Researchers found that even though memories declined over a certain period of time, those who reported a closer bond to their partner and, thus, more sex, performed better on memory assessments. Here’s why.
Good sex (even bad sex, actually) can improve a lot of things: your mood, your sleep quality and even your appetite. But one study offers a new reason why men over 50 should maintain active sex lives: it could improve memory.
The study, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, examined whether sexual activity and emotional closeness during sex enhanced episodic memory in older adults. More than 6,000 men and women over the age of 50 completed a questionnaire regarding their lifestyle habits, including their emotional bond to their partner. Two years later, in 2014, they were asked to repeat the questionnaire. Results proved that, yes, in fact, a healthy sex life can improve short-term memory for older adults. According to the study:
The association between sexual activity and memory performance was stronger among older participants in the sample. Memory performance worsened over 2 years, but change in memory performance was unrelated to sexual activity or emotional closeness during partnered sexual activity.
Basically, even though memories declined over that two year period, those who reported a closer bond to their partner and, thus, more sex, performed better on the memory assessments, most likely because sex stimulates the hippocampus, which is vital for memory.
That’s the good news.
The caveat is that a healthy sex life didn’t do much to improve long-term memory.
According to Men’s Health, sex offers other benefits besides enhanced short-term memory.
“The stress-reducing hormone oxytocin floods your body after orgasm, leaving you relaxed and worry-free. There’s also evidence that people who have sex at least once a week have better immune systems, because they benefit from higher levels of immunoglobulin A: an antibody that wards off illness. A healthy sex life can also reduce prostate cancer in guys — offering even more incentive to keep the passion alive as you age.”
Now, go forth and conquer.