Intimacy plays an integral role in our physical and mental wellbeing, and let’s admit it, cuddling is the best form of intimacy. Whether it’s cosying up to your partner while watching a movie, or snuggling up to your pet after a long and hard day, cuddling feels amazing - and there are scientific benefits of cuddling. According to experts, the reason why cuddling feels so good is because when you cuddle someone you’re close to, your body releases a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin, also known as the ‘feel-good’ hormone, helps people bond and can lower anxiety, depression and blood pressure.
Psychologists and wellness experts suggest regular cuddling to increase bonding and intimacy with partners. However, don’t worry if you aren’t coupled up, because cuddling doesn’t necessarily have to be a ‘romantic’ activity. You could cuddle your friends, parents, siblings, children and even your furry friends!
Why is cuddling so important? Scroll below to read the extensive benefits of cuddling you can reap from the sweet and simple act of cuddling!
Besides oxytocin, cuddling also releases a hormone called serotonin, and the two hormones work together to boost your immune system. A 2014 Carnegie Mellon University research found that people who hugged more were less likely to contract a cold after being exposed to the cold virus and that those who did get sick had less severe symptoms.
Since oxytocin is a ‘feel-good’ hormone, it plays a great role in reducing stress and anxiety. This is because the ‘happier’ you feel, the more confident you are, which automatically makes you feel more positive. You’re less likely to be stressed if you’re feeling positive.
Lowered stress levels lead to reduced blood pressure, which ultimately leads to a healthier heart! When you’re stressed, your heart has to work overtime, so reduced stress reduces the risk of heart diseases. Now, that's one of the health benefits of cuddling!
Sure, a warm hug feels great when you’re in pain. But did you know that it does more than just that? There are other benefits of cuddling in a row - the release of oxytocin can also block pain signals, alleviating your symptoms. So the next time you get an injury, make sure you hug your loved ones extra tight!
With the release of oxytocin during cuddling, the feel-good hormone makes you feel happier and more connected to the person you’re cuddling. This leads to increased bonding between the two people, be it a mother and her infant, two romantic partners, friends, or even pet and their owners!
I mean this one’s a no-brainer--cuddling releases oxytocin, which relieves stress, makes you feel good, and helps you bond with your partner - so it’s only obvious that this will help you fall asleep faster and give you better quality sleep. A 2003 study by the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry found that oxytocin promoted sleep in the brains of mice. So get in a nice cuddle sesh before you hit the hay!
Yes, cuddling is natural and nobody needs ‘instructions’ on how to cuddle. But let’s admit that sometimes it can get uncomfortable and cramp up your neck and arms. So why not try these *comfy* cuddling positions?
Spooning is the OG cuddle position and is definitely a favourite among many. Spooning comprises of one person (usually the taller partner) hugging their partner from behind. The person doing the cuddling is called the big spoon and the person being cuddled is referred to as the small spoon.
If you feel like spooning can be too much for you, especially during the summer months, try the half spoon. In this cuddling position, one person lies down straight on their back, and the other person spoons them. You can even switch positions if you start cramping up!
A lot of people might think this position doesn’t constitute as ‘cuddling because neither of the partners have their arms around each other, but hear us out. In this position, you lie down facing away from each other, but your backs are touching, your knees are bent and your feet are intertwined. It’s the perfect cuddling position when you want to be close to your partner but also want your own space.
This is considered one of the best cuddling positions, because of the amount of body contact between the partners. Both partners lie down facing each other, while one partner rests their head on the other’s chest. It’s also usually comfortable for partners to wrap their arms around each other in this position, one can wrap their arm around the other’s shoulders, while the other can do the same around their partner’s waist.
This type of cuddling is quite common during the warmer months, when people are less inclined to pressing up against each other, no matter how much they love each other! You know what? We get it. That’s why intertwining your arms and/or your legs while sleeping is an intimate gesture--while you might not have the capacity to fully hug your partner when you sleep, you still want to stay physically connected with them.
There are some serious health benefits of cuddling. When you touch, caress or hug someone you care about, our brain releases a hormone called oxytocin, also known as the ‘feel-good’ hormone. This hormone increases bonding between human beings and makes them feel more emotionally connected. Besides that, the release of oxytocin also has a slew of other benefits, including reducing stress, lowering the risk of heart disease, boosting immunity and improving quality of sleep. This is why experts and psychologists insist on the importance of the human touch - it basically takes care of our entire physical and emotional well-being.
Yes! Cuddling someone releases two hormones: oxytocin and serotonin. While oxytocin helps human beings bond with one another, the hormones in combination work together to boost your immune system. Don’t believe us? Well, science backs up this claim. According to a study by Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, people who hugged more were less likely to contract a cold after being exposed to the cold virus. So hug it out, if you want to avoid catching a cold!
Basically, the release of oxytocin triggers a chain reaction of positive outcomes in our body, and quality sleep is one of them! After oxytocin is released, your stress levels go down and you also feel all warm and fuzzy when cuddling your partner, leaving you relaxed and calm - the perfect ingredients for a good night’s sleep! In fact, a study conducted on mice by the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry found that the release of oxytocin promoted better sleep for them.
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