Night Fall/Nocturnal Emissions/Wet Dreams

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One of the most common questions I have been getting quite repeatedly on almost all the online platforms, is about night fall, or wet dreams or what is called nocturnal emissions.

A nocturnal emission is the ejaculation of semen experienced by a male, or orgasm experienced by a female, during sleep. Nocturnal emissions are more common in teenage years, than in adult life. They commonly occur post puberty, and are often accompanied by erotic dreams, wherein the emission may occur without erection. Women can also have orgasm in the similar way.

Generally, a wet dream, or a sexual/erotic dream, during sleep (happens during the Rapid Eye Movement or REM phase of sleep), can lead to discharge of semen, or an orgasm.

Also, when you experience a wet dream, you move around on your bed, and the rubbing of the genitals with the surface, can further stimulate orgasm. That’s why night fall doesn’t happen with masturbation or any manual stimulation during sleep.

To begin with, it’s an absolutely normal and natural aspect of human body and there is nothing wrong or sinful about it. It’s not a disease, and it doesn’t need any cure.

A study, investigated the actual nature and content of sexual dreams across a large sample of dream reports from men and women. App. 8% of everyday dream reports from both genders contain some form of sexual-related activity. 

The percentage of women that reported such dreams can be due to the fact that either women actually experience more sexual dreams now than they did 40 years ago, or that they now feel more comfortable reporting such dreams due to changing social roles and attitudes. Sexual intercourse was the most common type of sexual dream content, followed by sexual propositions, kissing, fantasies and masturbation.

A study, assessed masturbation habits and frequency of nocturnal emissions among 113 virgin male religious Muslim teenagers. Researchers found that, although masturbation and nocturnal emissions (NE) are frequent among virgin male religious Muslim teenagers, a significant proportion of young men believe that only masturbation, but not nocturnal emissions, is forbidden by religion.

Alfred Kinsey, one of the most influential figures of the 20th century in America,  conducted landmark studies of male and female sexual behaviour that helped usher in the ‘sexual revolution” of the 1960s and 1970s. In his renown text, Sexual behaviour in the human male, he found that off the 104 males he studied, 75 reported that they had experienced nocturnal emissions, while 29 reported that they had not experienced nocturnal emissions.

Kinsey found “There may be some correlation between the frequencies of masturbation and the frequencies of nocturnal dreams. In general the males who have the highest frequencies of nocturnal emissions may have somewhat lower rates of masturbation. Some of these males credit the frequent emissions to the fact that they do not masturbate; but it is just as likely that the reverse relationship is true, namely, that they do not masturbate because they have frequent emissions.

Another thing Kinsey noticed was that during puberty, 13% of males experience their first ejaculation as a result of a nocturnal emission. Kinsey found that males experiencing their first ejaculation through a nocturnal emission were older than those experiencing their first ejaculation by means of masturbation.

In a very interesting study, titled “Nocturnal Emissions: A Comparative Study of Male Experiences and Reactions”, found that, males who have nocturnal emissions may question their occurrence, while males who don’t experience them do not ask about what hasn’t occurred.

The subjects she tested, made comments that further validated a lack of information and education on sexuality and nocturnal emissions:

  • There was very little talk about the subject (nocturnal emissions) at home.”
  • Parents were inhibited about sex. Concerned overly with bodily cleanliness, perhaps I subconsciously thought it was like bedwetting. Wow, a revelation! I am getting over this. I thought I was abnormal for a while.
  • There should be more information at a younger age so kids don’t get too uptight about the ‘normalness’.”

Those males who experienced nocturnal emissions reacted more negatively, possibly because of concern over the ejaculate which was described by some as “messy” or “embarrassing.” They not only received little to no information, but they felt more “abnormal”, had difficulty accepting their sexual abilities, and lived with nocturnal emissions but disliked it.

These males expressed their feelings about nocturnal emissions this way:

  • It was OK, nothing J could control–it was more annoyance in ‘losing control’ of myself than anything else (as a young male J thought J had to be more in control).”
  • We control our bodies, they don’t control us, or at least we should.”
  • At first somewhat traumatic, later accepted as normal occurrence.”
  • To say the least, the first occurrence was traumatic. I was certain I had damaged myself–!! !” “I felt very guilty.”
  • “I don’t enjoy them very much simply because it creates a mess.”
  • “. . . fearful of the unpredictability of the event.”

One possible explanation for the negative reactions within this sample could be the reported influence of religion upon the subjects”, says the researchers.

A study assessed both quantitative and qualitative aspects of sex and wet dreams in 58 male participants, through a questionnaire. More than 80% of participants had dreamed about having vaginal intercourse with a woman. Dreaming of sexual interactions other than vaginal intercourse—such as oral sex—was also common.

