By Amy Levin-Epstein, REDBOOK
The happiest couples know that some relationship risks are worth taking.
1. Healthier breasts
The attention your guy pays to your pair could benefit you in more ways than one. Many women's breast lumps are initially noticed by partners, says Donnica Moore, M.D., author of Women's Health for Life , who also points out that early detection is key to beating breast cancer. Of course, your guy shouldn't be your only screener - be sure to check yourself , and talk to your doctor about clinical breast exams.
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2. Thicker hair
He may occasionally make you want to tear yours out, but happily coupled women have hair 2.3 times as thick as those who have lost a partner or gotten divorced, new research from Case Western University in Cleveland shows. The difference is likely due to the added stress, researchers say. If you do notice some thinning, talk to your doctor about anxiety and other possible culprits like vitamin deficiencies or thyroid issues.
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3. Better sleep
This one is worth your weight in tennis bracelets: Women in strong marriages are 50 percent less likely to have difficulty falling or staying asleep compared with unhappily paired ladies, says a study from the University of Pittsburgh. Apparently, the sense of safety and security you get from a - key word - happy coupling allows you to rest easier. Sleeping alone? "For all women, a consistent bedtime routine can help," says study author Wendy Troxel, Ph.D.
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