Recent research straight from the lab demonstrates that sexual activity in adults may improve mental performance and help produce new neurons in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain where long-term memories are formed. So much for doing crossword puzzles and sudoku! A separate study found that sex can counteract the kind of chronic stress that screws with the ability to remember things. (The first study was conducted on “middle-aged rats” and the second on mice. We wonder how midlife crises manifest themselves in middle-aged rats?!)
Of course, this may not be enough evidence to convert all those crossword and sudoku addicts to midlife sexual activity, so we thought we’d expand the news into a own nifty five-part list. Here are our Top 5 Reasons Why Sex Makes You Smarter:
1. Sex Helps You Grow New Brain Cells
If we were having more sex, we might be better equipped to explain this to you, but as we said above, in middle-aged rates, sex improves mental performance and long-term memory.
2. Sex Reduces Stress… Which Makes Your Memory Work Better
“Stress is one of the most potent inhibitors of hippocampal neurogenesis,” the scientists say, and we nod seriously and pretend to totally understand this. What we do understand is that sex can help fix this!
3. Sex Releases Endorphins…. Which Makes You Smarter
Endorphins are the “feel good” chemical — it acts as a natural painkiller, lessens anxiety (see #2, above), and helps you sleep better. All of which helps your brain, Einstein. More specifically, endorphins have been found to help calm and focus the brain.
4. Energetic Sex Boosts Circulation and Blood Flow… to the Brain
Energetic sex is a form of exercise, which boosts the blood flow to your brain… which makes it work better. Studies have found that both attention and focus improve for several hours after exercise — so hop on top, Pop!
5. Sex Builds Emotional Intelligence
Sex — or, at least, good sex — requires tuning into another person so completely that you know as much as they do (if not more!) about what turns them on. That’s a kind of focus we could all use more of, whether at home or work.