Hunger can be about as annoying (or painful) as being tired. After all these are the ways our body not so subtly bosses us around to keep us alive and functioning. But being in a state of hunger can actually have some benefits, so try not to hate it too much. Obviously you don’t want to starve yourself, but here are some reasons why those moments of hunger might not be so bad.

Better ***

Sounds weird but makes sense. When you eat the body has to go to work digesting the food which uses up a lot of the blood supply that might otherwise be going to your erection. Technically things should last a little longer when there’s extra blood involved.

Learn Better

Some research has shown that being slightly hungry can help students learn better. These findings point to the hormone made by an empty stomach, which can stimulate the parts of the brain that encourage memory development and spatial learning. Cramming for a meeting? Maybe do it before breakfast.

Reconnecting to Your Hunger Levels

Sometimes we got on a routine of meals and snacks but never get to the point of feeling hungry. That would be fine but since our caloric needs can change frequently we might accidentally be overeating by keeping the food coming. If you eat breakfast and then wait until you’re moderately hungry again you can see how much it’s filling you up. Lasting a couple hours is great, but stuffing you for half the day is not.

Better Sleep

You don’t want to be starving when you go to sleep, but you should be just full enough that you won’t be waking up hungry in a couple hours. Digesting food takes work, and obviously when you’re sleeping your body is trying to get as much uninterrupted rest as possible. You might end up storing some extra calories instead of burning them off as quickly as you might during the day. Eating a couple hours before bed might be the key to accomplishing this, you want to be satisfied, but not totally stuffed for bedtime.

Gamble Better

No one is suggestion that anyone take up gambling necessarily, but a study was done linking hunger to better choices in gambling might be helpful for other quick decision making moments in life as well. Some research was done to test this out and it was confirmed that gambling on an empty stomach improved people’s strategic decision-making skills. Here’s the interesting part, while hungry gamblers were better at anticipating future events, they were not making more risky choices than the not hungry people, so they had an advantage all around.

Maybe you don’t actually want to take this knowledge to the gambling table, but if you’re doing something where you need to be thinking sharp for quick decisions, it’s something to keep in mind.