We know some of the health benefits of having regular sex – for our bodies and our relationships – but did you know sex is actually good for our brains? Studies show that getting frisky actually makes us smarter.
Researchers at the University of Maryland found that middle-aged rats made more new brain cells after mating and also increased brainpower with frequent sexual activity.
Scientists noticed that after sex, the number of newly generated neurons in the hippocampus, where long-term memories are made, increased.
It’s also been well documented that having sex counteracts the effect of stress on the brain.
While a separate study found that the brain benefits were more prevalent in new lovers, its benefits for long-term relationships and older people are what really intrigued scientists. One researcher adding: “There is some evidence that older people who are sexually active are less likely to have dementia.”
However, those added benefits to the brain are said to get lost if the sex stopped.
And, if you already are a smarty-pants, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re just naturally going to have more sex. In fact, people with high working memory (who doesn’t love a nerd?) decreases the likelihood of becoming sexually active early.
So does that mean you’ll turn into an idiot if you hit a ‘dry spell’?
While it may seem like it according to the study, that’s not necessarily the case.
Psychologist Tracey Shors says exercising helps build and maintain brain cells. Also, mental training helps, like crossword puzzles and other cognitive games. (It’s just not as fun…)
Kind of gives new meaning to ‘night classes’ now, doesn’t it?
-Ashley M. Papa