is likely related to both this testosterone surge and waking up shortly after a final stage of REM [5].

Why should we take notice?

Difficulty in forming/maintaining an erection (SREs, morning glories, or during sex) may be a leading indicator of:

  • Obstructive sleep apnoea (compromised oxygen levels during sleep) and severe dysregulated sleep (circadian rhythm) taking a toll on sexual function and overall health [6][1][7]
  • Cardiovascular disease and stroke risk [8][9] as penile arteries often begin to clog with cholesterol before coronary arteries [10]
  • Low testosterone or androgen receptor sensitivity [11]
  • Even just poor sleep quality is a factor that compounds [12]
  • Depression [13]; though this may be downstream of other factors

Morning glories are a sign of great health, perhaps even an omen for a great day ahead!

If you’ve not woken up hard in some time then take notice and reflect on other indicators of sexual health (desire, arousal, drive, general mood, etc), overall health (energy levels, body comp, conditioning, etc), and lifestyle (sleep quality, diet, exercise, etc).

At Compound, we look at all of these factors when onboarding members onto our Program (including morning glories) so we can form a more holistic picture of androgen hormonal health and not just rely on blood panels.

How should we monitor this?

Keeping a journal is probably a bit over the top but it is important to bring awareness to the patterns in our morning glories (and overall desire) across our day-to-day life.

This post contains general information about health and wellness practices. It is not intended as medical advice and should not be treated as such. Please consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new health regimen. This information is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.

It shouldn’t just be teenagers who enjoy waking up with a hard-on as sleep-related erections (nocturnal tumescence) are a natural event through to old age. It’s a great barometer of a healthy lifestyle, androgen hormones, and cardiometabolic health.

If it feels like morning glories are a distant memory, it might be time to dig deeper.

Why do we wake up hard?

Our morning glories are a confluence of sleep-related erections (SREs) and rising testosterone levels that spike each morning as part of our diurnal, circadian rhythms.

SREs are natural, involuntary erections that occur across the night as we drop in and out of REM sleep [1]. We typically have 3-5 SREs over roughly 30-60 mins across the night; this should persist through to old age [2].

Unfortunately, it’s hard to measure SREs in order to benchmark ourselves. The rigi-scan clinical device is a bit over the top while the DIY ‘postage stamp’ test [3] may not be a good idea given they’re finding PVC and other microplastics in our testicles.

Our testosterone peaks in the early morning and remains elevated until waking. It is closely tied to REM sleep [4]. We often wake up in REM sleep as it’s a “lighter” stage of sleep compared to non-REM sleep.

Your early morning salute is likely related to both this testosterone surge and waking up shortly after a final stage of REM [5].

Why should we take notice?

Difficulty in forming/maintaining an erection (SREs, morning glories, or during sex) may be a leading indicator of:

  • Obstructive sleep apnoea (compromised oxygen levels during sleep) and severe dysregulated sleep (circadian rhythm) taking a toll on sexual function and overall health [6][1][7]
  • Cardiovascular disease and stroke risk [8][9] as penile arteries often begin to clog with cholesterol before coronary arteries [10]
  • Low testosterone or androgen receptor sensitivity [11]
  • Even just poor sleep quality is a factor that compounds [12]
  • Depression [13]; though this may be downstream of other factors

Morning glories are a sign of great health, perhaps even an omen for a great day ahead!

If you’ve not woken up hard in some time then take notice and reflect on other indicators of sexual health (desire, arousal, drive, general mood, etc), overall health (energy levels, body comp, conditioning, etc), and lifestyle (sleep quality, diet, exercise, etc).

At Compound, we look at all of these factors when onboarding members onto our Program (including morning glories) so we can form a more holistic picture of androgen hormonal health and not just rely on blood panels.

How should we monitor this?

Keeping a journal is probably a bit over the top but it is important to bring awareness to the patterns in our morning glories (and overall desire) across our day-to-day life.

This post contains general information about health and wellness practices. It is not intended as medical advice and should not be treated as such. Please consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new health regimen. This information is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.

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