Guilty pleasures that are GOOD for you – from lie-ins, sex to gossiping

DON’T feel guilty about that weekend lie-in.

Grabbing an extra couple of hours’ kip when you’re off work is brilliant for beating the blues.

A study by scientists at Korea’s Yonsei University tracked the sleep of 5,500 people who often missed a full night’s shut-eye – eight hours according to NHS guidelines – during the week.

They found those who caught up by staying in bed for two extra hours were 48 per cent less likely to get depression. It is thought this is because more kip reduces stress hormones that lead to low mood.

So what other guilty pleasures are actually good for you? Tanith Carey investigates.

Sex can cure a throbbing headache

HAVE you got a really thumping headache? If so, then don’t use it as an excuse not to have sex.

In fact, making love could work better to get rid of your throbbing head than painkillers.

In 2013, researchers from Germany’s University of Munster asked 1,000 men and women who had a history of extreme headaches to report back on how they felt after a romp.

Six out of ten of migraine sufferers and nearly four out of ten people with cluster headaches, which occur on one side of the head, reported their level of pain improved greatly after they had sex.

Scientists believe that making love triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which can in turn relieve and even get rid of headaches altogether.

In fact, the moment of climax – when the body is flooded with feel-good hormones – was when sufferers reported feeling better.

According to a 2006 study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, for some patients “the point of orgasm resulted in an instant dramatic improvement in the pain, with complete relief always achieved within several minutes and no recurrence until the next evening”.

Swear to ease pain

DON’T feel bad about turning the air blue next time you stub your big toe.

According to a study in the journal NeuroReport, letting a few four-letter words fly when you hurt yourself will ease the pain.

Scientists at Keele University in Staffordshire discovered people who plunged their hands into buckets of ice-cold water found it hurt less if they could swear.

They could keep their hands submerged for two minutes, almost double the length of time of those who had to watch their language.

Dr Richard Stephens, a senior lecturer in psychology who led the research, said: “This suggests they had an emotional response to swearing and an activation of the fight or flight response: A natural defence mechanism that releases adrenaline, but includes a natural pain relief.”

Nosepick is healthy

IT’S one of the most disgusting habits – which is probably why most people do it in private.

But scientists reckon picking your nose – and worse, eating your bogies – could be really good for you.

According to the American Society for Microbiology, snot contains “a rich reservoir of good bacteria” and swallowing it could help the immune system learn how to deal with the germs around us.

Austrian lung specialist Professor Friedrich Bischinger, who has studied mucus says: “In terms of the immune system, the nose is a filter in which a great deal of bacteria is collected.

“When this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine.”

Kip nude to keep slim

IT may feel naughty, but sleeping naked is good for your health in a range of ways.

First of all, you’re likely to get a better night’s sleep. This is because to drop off, your body temperature needs to fall by up to a degree.

Forgetting your PJs may even help you lose weight. A 2014 study by the US National Institutes of Health found that keeping yourself cool while you sleep could help speed up your metabolism, as your body compensates by creating more brown fat to keep you warm.

This brown fat produces the heat needed by burning calories, helping boost your metabolism the next day.

Sleeping in the buff can also reduce the risk of getting infections such as thrush in women or jock itch in men, because such infections flourish in warm, moist, air-poor environments.

Gossip to aid faults

ALTHOUGH gossiping has a bad reputation, it turns out that talking about people behind their backs isn’t so bad after all.

When we discuss others who are not present, only about three to four per cent is actually bitching, according to a study published in the journal Human Nature.

And when we are being rude and judgmental about people’s behaviour, it has the by-product of making us think more deeply about our own actions.

Dutch researchers writing in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in 2014 found that hearing gossipers talking about someone made others want to improve themselves so that they were not talked about the same way.

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