Okay, who doesn’t love a good snuggle? When you spend time with your partner, physical touch is only natural and a good cuddle is an amazing way to connect with the person that you love. Snugging boosts the romance between you and helps create a deep bond, but did you know that there are also loads of health benefits to cuddling?!
Yup, you heard it. A bedtime snuggle is just as important to your health as eating your veggies and going for a run (kind of). It is all about chemicals, specifically oxytocin and serotonin. Oxytocin is famously known as the love hormone and levels of it in the brain increase during cuddlings and orgasms. Serotonin is a chemical that nerve cells produce and is mostly found in the digestive system. It’s an important chemical that stabilizes our moods. When we cuddle, our bodies release this chemical, making us happy and content!
So, what are some health benefits of these chemicals, and snuggling?
You know when something upsets you, and all you want is a hug? Well, there’s a scientific reason for this! According to one study, receiving a hug means that you are much more able to deal with conflict and stressful events.
Serotonin is really important when it comes to health and wellbeing, and it reduces anxiety and stress. Because this is released during cuddling, your romantic quality time with your partner is actually doing wonders for your stress levels!
Improves mental health
It is actually pretty cool that it is not just mental health that snuggling helps, but physical health too! Because serotonin is stored in the gut, it is linked with our digestive system. When it is released, it stimulates the production of certain mucus in our gut. As a result, serotonin is linked to digestion and our overall digestive health.
Okay, you may not want to think about mucus in your gut when you are having a romantic snuggle session, but we think that it is super interesting that snuggling has real physiological impacts on us and our health.
Can reduce physical pain
A big part of romance is caring for your partner. You want to look after them when they are in pain and sometimes it can be hard when you feel useless! But, you are actually not useless at all. Physical touch between couples can reduce physical pain.
It sounds pretty mad, right?! But actually, certain scientists think that oxytocin can act as a natural pain reliever. Because that lovely hormone gets released during snuggles, snuggling can actually be a great painkiller!
We know that serotonin is produced in the gut but did you know that because of this, it impacts our immune system? When serotonin is released, our immune system gets a boost. This means that we can stay healthy and fight diseases by spending quality time with our partner just having a snuggle.
When we spend time with our partner and fall asleep in each other’s arms, we always seem to sleep much better than when we sleep alone. This has a lot to do with being in love and feeling safe with our romantic partner, but there is also some scientific basis for this, too!
When oxytocin is released in the brain, we fall asleep faster because the hormone makes us feel relaxed and content. It also means that we will have fewer nightmares and feel more rested when we wake up.
Helps keep your physical heart healthy
Snuggling is also really good for your physical heart, too! According to research into the role of oxytocin in cardiovascular protection, oxytocin improves cardiac work and protects our hearts from certain issues. They found that high levels of oxytocin reduce apoptosis (cell death) and inflammation in the heart. Snuggling can also help lower blood pressure, with the chemicals that it releases helping us relax and heal.