I recently had some minor surgery and needed to be looked after for 24 hours afterward. So, my sister volunteered to take care of me.

I’ve never had to lean on her like that before – I’m a very independent person and thankfully, I’ve never been in a situation where I needed help.

But my sister was awesome! She not only stayed with me for 24 hours – she ended up staying for 4 days. (I secretly think she liked it. I do have good snacks in the fridge.) She changed my bandages, told me when to take my medicine, watched TV with me, chit chatted and didn’t even mind when my dogs decided they’d rather snuggle up to her at 3 in the morning.

Truth be told, I would have been fine if she left after 24 hours – but it became an excuse for some sister-hang-time. We haven’t spent that much time in the same house since we were growing up!

I feel so blessed to have a sister – my sister. And although I’m sure only children, or women with just brothers are just as happy, I can’t imagine not having my sister to lean on. That’s not just my opinion though, there’s science behind it.

We recently did a piece on the radio show about the power of sisters and how they buffer stress. Judith Dunn is a professor of developmental psychology at King’s College London. Her research shows that having a sister adds an extra level of protection and moral support, especially during stressful events like a separation or divorce.

Brigham Young University researchers also studied nearly 400 families. The result? Having a sister protected kids from feeling lonely, unloved, and self-conscious.

It didn’t matter if there was a large age gap or if the sister was older or younger, the results were the same across the board. It’s not just kids who benefit from sisterly love. Another study found that adults with sisters are more optimistic, ambitious, and better at coping with stress.

So maybe it’s time to call your sister and say hi and reap some of those positive sister benefits!