A healthy sex life will do more than put a smile on your face.

Pain reduction, better sleep and boosted immunity are just some of the benefits of a healthy sex life. Not to mention the fact that, according to clinical psychologist Dr David Weeks , regular sex can make you appear five to seven years younger than you really are.

Sex is more satisfying

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 73% of those between 57 and 64 are sexually active. What’s more, as your physical insecurities dissipate, you’ll likely find you’re more able to “be yourself” in bed. According to multiple studies, orgasms become more frequent and more intense as you age — let’s raise a glass to that.

You’ll get a good night’s sleep

Restless nights become more common as you age, but a bit of action between the sheets can fix that. “During sex all kinds of substances are released,” says sex therapist Dr Ian Kerner, of goodinbed.com. “Dopamine, prolactin and progesterone, along with the cuddle hormone oxytocin, will all lead to a more relaxed state after sex, allowing you to slumber more peacefully.”

Your body will be grateful

Pain and stiffness are common complaints as we get older, but sex can help with both of these.

Exercise is a great way to increase flexibility, too — but unlike working at the gym, sex doesn’t have to feel like hard work. Dr Kerner further tells that, “after menopause, women may take longer to get fully aroused, so start with a massage and gentle touching until you feel comfortable.”

You’re better at it than you’ve ever been

Various studies, including one with more than 20,000 adults, have found that body confidence is greater in your 60s than during your 20s and early 30s. “I feel better about my body than I did when I was really young,” says one of our readers, Debbie (64). “I looked good back then, but I just didn’t know it. I feel healthy and strong now and that gives me confidence.”

It makes you smile

Physically connecting with your partner releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone, while sex will also raise your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood, along with appetite, digestion, sleep and even sexual desire.

Whatever the cause, if having sex makes you want more sex and makes you feel better about yourself, it’s a win-win! For more health features and happiness guides, head to our health pages and read our story on how to live joyfully every day.