Okay, okay. It’s hard to disagree that, in many circumstances, getting all up in those sheets can for the mind and body. And it’s not just about the heat of the moment— science suggests sex can by signals in the brain.
Let's Talk About Sex, Baby — Why It Matters
There’s no bone(r)s about it: Life is stressful. And anxiety goes way beyond the need to dine with Ben and Jerry for dinner— stress can be . Yet science suggests there are natural ways to regulate anxiety. In one study, daily intercourse for two weeks led to cell growth in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that keeps stress levels under control. Disclaimer: This study was tested on rats, not us feisty folks, but it might still help explain that post-coital bliss.
In another study, people who had daily intercourse for two weeks showed lower stress-related blood pressure than those who chose to fool around in other ways or abstain from sex altogether. (Solo sessions didn’t cut it either.) Brody, S. Division of Psychology, School of Sciences, University of Paisley, Scotland, UK. Biological Psychology, 2006 Feb;71(2):214-22.. And more good news: The body also releases (aka the love hormone) when — it acts as a natural sedative and can trigger .
Love Potion #9 — The Answer/Debate
Before we go lookin’ for love every time those stress signals go off, know that let loose , molecules the body produces during the stress response. But the rat study also suggests sex becomes the more often we do it Brody, S. Division of Psychology, School of Sciences, University of Paisley, Scotland, UK. Biological Psychology, 2006 Feb;71(2):214-22.. Rats that had 14 sexual encounters compared to one over the course of two weeks had lower levels of cortisol, the hormone that signals . (Less really is more, huh?)
Plus, the pleasures of a little love-making the short blasts of stress that can occur; experiences that provide pleasure (including sex and a side of fries), have been shown to . So perhaps getting in on the action won’t just be a physical joyride— it could also help calm the mind.