Does Cuddling Help Us Sleep Better?
Cuddling in bed often makes us feel warm, protected, and loved. But when it actually comes to sleeping, is it enjoyable as it seems?
Cuddling, or just physical intimacy in general, brings several health benefits to the body. It releases the love or cuddle hormone oxytocin – known for increasing happiness and decreasing stress.
In an experiment conducted by Sage Journals, 16 women were administered in an electric shock test with the variable being physical touch. In one round, they had their husbands holding their hand for support. In another, they were locked hands with a stranger and in the final one, there was no physical touch involved at all. The one with their husbands yielded the least amount of stress and this was attributed to our good friend, oxytocin.
As if these benefits aren’t enough, physical touch also boosts your immune system making you and your cuddle buddy less likely to get sick. Recognised as an activity to calm us down, cuddling also slows the heart rate down and lowers the blood pressure along with it which lessens the likelihood of heart diseases or worse, heart failure.
So spooning makes you happier, healthier, and more relaxed but does this mean we should do it?
Normally, sharing the bed with or without the cuddling leads to 50% more sleep disturbances because of differences in sleeping habits. From sharing the sheets to snoring, it can go from beautiful dreams to nightmares real quick. However, this doesn’t mean that cuddling bears no benefits at all.
Sleep is of utmost importance because it largely dictates our temperament and sensitivity in our waking life. Achieving a good night’s sleep allows you to have a better emotional disposition, increased focus, and reduced stress making you prepared to conquer your day. Cuddling is helpful in the aspect of creating a conducive sleep environment for you and your loved one. With the bountiful perks of oxytocin, spooning pre-sleep can help slow your heart rate down and can relieve you of any form of pain. All of these together will make you feel less anxious and more ready for the slumber ahead.
If you do decide to give cuddling a go, here are a few tips to make the most out of your sleep snuggle.
Find what’s comfortable for you both.
We don’t want your loved one’s arms to fall asleep faster than you do. Whether you opt to snuggle the entire night or just a few minutes before bed, both bring the same effect as long as both parties are comfortable in the process.
It is crucial for you to know what you need to achieve a good night’s sleep. At the same time, your significant other should know about these preferences as well. Talk to them even about their habits that you find bothersome so that steps can be taken to get a good shut-eye.
As with any other aspect of your relationship, it all boils down to making both parties happy so be open to compromises. If your partner moves around too much, maybe purchasing a mattress that absorbs the movement could help. If you find that cuddling makes it too warm for you to sleep then adjusting the room temperature might be needed.
While cuddling might not be the end-all-be-all solution to your sleeping woes, don’t be afraid to give it a try to see if it helps you! In the end, cuddling before bed benefits not only you and your romantic partner’s health but also your relationship. Increased physical intimacy is considered a bonding experience that helps deepen your relationship with your significant other. This makes you feel connected not only literally but also metaphorically.