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Wet Dreams


Wet dreams happen to most guys during the teen years. You wake up to find your bed sheets wet and sticky. Wet dreams, or nocturnal emissions, are a normal part of your development.


What are wet dreams?

Wet dreams occur when you ejaculate during your sleep. The medical term for a wet dream is “nocturnal emission.“ Most wet dreams are reported in teenage boys and young men, and sometimes they occur well into adulthood.


What causes a wet dream?

A wet dream occurs when you have a sexually arousing dream during sleep, and your body releases semen through ejaculation. During the REM (rapid eye movement) phase of sleep, it’s natural for guys to experience an erection. If you happen to have an arousing dream during this period of sleep, you will sometimes ejaculate.


You may have trouble remembering the dream or feel confused just after you have a wet dream. Some guys wake up because they feel like they are going to wet the bed. This is completely normal and nothing to be embarrassed about!


Can I prevent wet dreams from happening?

Although some people have ideas about how to prevent wet dreams from occurring, there is no proven strategy for this. While having to change your sheets or clean up afterward may be embarrassing or annoying, keep in mind that wet dreams are a normal part of development.


If you are feeling uncomfortable about having a wet dream, talk with an adult you trust – a parent, a school counselor, your health care provider. Talking about it is the best way to allow you to feel more comfortable about this natural part of your development.


If you're concerned about wet dreams, here's a tip on how to bring it up with your health care provider: Sometimes my sheets are wet when I wake up. What's causing this?


Written by the Young Men's Health Staff at Boston Children's Hospital


Updated: 10/15/2014


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