Things to Know about Wet Dreams

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What is a Wet Dream?

In medical terms, wet dreams are known as ‘nocturnal emissions’. Sometimes, wet dreams are also referred to as ‘sleep orgasms’.

You do not have to masturbate to have a wet dream. Wet dreams cause you to ejaculate without any physical touch involved. Adults and teenage females can also experience wet dreams. Although women do not ejaculate, they can have orgasms in their dreams. Wet dreams commonly occur more in men than women. 

When Does Someone Start Having a Wet Dream? 

Wet dreams occur in teenage males going through puberty. During this period, they are able to produce sperm when they climax in their wet dreams. It is estimated that about 38% of men experience wet dreams before they learn about it. This may be influenced by higher levels of sex hormones at puberty.

At least 70% of unmarried men within the age of 21-25 years have experienced wet dreams with varying frequencies. Besides teenage males, adult men can also experience wet dreams. It can occur when men are in their productive age – from their adolescent years up till they enter their 30s. However, older men can also still have wet dreams.

Not all men experience wet dreams. During sleep, there is increased blood flow to the sexual organs. For men, they can have wet dreams with or without an erection. Erections in men will occur during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.

Women Also Have Wet Dreams 

Wet dreams are often associated with men. However, women can also experience wet dreams even though they may not be aware of the occurrence. Wet dreams in women are usually characterised by vaginal wetness during sleep.

A wet dream is normally a result of a dream with sexual content. When you dream of having sex, your brain sends a signal to your nerves that tells them you are having sex. This causes an increased blood flow in the vaginal walls, which ultimately can lead to an orgasm.

However, this sexual arousal may not always result in an orgasm. Instead, it may cause moisture in your underwear or on bedding due to vaginal lubrication.

Causes of Wet Dreams 

When a man goes through puberty, his body starts producing the testosterone hormone –  a hormone that releases sperm. This means that he is able to fertilise an egg when having sex with a woman. 

The dream content you have when you sleep does not necessarily reflect your experiences or preferences. The erotic nature of the dream does not always reflect an underlying desire.

During puberty, you will start getting erections at different times of the day – whether at school, while watching TV, or in the bathroom. You can even get an erection while sleeping,  which can cause semen to build up inside your body. A wet dream can help your body release semen through ejaculation.

According to Verywell Health, several studies have shown that higher testosterone levels are associated with more frequent wet dreams. There is also a link between an increased frequency of wet dreams and a lack of sexual activity, such as masturbation and orgasm.

Are Wet Dreams Related to Erotic Dreams?

When experiencing a wet dream, the dream might be as if you were having sex with someone. It is completely normal if you do not remember the dream after you wake up. 

There is no concrete evidence that wet dreams are directly related to erotic dreams or any other types of dreams. It is also not clear whether wet dreams are associated with unmet sexual desires or needs.

Intensity of Wet Dreams

Wet dreams are a normal part of growing up. However, not all teenage boys have experienced them – and it is normal. The intensity of wet dreams (high/low) does not always indicate that something is wrong with your health or fertility.

Some men can experience wet dreams several times a week, while some may only experience a wet dream once in their lifetime. Studies show that the intensity of wet dreams may be higher if you sleep on your stomach. 

What Should You Do After Having a Wet Dream? 

Wash yourself off once you wake up.

If you feel uncomfortable after experiencing a wet dream due to ejaculation or the dream content, consult your doctor immediately. Share the concern you have with your doctor, parents, or counsellor.

How to Stop Having Wet Dreams?

There is no specific way to control or stop wet dreams. However, it is believed that the frequency of wet dreams can be decreased in a multitude of ways.

One of the ways to prevent a wet dream is by increasing one’s sexual activity or frequency of masturbation,resulting in orgasm. When you ejaculate by masturbating or having sex, you may decrease your frequency of having wet dreams. This is because there is no buildup of semen, thereby relieving the need for men to ejaculate during sleep.

In addition, reducing contact with the genitals and avoiding sleeping on your stomach can  also be helpful in decreasing the frequency of wet dreams.

In rare cases, wet dreams can be troublesome. Antidepressant medications might be required to decrease the frequency of wet dreams. These medications also function to suppress ejaculation when you wake up.

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