In a study, the researchers assessed 245 graduate and undergraduate women, and found that, that app. 85% of women will experience a wet dream by the age of 21. And it’s likely that wet dreams among women are even more widespread than that, because this study based their numbers on a small sample of college women during the 1980s —  in a relatively conservative time.

Now, just like the misunderstandings related to masturbation, there are myths surrounding the subject of wet dreams & nocturnal emissions or night falls. These emissions are absolutely natural phenomena and there is simply no cure for anything which is not a disease.

Internet is full of bro science and bogus advices on magical cures to treat nocturnal emission, and get rid of it. There are articles, supplements, exercises, videos etc. being propagated by the very same people, who term masturbation as evil.

Night fall or nocturnal emissions are a common phenomenon, and a way for the body to relieve itself of its sexual arousal. It is more often observed in people who are sexually less active. If the person masturbates regularly or has sexual contact of any kind, they have a lesser chance of having night fall.

It can also occur due to stress, watching explicit content like porn, anxiety, depression, and other health conditions.

Despite of being an absolutely safe and natural act of the body, there are many websites demonizing it in the lines of other natural sexual acts.

Here is a write up on the National Health Portal of the Government of India:

It is often observed in people who are not sexually active. If sexually active, if the man masturbates regularly or has sexual contact of any kind, they have a lesser chance of having night fall.”

This is followed by tons of solutions, both dietary, physiological, and pharmacological for the cure of nocturnal emissions. Please understand, it’s not a condition, it’s a natural & healthy phenomenon of the body.

Though, in case of any accompanying issue like gastritis, pain in testicles or burning sensation during semen discharge, you should check with your doctor.

Anyone prescribing you stupid cures like:

  • fenugreek & honey water,
  • having onions,
  • eating more curd,
  • avoiding tea, coffee & alcohol,
  • bathing in essential oils,
  • taking warm water bath before bed,
  • having herbs like shilajit, Ashwagandha, triphala;
  • drinking bottle gourd juice to cool the body;
  • drinking almond milk at night;

or other rubbish of such kind; or selling you some magical supplement or herbal & ayurvedic concoction, is just making a fool out of you.

Because of such nonsensical information, people (specially youngsters), are scared to death and are full wrong ideas and misinformation. And out of this misunderstanding sprout wrong questions:

  1. What is the healthy frequency of night fall?

There is no healthy or unhealthy frequency of night fall. It depends on how sexually active an individual is. Of course, if you are watching sexually explicit content more often, then chances of erections due to wet dreams, and night fall, are more. But whatever the frequency, it poses no harm to your health in any way.

2. Why do I feel weak after night fall, or semen discharge during masturbation?

Because with all the wrong information, you have been wrongly convinced of the negative effects of something which is absolutely normal and healthy. It’s totally a placebo effect, and understanding and studying about human sexuality, anatomy & physiology and functions of sexual organs; is the only way to get rid of such wrong notions & feelings.

3. Do wet dreams or night fall (or even masturbation), effect height?

There is not even remotest of the link to anything in human body with night fall, forget about height. Your height is based on your genes, and a little on the nutrition you eat.

4. Does night fall reduce sperm count?

Semen discharge during night fall, masturbation or sex, do not lead to any reduction in sperm count, semen volume or testosterone levels. Your body (HPT axis) is well capable of producing adequate sperm and semen, and this is a continuous process, controlled by the negative feedback system in the body.

5. Wet dreams can reduce my immunity?

No, it doesn’t and it cannot. If you are suffering from frequent cold and cough, it has nothing to do with your semen or sperm. Regular exercise, good diet, stress & sleep management, good quality herbs & supplements etc. are some of the things you can use to improve your immunity.

6. Night fall happens only during puberty?

Night fall can happen at any age. Though the frequency of night fall is higher during puberty, as hormones are fluctuating a lot. If you are and adult and not masturbating or engaged in sex, then erotic or wet dreams can lead to erections and night fall.

7. What about my friend, who is not having night fall? Am I a victim?

Whether it’s a man or woman, night fall is a normal phenomenon. You don’t have voluntary control over it, in most cases. The frequency of night fall differs from person to person. Some people may rarely or not have night fall at all. Some have it once or twice in a week, and yet some may be having an even higher frequency of night fall.

8. Frequent night falls can lead to erection problems & shrink the penis?

Night fall has no link to erection problem or penis size, irrespective of the frequency. If you are having an erection issue, then you must consult a specialist. Penis size is based on your genes, and you cannot increase your penis size with anything, except surgery.