Chat with AHA!

Chat with Ask Healthshots

Are wet dreams normal?

Wet dreams can occur in people of both sexes who have gone through puberty, but they are most common during the teen years. Here is everything you need to know.
woman in bed
Women can also have wet dreams. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Shruti Bhattacharya Updated: 17 Jun 2024, 08:41 pm IST
  • 232
Medically Reviewed by

When you hear of the term “wet dreams,” you instantly think of something that happens to men. But mind you, it can happen to women as well. So, the next time you wake up to something damp down there, it could be because of the dream you had last night. Wet dreams are more prevalent during your sexual development, meaning when you are going through puberty. Both men and women experience such events. Unintentional orgasms during sleep can be confusing or even embarrassing for some people. However, wet dreams are nothing to worry about. They are completely normal and here is everything you need to know about the causes of wet dreams, why they happen during sleep, and how many are too many.

What are wet dreams?

“Wet dreams are a neurological phenomenon. The process starts in the hypothalamus (located in your brain), which primarily releases hormones and manages essential physiological functions. During the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep where one dreams, the hypothalamus stimulates the production of sex hormones. This stimulation then results in sexual arousal. As a dream becomes more vivid and sensual, dopamine levels rise, leading to heightened feelings of pleasure and, inevitably, a physical response occurs,” says sexologist and psychiatrist Dr Sanjay Kumawat.

When boys have these dreams, it leads to the production of semen at night. For girls, they may experience a discharge which is normal and nothing to worry about, as found in a study published in the Encyclopedia of Adolescence.

woman in bed
Wet dreams can happen to women too. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What are the causes of wet dreams?

There has been little research on the causes of wet dreams, however it is believed to be a sexual dream. A study published in the International Society of Sexual Medicine Journal has found that some women had nocturnal discharges as a result of sexual dreams. Hormones are also an important component. Wet dreams often begin with puberty, thus hormones are a reasonable assumption. When males begin to produce testosterone, the male sex hormone, they frequently start having wet dreams. During adolescence, testosterone levels rise, increasing the likelihood of nocturnal emissions as the body adjusts to hormonal changes, as found in a study published in the MedicinePlus Journal.

Other causes:

1. Erotic dreams

The type of dreams we have may also have an impact on how our bodies react when we sleep. An erotic dream may trigger a physical reaction in the body, resulting in it. However, more research is needed to prove the claim.

2. Lifestyle factors

Your lifestyle habits such as stress levels and food may also lead to having wet dreams. However, more research is needed to prove the claim. But taking good care of your diet and mental health helps to reduce wet dreams.

Debunking myths about wet dreams

1. Wet dreams lower a person’s immunity

Some people feel that having wet dreams and ejaculating can be harmful to one’s immune system. However, there is no evidence to suggest that orgasms can harm your physical health. But these can indicate normal sexual functioning.

2. Masturbation may halt wet dreams

Many people think that regular masturbation minimises the frequency of wet dreams they have, but this does not mean that they will never have them. However, more research is needed to prove the claim.

3. These are always sex-related

Wet dreams are often connected with sexual dreams. However, this is not always the case. It is possible to have a wet dream without having any erotic dreams. However, there is no research to prove the claim.

What to do if you have wet dreams?

“Wet dreams, like dreaming, are a natural sleep process. There is no need to worry or believe myths about them. Just clean up and go back to sleep. As you get older and have more sexual activity, wet dreams will likely become less frequent,” says the expert.

How to prevent wet dreams?

As wet dreams are a natural physiological phenomenon, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to preventing them. As one ages or engages frequently in sexual activities, they decrease in frequency. While it is not possible to completely prevent these, some strategies may help such as:

  • Eating a well-balanced diet
  • Frequent workouts
  • Better sleep
  • Relaxation techniques such as yoga, breathing exercises, meditation
  • Try muscle relaxation techniques

All of these things can help to improve overall mental and physical health. It may even reduce the likelihood of having wet dreams.

How to deal with wet dreams?

While these are a natural part of human sexual development, some people may find them humiliating or unpleasant. Here are some tips to help you deal with it, as explained by the expert.

1. Clean yourself after a wet dream

After a wet dream, clean yourself and any affected areas, such as your pants or bed sheets. This may eliminate discomfort, odours, or stains.

2. Don’t feel embarrassed

Wet dreams may cause embarrassment, especially in shared living situations. However, it is important to remember that they are a natural aspect of human sexual development. So there is no reason to feel humiliated or guilty.

Woman in bed
Wet dreams are completely normal. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. They are nothing to worry about!

Understanding how common wet dreams are is an important step towards coping with them. They are prevalent among both teenagers and adults. As a result, they should not be interpreted as evidence of sexual immorality or a lack of self-control.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

Yes, sleep orgasms or nocturnal emissions are indeed the same as wet dreams. As in a wet dream, the person vividly imagines sexual orgasm and ejaculation which is a part of his dreaming contents.

2. Can you only have a wet dream during puberty?

Yes, wet dreams occur more often during puberty as your body goes through a lot of hormonal changes during this period. The reproductive system of your body tries to maintain its functional health in this way. This may be the reason why wet dreams occur more often during puberty.

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

No, it is not normal to have wet dreams all the time as it is a dream phase sleep phenomenon. If you have them too frequently, it could mean that there could be too many preoccupations with sexual activity and that frequent wet nights do disturb the sleep of an individual.

4. Do wet dreams have a smell?

If a person does not wipe up the discharge that remains on their clothes or skin after ejaculating, it may begin to smell. Wash with soap and water and change your bedding or clothes to avoid this situation.

  • 232
About the Author

Shruti Bhattacharya is a content writer and editor for over 2 years. She specialises in writing on a variety of topics such as wellness, lifestyle, beauty, technology and fashion. Her current focus is on creating factually correct and informative stories for readers. ...Read More

Next Story
Healthshots AHA
Ask a Health Query
Anonymously for FREE!
Close Popup Healthshots AHA
  • Unlimited Queries
  • Completely Anonymous
  • Credible Sources
CHAT NOW