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Are you experiencing wet dreams at night? Here’s what you need to know

Are you experiencing wet dreams at night? Here’s what you need to knowUpdated on July 21, 2021 | Published on July 21, 2021

Wet Dreams - Myths and Facts that You Should Know

It is a common belief that teenage boys experience more wet dreams than the rest of the age groups. But this belief is only partially true. Sleep orgasms, also called wet dreams, are a part of growing up. They are equally common for any gender at any age following puberty.

When wet dreams occur for the very first time, you might be shocked or embarrassed.  But this is only because you haven’t spoken to others regarding it.

In medical jargon, wet dreams are also known as nocturnal emissions or orgasms during sleep. This is when a boy starts producing semen in sleep and the girl experiences vaginal lubrication.

What is a wet dream? (wet dream meaning)

SUMMARY
Wet Dreams are dreams that make a person experience orgasm in sleep without any manual stimulation.

In simple words, wet dreams are dreams that make a person experience orgasms in sleep. This dream can or cannot be erotic. These orgasms are involuntary or without the cause of masturbation or manual stimulation.

When males see such dreams, they wake up with wet pants. Guys wake up to wet underwear or pajamas and often wet bedding too. This is a result of the ejaculation of semen, the fluid containing sperm from a man’s body.

Similarly, when females experience a wet dream, they find their vaginas lubricated resulting in orgasms during sleep. To sum up, we can also say that wet dreams cause you to secrete vaginal fluids.

Research states that you’ll find sexual content in approximately 8 percent of your dreams. The same research also concluded that men, as well as women, reported having spontaneous orgasms because of erotic content in at least 4% of these dreams.

What are the symptoms of wet dreams?

Once a person reaches the level of puberty, such dreams can occur at any age after that. However, research has found that such dreams are more common during puberty or periods of long abstinence. The reason behind this is sex hormone testosterone. Wet dreams are the result of increasing levels of testosterone in a man’s body.

It is also discovered that the blood flow can also increase towards the reproductive organs during sleep. This is why one may experience erection in sleep.

A study says that 38% of boys get wet dreams when they don’t even know what it is about. On the contrary, it is not necessary for all men to have such dreams. One might not remember or notice such dreams if they haven’t ejaculated or been awakened by them. This is why most women also don’t remember their wet dreams even after experiencing it.

Why do wet dreams happen? (What causes wet dreams)

SUMMARY
Wet dreams are resulted due to natural aging of your body and hormonal changes.

Wet dreams occur because, at the age of puberty, our body undergoes some physical and emotional changes. The body starts to produce more sex hormones increasing the desire for sex. For men, the sperms are produced whereas the women produce eggs. In this period, our genitals grow and we can spot facial and pubic hair.

Dreams depend on your daytime experiences. If you get an erotic dream, this doesn’t necessarily mean you want sex. But you can certainly analyze your dreams to find out what turns you on and try that fantasy in real life.

When does someone start having wet dreams?

A person starts having wet dreams when he/she enters puberty. This occurs majorly among teenage boys when puberty strikes and they have the capability to produce sperms at their climax. This is because of higher levels of testosterone at puberty.

Even 70% of unmarried men or men of the age group of 21-25 years experience these dreams with different frequencies. Along with teenagers, adult men also get these dreams. You’ll find people experiencing these dreams until they are in their reproductive age i.e., from puberty till they enter their 30s.

How often do you have wet dreams?

Every person is different and so are their dream patterns. While you can’t quote any distinct number, here’s some production backed with scientific studies.

In males

How often you can get wet dreams completely depends on you. Nobody can generalize or predict when you can have a wet dream. But studies suggest that if you have been astray for sex for a period of 1-2 weeks, with no masturbating or having sex, the chances of these experiencing dreams increases.

The frequency of these dreams is more in the age of puberty which gradually decreases with age. In Indonesia, studies have concluded that 97% of men experience wet dreams by the time they turn 24 years old. It is believed that males, who have a greater number of wet dreams, masturbate less.

In females

Like males, the frequency of wet dreams among females also depends on them. Sex researcher, Alfred Kinsey concluded that approximately 40% of women who participated in his study had experienced wet dreams at least once.

