A nightfall, known scientifically as a nocturnal emission, and also informally known as a wet dream, sex dream, or sleep orgasm, is a spontaneous orgasm that involves ejaculation for males and vaginal wetness or an orgasm (or both) for females during sleep.
Men can wake up or simply sleep through a wet dream, but for women, several researchers have included the requirement that she must also awaken during the orgasm and perceive that the orgasm occurred before it counts as a wet dream. The mere presence of vaginal wetness does not imply that the woman has had an orgasm. (1)
Nocturnal emission is not to be confused with nocturnal tumescence of the penis in men or clitoris in women. Nocturnal penile or clitoral tumescence is the spontaneous erection of the penis or clitoris during sleep or when you wake up from it, and is essentially a sleep-related erection. It occurs usually three to five times during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and is said to contribute to the penile (or clitoral) health of the individual.
The most common period for nocturnal emissions is during adolescence and early young adulthood, but they can occur at any age after puberty. Scientists suggest that the process of nightfall is completely physiological.
However, rarely, excessive nightfall can be problematic and might require treatment. Excessive masturbation, fluctuating hormone levels, thinning of semen viscosity, and a full bladder aggravate the issue by weakening the penile nerves and muscles. Men may retain their sperm, but the excess is discharged at night.
Dizziness, insomnia, weaker sexual incapacity, erectile dysfunction, knee pain, stress, infertility, and loss of sight and memory are all symptoms of daily nightfall in men. Urine may also accompany the sperm in a few cases.
Nightfall is an extremely common phenomenon that has been proven scientifically to have been experienced by the majority population of men at least once in their lives. Some males have had a high number of nocturnal emissions as juveniles, although others have never had one. (4)
Nocturnal emissions are also more common in some parts of the world. 83 percent of men in the United States have experienced nightfall at some point in their lives. (5) In Indonesia, surveys show that by the age of 24, 97 percent of men have experienced nightfall. (6)
Men and women indicated that approximately 8% of their daily dreams involve some kind of sexual-related behavior in a comprehensive study. Orgasms were experienced in 4% of both men and women's sex dreams. (3)
The frequency of nocturnal emissions varies tremendously.
Some say it's because they've been sexually inactive for 1–2 weeks and haven't engaged in either intercourse or masturbation. (4)
The frequency of experiencing nightfall in men usually decreases with age and/or with marriage, according to studies. (5)
Some males experience emissions only after puberty, while others experience them during their lives. No definitive relation has been established between the frequency of nocturnal emissions and the frequency of masturbation.
The amount of nocturnal emissions a man has is influenced by whether or not he uses testosterone-based medications. A study found that as testosterone levels were raised, the number of boys reporting nocturnal emissions increased dramatically, from 17 percent of subjects with no medication to 90 percent of subjects at a high dose. (7)
Nightfall causes 13% of males to have their first ejaculation. According to a study, males who had their first ejaculation through nocturnal emission were older than those who had their first ejaculation through masturbation. (8)
Frequency in Women
Similar to the findings in males, the frequency of nocturnal emissions varies in women too.
A study discovered that almost 40% of the women interviewed had experienced one or more nocturnal orgasms or wet dreams. Those who claimed they had them said they happened many times a year, that they started as early as 13, and that they normally happened by the age of 21. (2)
Female nocturnal orgasm is characterized as sexual arousal during sleep that awakens one to perceive orgasm. (2)
According to another study, by the age of 21, up to 85 percent of women have experienced nocturnal orgasm. This study was focused on women who awoke with or after orgasm. (2)
Males have more spontaneous nocturnal sexual encounters than females, according to studies. Since ejaculation is commonly associated with male orgasm, while vaginal lubrication does not mean orgasm, female wet dreams may be more difficult to classify with certainty than male wet dreams.
The theme of sexual activity is popular in lucid dreaming.
