Cuddling with someone you love makes you feel all warm and cozy, but did you know that it also has a positive effect on your sleep quality?
Learn more about the advantages of cuddling in bed and how it can help you sleep better at night.
In a recent Better Sleep Council Report on Sleep & Partners, 61% of participants agreed with the statement: “I sleep better when I’m cuddling a partner.” But what is it about cuddling that promotes better sleep? Let’s take a closer look at how cuddling can improve the quality of your sleep and overall well-being.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
According to the Sleep & Partners Report, a majority of respondents acknowledged that cuddling has several health benefits, with approximately 80% agreeing that cuddling helps ease stress and anxiety.
Cuddling in bed reduces tension and worry by triggering the release of oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone.” Produced naturally during physical touch, oxytocin can help lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels while also promoting a sense of calmness, relaxation, and happiness. Your cortisol levels are especially important before bed because cortisol is a stress hormone that can interfere with sleep. When cuddling with someone, your body releases oxytocin, dropping cortisol and stress levels. This ultimately leads to a more peaceful and restful state of mind, allowing for a better night’s sleep.
Not only does it trigger oxytocin, but the physical contact involved in cuddling can prompt the release of endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers that can help reduce discomfort and soreness that may prevent a restful night’s sleep.
Additionally, by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, cuddling can help regulate heart rate and blood pressure, which leads to a feeling of relaxation and calmness and a positive effect on sleep quality. Research also suggests that touch has a calming effect that may lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Both men and women can experience the cardiovascular and stress-reducing benefits of cuddling.
Increases Feelings of Intimacy
The Sleep & Partners Report also found that 83% of participants agreed that cuddling helps them feel emotionally close to their partner. It also helps bring a sense of comfort and security that encourages you to relax, leading to better sleep.
Cuddling can be important after sex, increasing sexual and relationship satisfaction. Oxytocin, the “love hormone” released during cuddling, promotes social bonding and emotional communication, strengthening the love and affection you have for your partner. Ultimately, the “love hormone” contributes to happier, healthier, and less stressed couples. This is why cuddling is considered an essential aspect of a healthy relationship for many couples.
Boosts Mental Health
Cuddling is not only beneficial for your physical health but can also has a positive impact on your mental health, which can ultimately help improve your sleep quality. Even just a few minutes of couple cuddling time supports oxytocin production, lifting your mood, lowering your stress levels, and promoting a sense of calm and contentment. This hormone can also reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, increasing feelings of happiness and well-being. Cuddling also fosters a sense of closeness and intimacy with others, which can help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation while promoting social support. All of these benefits combine to create an ideal environment for improved sleep quality, ultimately leading to better overall mental health and well-being.
Not only is cuddling with a partner a great way to express affection and foster intimacy, but it also provides many benefits for your physical and mental health. Cuddling can reduce stress and anxiety, relieve physical discomfort, and support your mental well-being.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, snuggling up with someone you care about—or even a cozy pillow—can help you get a better night’s sleep and benefit your well-being.
Explore more from Better Sleep Council on our Blog, including emerging sleep trends, recent BSC announcements, expert sleep analysis, and more.