Whether it’s self-induced or comes from a little help from a partner, orgasms are one of life’s sweet treats. It feels good—OK, like, really good—and there’s really no harm in doing it on the regular. The best part? Reaching the big “O” tickles more than just your libido; it offers some pretty orgasmic benefits for your mind and other body parts. Here are five healthy reasons to have more orgasms (as if you needed much more convincing.)
1. An orgasm before bed may help you snooze. While it’s known that men tend to conk out after an orgasm, getting off could help women nod off, too. One study cited in The Science of Orgasm found that 32 percent of 1,866 American women who had mastrubated in the previous three months did so to help them sleep.
When you climax, you get a rush of feel-good chemicals, like oxytocin (the love hormone) and endorphins (natural pain relievers). The oxytocin surging through your body may help calm you, and the endorphins may help sedate you. Worth a try, right?
2. Regular orgasms could help stave off the sneezes. As it turns out, getting busy may help you combat certain foreign invaders that make you sick. One small study by German researchers found that sexual arousal and orgasm increases the number of leukocytes (disease-fighting white blood cells) in the blood of 11 men. In another small study, researchers surveyed 112 college students about the frequency of their sexual encounters and collected saliva samples. They found that those who had sex often had significantly higher immunoglobulin A, an antibody that fights bacteria and viruses, than those who didn’t.
3. Stimulating your, well you know, could stimulate your brain, too. Climaxing increases blood flow throughout your body, including your brain. One study conducted by Rutgers researchers asked women to masturbate inside an fMRI machine so they could measure blood flow to the brain. They found that orgasms increase blood flow to all parts of the brain—bringing nutrients and oxygenation along for the ride.
4. A happy ending may help alleviate pain. Masturbate away your aches? Yes, it’s true—and it’s another benefit of those feel-good chemicals. But this time, it’s serotonin, which can dampen the sensation of pain. In another Rutgers study, researchers found that during orgasm women’s pain threshold increased by a whopping 75 percent.
5. A couple orgasms a week may even help you live longer. You know that feel-good chemical, oxytocin, we were talking about? It may lower blood pressure and decrease heart disease risk, too. A 10-year study conducted by British researchers studied the relationship between orgasms and mortality. They found that mortality rate was 50% lower in men with coronary heart disease who orgasmed two or more times a week than in men who orgasmed less that once a month. The study concluded that “sexual activity seems to have a protective effect on men’s health.”
An activity that feels good and is good for you? Now that’s truly a happy ending.