LaBerge, Greenleaf, and Kedzierski (1983) conducted a pilot study to see how physiological responses to sexual activity during REM lucid dreaming mirrored subjectively perceived sexual activity. (9)
Her vaginal muscle activity, vaginal pulse amplitude, and respiration rate reached their highest values of the night during the fifteen-second segment of the female subject's physiological record, which she signaled as the moment of orgasm, and they were also significantly elevated in comparison to the rest of the REM era. Heart rate rose just marginally, contrary to expectations. (9)
Composition of Discharged Fluid
Few studies have looked at the composition of ejaculate produced during nocturnal emissions due to the difficulty in collecting it. (1)
The semen concentration was equal in the largest analysis, which included nocturnal emission samples from 10 men, to samples collected from the same men by penile vibratory stimulation, though the proportions of mobile and normal morphology sperm were higher in the nocturnal emission specimens. (1)
Do I Need Treatment For Nightfall?
As stated earlier in this article, it is completely alright physiologically to experience a single or even multiple episodes of nightfall as a man or woman. There are no physical damages that can be positively attributed to nightfall with scientific proof.
However, if the fact that experiencing nocturnal emissions makes you uncomfortable mentally, we suggest you speak to your psychiatrist about it. A detailed discussion with your psychiatrist and related counselling should help you tremendously in overcoming such stigma.
The easiest way to get rid of excessive nightfall issues is to see a trained urologist. However, patients should first seek to alter their lifestyle. Meditation, which helps control inner emotions and improves focus, is a natural way to minimize nightfall. Men do not encounter nightfall as long as they are disturbed by unnecessary events.
Yoga and exercise are powerful tools for regaining control of one's body, mind, and spirit. Nightfall can be stopped by engaging in these exercises on a daily basis. Bathing with essential oils before bedtime will help you sleep better at night because it relaxes both your mind and body.
On nightfall, there are many cultural and religious perspectives.
During recent times, society as a whole has come to accept the fact that nightfall is a physiological phenomenon experienced by both men and women in varying frequency and age. Education on the topic via internet articles such as this or by other means have made people more accepting of such phenomena earlier considered taboo and vile.
1. Meng, X; Fan, L; Liu, J; Wang, T; Yang, J; Wang, J; Wang, S; Ye, Z (2013). "Fresh semen quality in ejaculates produced by nocturnal emission in men with idiopathic anejaculation". Fertility and Sterility. 100 (5): 1248–52. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.07.1979. PMID 23987518.
2. "Do women have wet dreams, too?". Go Ask Alice!. May 7, 1999. Archived from the original on January 20, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
3. American Academy of Sleep Medicine (June 15, 2007). "Sexual Activity Reported In Dreams Of Men And Women". ScienceDaily.
4. Kinsey, Alfred C. (1948). Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. p. 190. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
5. Kinsey, Alfred C. (1948). Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. p. 190. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
6. "Knowledge about Human Reproduction and Experience of Puberty" (PDF). Indonesia Young Adult Reproductive Health Survey 2002–2003. Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS-Statistics Indonesia), Jakarta, Indonesia; National Family Planning Coordinating Board, Jakarta, Indonesia; Ministry of Health, Jakarta, Indonesia, ORC Macro, Calverton, Maryland, U.S. p. 27. Retrieved April 7, 2011.
7. Finkelstein, Jordan W.; Elizabeth J. Susman; Vernon M. Chinchilli; M. Rose D’Arcangelo; Susan J. Kunselman; Jacqueline Schwab; et al. (1998). "Effects of Estrogen or Testosterone on Self-Reported Sexual Responses and Behaviors in Hypogonadal Adolescents". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The Endocrine Society. 83 (7): 2281–2285. doi:10.1210/jc.83.7.2281. Archived from the original on September 6, 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2011.
8. Kinsey, Alfred C. (1948). Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. p. 190. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
9. LaBerge, S., Greenleaf, W., & Kedzierski, B. (1983). Physiological responses to dreamed sexual activity during lucid REM sleep. Psychophysiology
A motivated student of Medicine & Surgery (MBBS) at R. G. Kar Medical College & Hospital, Kolkata, having a knack for reading and composing medical literature. When he's not writing content for MEDtalks, Swapnil is usually looking up the latest trends and innovations in Medicine.