It is believed that by the age of 21, 85% of women have experienced at least one wet dream. However, it is easier to identify such dreams among men than in women. For men, ejaculation is a sign that helps us understand about their sleep orgasms but there is nothing as such that happens for females except for vaginal lubrication. This is why understanding wet dreams among females are more difficult.

What to do when you have a wet dream?

For men just hitting the age of puberty, these wet dreams might feel embarrassing – but let me tell, it is very common. So, if you have one, just wake up, go to the bathroom and clean yourself. Wash your penis, testicles, and the area under the foreskin with soap and water.

There is nothing to be ashamed of such dreams. But if you are, seek medical advice from a doctor. Talk to a therapist or an adult or a friend who has your full confidence.

How to stop wet dreams?

The best way to decrease the frequency of wet dreams is to have sex or to masturbate. The chances of wet dreams decrease when one has an orgasm in real life (followed by ejaculation in men).

You can also reduce contact with things surrounding you with your genitals so that there is no stimulus around to provoke them. Try sleeping on your back instead of your stomach.

You can take antidepressants after speaking to a doctor to avoid such dreams. Meditate before going to bed and avoid watching porn or reading sexual content before going to sleep as such contents remain fresh in your mind giving birth to wet dreams. These are certain ways in which wet dreams can be controlled or stopped.

How to have a wet dream?

Having or preventing a wet dream is under nobody’s control. But the experts say there are certain things you can try to raise your chances.

First, read a little erotica and get yourself in the mood. This might help you get sexual dreams.

Second, imagine sex. If a person has regular positive thoughts on sex, the chances of sex drive during REM sleep increases. This makes it easier to get wet dreams.

Next, you can also try sleeping on your stomach to create some stimulation to increase your blood flow towards your genitals. This can result in sleep orgasms.

Myths about Wet Dreams

Wet Dreams has a lot of myths attached to it and since “sex” is such a hush-hush topic, it is not even confronted. So, here’s busting some of the most common myths around wet dreams.  

1. It reduces sperm count

It is an absolute myth to believe that wet dreams reduce sperm counts. Instead, the fact is that wet dreams allow testicles to replace older sperm with new, sexual, and healthy sperm in the body.

2. Wet dreams lower immunity

Wet dreams do not result in lower immunity. People believe that if the frequency of wet dreams is more in a person, they are more prone to cold or infection. But there’s no evidence of this belief.

Certainly, wet dreams help to remove the excessive and older sperms in the testicles. But doing this is a healthy sexual activity for their reproductive system. Such orgasms also help to reduce tension and anxiety.

3. Wet dreams only happen during puberty

Wet dreams are not only limited to puberty. They can occur in older individuals as well. The reason it is more common in puberty is that in adults, the hormone levels are consistent. However, at the age of adolescence, these hormonal levels are constantly changing, resulting in more wet dreams.

Another reason why wet dreams are more common during puberty is at that age, boys are not used to frequent masturbation or sex. So, their body tries to replace the older sperms with new ones via these dreams.  

Even if you have had long periods of abstinence, this dream should be accepted without any hype.

4. It is a sign of an illness

Wet dreams aren’t any sign of illness or underlying medical conditions. Instead, it’s absolutely vice versa. When wet dreams occur, it means you have healthy and sexual functioning.

5. Masturbation prevents wet dreams

If you think masturbating before sleeping can prevent wet dreams, then there’s no solid evidence for this statement. It is a possibility that masturbation can reduce the frequency of wet dreams but it certainly cannot prevent such dreams.

To find out the truth behind this, you can explore. Go to bed for a week after masturbating and try another week without masturbating. Check if you find any difference in the number of wet dreams you see.

6. Wet dreams shrink penis

Again, the shrinkage of penis because of wet dreams is a total myth. Science does not back this up. The male reproductive organs cannot shrink because of any illness or natural occurrences.

7. Wet dreams are always erotic dreams

There is no compulsion that wet dreams are always erotic. One can experience sexual arousal from a non-erotic dream too. Arousal is also possible through stimulation because of friction with a bed.

