In this paper, we show that Negative Bias Temperature
Instability (NBTI) aging of sleep transistors (STs),
together with its detrimental effect for circuit performance and lifetime, presents considerable benefits for power gated circuits. Indeed, it reduces static power due to leakage current, and increases ST switch efficiency, making power gating more efficient and effective over time. The magnitude of these aging benefits depends on operating and environmental conditions. By means of HSPICE simulations, considering a 32nm CMOS technology, we demonstrate that static power may reduce by more than 80% in 10 years of operation. Static power decrease over time due to NBTI aging is also proven experimentally, using a test-chip manufactured with a TSMC 65nm technology. We propose an ST design strategy for reliable power gating, in order to harvest the benefits offered by NBTI aging. It relies on the design of STs with a proper lower Vth compared to the standard power switching fabric. This can be achieved by either re-designing the STs with the identified Vth value, or applying a proper forward body bias to the available power switching fabrics. Through HSPICE simulations, we show lifetime extension up to 21.4X and average static power reduction up to 16.3% compared to standard ST design approach, without additional area overhead. Finally, we show lifetime extension and several performance-cost trade-offs when a target maximum lifetime is considered.