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How friends make you healthier

Friends eating lunch istock.jpg

One of the best kept secrets to good health and a long life? Having a robust social network that includes relatives, friends, and other relationships. These are just a few of the reasons why you should prioritize your family and pals.

You’ll be less likely to get sick.

In one well-known study, folks with more diverse social connections were less susceptible to colds than those who were socially isolated.

Health.com: Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick

You may sleep better.

Being lonely leads to restless sleep, a University of Chicago study suggests: The lonelier you are, the more you toss and turn.

Health.com: 7 Tips for the Best Sleep Ever

You’ll stay sharper.

Having strong social support may cut your risk of cognitive decline, according to several studies.

Health.com: 9 Foods that Help Save Your Memory

You could live longer.

People with stronger social connections were 50 percent more likely to live longer than those with weaker connections, a 2010 analysis found. That makes the impact of friendlessness comparable to that of smoking.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.