8. Positions don’t matter

For erotic or wet dreams, positions matter. Just like you feel stimulated at a certain posture while having sex, so is with sleep. If you have a habit of sleeping on your stomach, your reproductive part can touch the bed or pillow, providing it a stimulation that results in such erotic dreams.

If you want to avoid such dreams, try sleeping on your back.

9. Friction orgasms are a fad

If you think friction orgasms are a fad, they aren’t. You can get wet because of erotic dreams or because your private part received stimulation through friction from bedding or clothing.

If you don’t want to have such dreams often, sleep in loose pajamas. When you wear baggy clothing, the friction decreases and acts as an obstacle between you and your bedding.

10. Everyone experiences wet dreams

You can get wet dreams as an adolescent or an adult. Probably, you’ll never have one. And whatever the case may be, you don’t have to stress at all because of it.

Can girls have wet dreams? (Can women have wet dreams?)

To be precise to this question, the answer is YES. Although the term ‘wet dreams’ is commonly used for men, women have reported experiencing wet dreams too. In fact, a study also reported 37% of adolescent girls experiencing sleep-gasm in dreams. They might not be aware of the vaginal lubrication caused in their sleep because of wet dreams.

They might not experience spontaneous orgasm or wet their undergarments like men. But they definitely dream of sexual activity and sexual arousal in dreams.

What do wet dreams mean spiritually?

Wet dreams or nocturnal emissions can have several meanings in different cultures or religions. Let’s dig deep and explore a few.

1. Ancient Roman

This excerpt here is taken from De Rerum Natura as recorded by Lucretius. It depicts nocturnal emissions from ancient Rome and is translated by William Ellery Leonard.

… Again, those males

Into the surging channels of whose years

Now first has passed the seed (engendered

Within their members by the ripened days)

Are in their sleep confronted from without

By idol-images of some fair form—

Tidings of glorious face and lovely bloom,

Which stir and goad the regions turgid now

With seed abundant; so that, as it were

With all the matter acted duly out,

They pour the billows of a potent stream

And stain their garment.

(— “Titus Lucretius Carus, De Rerum Natura, Book IV, lines 1025-1036”.)

2. Jewish & Samaritan

As per the law of Moses under the Mosaic Law in the Hebrew Bible, a man experiencing nocturnal emission has incurred ritual defilement.

 “If a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water and be unclean [Hebrew tameh] until the evening. And every garment and every skin on which the semen comes shall be washed with water and be unclean until the evening.”

— Leviticus

“When you are encamped against your enemies, then you shall keep yourself from every evil thing. If any man among you becomes unclean [Hebrew lo yihyeh tahor, literally ‘will not be clean’] because of a nocturnal emission [literally: ‘by reason of what happens to him by night’], then he shall go outside the camp. He shall not come inside the camp, but when evening comes, he shall bathe himself in water, and as the sun sets, he may come inside the camp.”

— Deuteronomy

3. Patristic Christian

Saint Augustine believes that masturbation is a voluntary act whereas wet dreams are not. Hence, they cannot be considered as polluting the conscience of man and will not be considered as a sin.

4. Islamic

Islam doesn’t consider wet dreams as sin. In fact, a person fasting is considered to have broken the fast by ejaculating either by sex or masturbation. Wet dreams aren’t such a cause. In Islam, people are needed to bathe before taking forward any religious rituals.

The Muslim Scholars believe that ejaculation makes one temporarily ritually impure. Once a person takes a bath and makes all the hair of his body wet with water, they are eligible again to read the Quran or perform rituals. For informal prayers, such bathing is not necessary.

5. European

The European folklore believes succubus copulates with an individual in the nighttime. This results in wet dreams. According to their beliefs, such events are associated with sleep paralysis and night terrors.

Other FAQs about Wet Dreams

Apart from all the other information mentioned above, I am sure there are a few other specific questions in your mind. Here’s a list of answers to a few.

1. Is it normal to have wet dreams all the time?

In one word, the answer is YES. It is absolutely normal to have wet dreams all the time at the age of puberty. As you get older, the frequency of such dreams decreases because our hormone level decreases. Even if it doesn’t, there’s nothing to stress about. So, irrespective of any age, wet dreams are pretty common.

