Okay, so there are tons of reasons why you should have sex right now. But here’s one you might not have thought of: Having frequent sex might boost your brain, researchers from Coventry University in the U.K. suggest.
In the study, researchers asked 73 older adults how often they had sex, and then had them perform tasks that tested their brain function—including things like attention, memory, fluency, language, and visuospatial abilities.
They discovered that people who had sex at least weekly scored higher on tests of cognitive function—and, more specifically, on tests that measured verbal fluency and visuospatial ability—than those who had sex less frequently. So, for example, they were able to name more animals and more words that started with the letter “F,” in 60 seconds, and were better able to copy a complex drawing from memory.
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One possible reason? The more sex you have, the more dopamine your brain produces, the researchers believe. That’s important, since the neurotransmitter has been linked to a bunch of important brain functions, like better working memory and executive function. It’s also possible that more sex means more social, physical, and mental engagement, which has also been shown to protect neurons in your brain as you age.
Since the study was done on older adults, it’s not exactly clear how having sex affects your brain now. But it does suggest that staying active underneath the sheets can give you a mental boost as you grow older. (For hot tips on how to make it better for her, check out the 12 sex secrets women wish you knew.)