Part of being an adult male is knowing that the more attention paid to penis health, the less likely a guy is to have penile issues to contend with. However, that’s not to say that a guy will never have any issue if he keeps an eye on his penis health. For example, sometimes some penis pain is unavoidable - if, say, a guy is struck in the penis by a speeding baseball. But there are some other penis pain causes which proper attention to the penis can’t prevent - and sleep-related painful erections are among them.

What are sleep-related painful erections?

When most men hear the phrase "sleep-related painful erections," they just assume it means something like waking up in the morning with a little penis pain from having slept with too much weight on a morning erection. In fact, this is a different condition altogether.

Fortunately, sleep-related painful erections are considered rare, affecting an estimated one percent of adult men. However, it is also thought that the condition is under-reported and may be more common than thought. The jury is still out on the exact incidence.

When a man has sleep-related painful erections, he achieves one or more erections during the course of the night. Erections that occur during non-REM sleep appear to be normal, causing no problems or pain. But frequently the erections that a man has during periods of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep produce great penis pain - to the extent that they awaken a man from his sleep and often prevent him from easily returning to dreamland.

Very painful

It’s important to emphasize once again that the penis pain of this condition is of a different kind and level than the throbbing a man might occasionally experience from sleeping the wrong way on an erect penis. This pain can be so bad that a man may not return to sleep for an extended period of time. As a result, men with sleep-related painful erections have fatigue and irritability, and it may contribute to mental issues related to lack of sleep.

Most cases of this condition do not appear in a man until he is age 40 or older. Most men who experience it report that it then becomes increasingly common as they get older. Diagnosis of the condition is difficult, as it is sometimes assumed to be related to priapism. However, treatment for priapism is not thought to have a positive effect on this problem. It is usually diagnosed through study in a sleep laboratory setting.

The cause of sleep-related painful erections is also little understood. Since it is rare, the case studies are few, and they do not present a clear picture of causation. At this time, however, there does not appear to be a genetic factor.


Since the cause of the disorder is currently unknown, treatment is difficult. Doctors tend to focus on treating the symptoms. Most often, patients are prescribed antidepressants, which seem to have had good results in several cases. In some instances, beta blockers have also been seen to produce excellent results.

As indicated, sleep-related painful erections are thought to be rare. If a man has symptoms consistent with the disorder, he should bring them to the attention of his physician or urologist.

Most penis pain is much less problematic than that created by sleep-related painful erections. Often, normal penis pain will respond to the use of a first class penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) . Since everyday penis pain is often due to raw, overused penis skin, a crème with a combination of a high-end emollient (such as Shea butter) and a natural hydrator (such as vitamin E) is strongly urged. It also is helpful to utilize a crème that include vitamin C, as this vitamin is beneficial in the creation of collagen, helping to provide tone and elasticity to penis skin.