If you’re anxious about getting wet dreams frequently, consult your doctor. Get checkups done to find out the reason behind such dreams. If it doesn’t help, go to a therapist and find out the underlying reason behind these frequent wet dreams.

2. Are sex dreams the only thing that can cause sleep orgasms?

No. Not always. It is not necessary for the dream to be erotic to result in orgasms. Neither is it necessary that you’ll always have an orgasm because of a sex dream. Such dreams can be a result of many factors. A common reason is friction between your bedding and your genitals. This can also lead to sexual arousals and orgasms.

3. Why do you have sleep orgasms but have a hard time having orgasms otherwise?

Let’s make it clear that it is not easy for everyone to have orgasms. Every person has different needs and levels of satisfaction. This is also backed by research. A study concludes that 75% of women do not get orgasm only by sex. 20% of them rarely get orgasms and 5% of women never even have them.

So, if you think you get sleep orgasms often, then you should probably take out time and notice what is so special in your sleep that turns you on. Is there any particular move or position that you like? If yes, implement the same in your real sex life and see if it works for you.

4. Is it normal to never have a wet dream?

Totally. There’s nothing to panic about if you haven’t had any wet dreams. Not everyone gets such dreams. There are chances that you may get wet dreams as an adolescent but not as an adult. This is absolutely normal because dreams are personal and different for every individual.

5. Can you make yourself have a wet dream?

If you want to have a wet dream, this may be possible. Try to sleep on your stomach or any other sexually prone position. The reason behind this is still unclear but you can surely give it a shot.

6. Are wet dreams the same as sleep orgasms or nocturnal emissions?

Yes. “Nocturnal emissions” is the medical jargon or formal name of “wet dreams” and “sleep orgasms”. All three terms mean the same.

7. Do sex dreams always end in orgasms?

No. This is not possible. Do you always have orgasms while having sex? Not really, isn’t it? So how can you expect orgasms while having sex dreams?

You can have erotic dreams and not have orgasms. On the other hand, you can have orgasms and still not be wet. It absolutely depends on the person and the dream.

8. Can you prevent wet dreams?

Well, not really. Dreams are never under our control. However, some experts indicate that you can do it by influencing your dreams. Try to think of a topic before sleeping or make use of some outside stimulus.

Even if you do this, there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to prevent these dreams successfully.

9. Do you need to tell your partner if you have wet dreams?

You might be feeling embarrassed even when these wet dreams are completely common. If you want to reduce your anxiety over the topic, you can talk to your partner. If you’re dealing with it calmly, there’s absolutely no need to tell anyone.

You can also talk to your therapist about this. But whether or not you decide to talk about this topic, remember that there is absolutely no reason to be embarrassed.

10. Is Sleep Sex for real?

Sleep Sex or Sexsomnia is absolutely a real thing. It occurs when a person is engaging in sexual acts during sleep. Researchers say that one indulges in sleep sex usually during non-rapid-eye-movement or dreamless sleep. This means when one is in extremely deep sleep, one can go through Sexsomnia.

While we are talking about sleep sex, it is important to clarify that sexual dreams are not a type of sleep sex as they do not include any physical behavior regarding sex except for arousal and ejaculation.

Closing Thoughts!

There is nothing to worry about such dreams and you must not allow them to overpower you. You can be experiencing one or multiple wet dreams. They are not in your control as these dreams are individualistic and based upon needs.  

But if you want to ensure there’s nothing wrong with you, it is always wise to speak to a doctor and get checkups done. You can also consult a urologist or gynecologist to seek expert advice.

If you still feel uneasy, talk to a therapist and discuss your concerns. And if you just want to talk about it, discuss it with your parents or friends. Other than that, there’s nothing to worry about – it is a part of growing, so just enjoy this phase of your life!

Article Sources


1. https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-a-wet-dream-and-what-does-it-mean-3015090
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7478606/
3. https://www.smarterhealth.sg/things-to-know-about-wet-dreams/
4. https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/wet-dreams
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocturnal_emission