Q&A: Do Nocturnal Emissions Cause Memory Loss?

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QUESTION: Are nocturnal emissions harmful to my health? Will it cause damage to my memory?

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Photo: Dr John2005

Some men don’t like having wet dreams, for a variety of reasons. If for some reason having wet dreams bothers you, you may see if masturbating during the day or drinking less water before bed helps to decrease how often they occur.

Nocturnal emissions, which are also called “wet dreams”, are when a man ejaculates during his sleep.

In The Heat Of The Night

Although many men recall having sexual dreams around the time of their wet dreams, others don’t recall any such sexual dreams. They may simply wake up and notice, from their underwear or sheets, that they have ejaculated during the night.

Having wet dreams is fairly common during puberty and adolescence. It’s less common during adulthood, however I have definitely heard from a number of men who experience occasional wet dreams even in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

There is nothing harmful or damaging about ejaculating whether while sleeping or when awake. Unfortunately, there are many myths about sexuality, masturbation, orgasms and ejaculation that simply aren’t true and that make some people feel embarrassed, ashamed or worried about their sexuality.

You’re wise to seek out information about your sexuality. I have never seen any clinical or scientific reports about memory loss in regard to wet dreams.

As mentioned, some men don’t even notice that they had a wet dream until they wake up in the morning. Other times, men partly wake up while they are aroused or having an orgasm and enjoy the experience.

Can Be An Inconvenience

Some men don’t like having wet dreams, for a variety of reasons. If for some reason having wet dreams bothers you, you may see if masturbating during the day or drinking less water before bed helps to decrease how often they occur.

There have been no scientific studies to say whether or not these steps will help; however, anecdotally, some adult men have told me that drinking fewer fluids before bed and masturbating before bed have helped to decrease how often they experience wet dreams. Consider it a “can’t hurt, and might help” type of strategy.

The bottom line, however, is that nocturnal emissions are not harmful and are part of many men’s normal, healthy and often pleasurable sexual lives.

To learn more about men’s sexuality, check out The New Male Sexuality by Bernie Zilbergeld. You can learn more about this book and other resources on our web site.

Next Question: Analingus And Having Safer Sex

I like to sometimes give rimjobs to my girlfriend and have anal sex with her. I was wondering – if we are both STI free, do I have anything to worry about, in terms of contracting anything? Also, I know anal sex can be dangerous if not done properly, but if done properly, is there any chance of hurting her during anal sex?

Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

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Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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