Every human being has experienced the strong desire to cuddle with someone at least once in their life. That need can be caused either by affection, feeling comfortable with somebody or by loneliness. It’s a fact that cuddling strengthens our relationships and it is something we can strongly miss when we are single. Has it ever crossed your mind that maybe there is a scientific explanation for that? Well, there sure is.
The hormones in our bodies know what they are doing.
Cuddling stimulates the production of oxytocin. This hormone plays an important role in the neuroanatomy of intimacy. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the “bonding hormone”. It gives us the feeling of empathy, trust, sexual desire and a whole bunch of other emotions that a healthy relationship triggers.
Read on to find out more on why cuddling is simply amazing for your well-being:
1. It reinforces emotional bond and affection
Cuddling creates a comfortable environment for communication – something important that we tend to neglect. Communication is the foundation for building trust and trust is the key to a healthy relationship. Cuddling is simply a way to escape from the daily hustle and bustle, while hiding in the arms of our beloved one. It gives us the chance to focus on all of the positive sensations we can experience together. Even 15 minutes of cuddling a day can be beneficial for the strength of a flourishing relationship.
2. It improves sex life
Researchers claim that kissing and cuddling after sex is essential for partners to feel happier and more satisfied. This is of great importance for couples with children for whom romance may no longer be a top priority. Making time for shared intimacy such as cuddling, kissing and love talk after sex is proved to increase the satisfaction of the sexual experience. And don’t forget – cuddling very often leads to round two!
3. It takes away the stress
According to an experiment, conducted by couple therapist and researcher Beate Ditzen, oxytocin beats over cortisol, the stress hormone. Nowadays stress is the most common “disease” among modern people. By getting rid of the harmful emotions, we can reduce the risk of a heart attack. So instead of taking a cocktail of pills to feel better, simply take the time to cuddle with someone close to your heart.
4. It relieves pain
Let’s go back to when we were little kids. Remember when you needed someone to kiss and hug you when you’d got hurt? Back then we believed in the magical power of moms and dads that could take away the pain. Now we believe in the magical power of oxytocin. The “feel-good” hormone is proven to ease pain, so a good dose of cuddling can actually make physical pain disappear or at least make it a lot more bearable.
5. It boosts the immune system
There is a strong bond between the brain and the immune system, therefore what is in our head affects our health positively or negatively. According to Dr Shara BA Cohen staying calm, being optimistic, expressing our feelings and having close personal relationships are all good ways to boost our immune systems and to maintain good health. The good news is that cuddling can make all this happen. We just need to make cuddling happen!
6. It helps us fall asleep
As we already said, oxytocin counters the effects of cortisol (the stress hormone). As it is released in the brain when we are stress-free, “the love hormone” promotes quality sleep. The release of oxytocin in our bodies results in us feeling calmer, tranquil and loving, which induces sleepiness.
7. It reduces cravings
According to a stream of studies, another interesting effect of oxytocin is its ability to ease the cravings for food, drugs, alcohol and other opiates. This is how cuddling can prevent you from ravening the fridge late at night. So choose spooning in bed with your beloved one instead of spooning out of the jar of chocolate!
From the day we were born, we are placed in our mother’s loving arms. As we grow up we learn to show our tenderness by hugging and caressing the object of our affection. Remember how you couldn’t fall asleep without your teddy bear snuggled next to your chest? Cuddling is one of the pretty amazing things that nature designed us for. And as this article is about to end here, it’s high time we grabbed someone precious and produced some oxytocin, don’t you think?
Do you know of any other benefits of cuddling?
Image source: jiunn kang too