The hard facts about an issue known as 'morning wood'

Morning wood.

The medical term for it is nocturnal penile tumescence, and there's some pretty interesting science behind it.


It has everything to do with our sleep cycle...

...which is why you may have noticed it can happen several times throughout the night.

Sleep happens in stages, stepping us gradually down into deep sleep, which is followed by a spike into shallower rapid eye movement (REM) sleep — the dream stage.

During REM, our brains slow the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters.

It's how the brain regulates our automatic body functions. It also keeps us from doing stuff like unconsciously attempting to act out our dreams.

One of those neurotransmitters — norepinephrine — plays a role in restricting blood flow.

During REM, norepinephrine becomes less active, which opens up blood vessels and increases circulation throughout our body — including to the penis.

The extra blood flow means more oxygen for all parts of our bodies, which is important for standard maintenance and repair.

Erections occur in the mornings because we often wake up just out of REM.

Full bladders may also cause morning wood.

The increased size of the bladder can stimulate a part of the spinal cord that causes a reflex erection to prevent urination during sleep.

So no need to be confused...

or freaked out...

or angry about it.

Because it's just our physiology.

Watch the full explainer below:

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Via Pexels and Sean MacEntee / Flickr

Apple has taken a huge step towards protecting children by announcing its new plan to scan iPhone photos for images of child abuse. The company will use a "neural match" system to scan photographs and if anything looks suspicious, a human at Apple will be notified to review the images and contact the authorities if necessary.

According to Apple, the new system will "continuously scan photos that are stored on a US user's iPhone and have also been uploaded to its iCloud back-up system."

The system is designed to protect users' privacy by scanning photos without making private communications readable by the company.

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