A great way for couples to connect is by cuddling. Oxytocin is released when people physically bond. Cuddling even helps reduce blood pressure levels, depression, and anxiety. It also helps to develop and increase intimacy with your partner. According to research, cuddling and the release of oxytocin play significant roles in your overall health and have shown to have a number of health benefits.
Let's take a look at some of the health benefits that are associated with cuddling.
11 Health Benefits of Cuddling
1. Oxytocin release
Oxytocin is a type of hormone released by the pituitary gland. Sometimes, it is called the love hormone or the cuddle hormone since it is released when people socially bond or snuggle up and other love stuff, such as kissing and having sex.
The influence of oxytocin on our physiology and behavior starts in the brain, particularly in the hypothalamus and then gets transferred to the pituitary gland, which releases the hormone into the bloodstream. Levels of this hormone are usually higher when people socially bond and when stressful events are experienced.
2. Promotes newborn bonding
Newborn babies who experience skin-to-skin contact with their parents are more stable and tend to have a normal temperature along with normal heart and breathing rates. Moreover, when they are immediately exposed to skin-to-skin contact with their mother after birth, they are colonized by the same bacteria found on their mother.
According to research, when fathers are more involved, mothers feel less sad or stressed. Babies may also sleep better, cry less, and breastfeed sooner after delivery.
3. Helps ease stress
Cuddling with your loved one triggers the release of oxytocin, which helps you calm down and deal better with daily stress.
It can distract yourself, help you solve a problem, and might cause you to laugh. Other health benefits of cuddling include lower levels of cortisol or the stress hormone of the body and the normalization of blood pressure levels.
4. Promotes sleep
The hormone oxytocin produced during cuddling has a calming effect that can help you sleep better. So before going to sleep, try to cuddle with your partner for 10 minutes or so to feel more relaxed and have better sleep.
5. Boosts your immune system
Aside from oxytocin, another hormone called serotonin is also released during cuddling. This hormone is also commonly known as the happy hormone.
These two hormones work together and help boost the immune system. According to one research, people who regularly cuddle have a lesser risk of getting a cold and have fewer symptoms when they are sick.
6. Improves cardiovascular health
Cuddling increases the body's oxytocin levels, which help normalize blood pressure and improve heart health. Although both sexes can benefit from cuddling, experts say that women tend to benefit more from it.
The risk of heart disease may be reduced when the heart is happier and not always fighting the effects of sickness and stress.
7. Strengthens relationships
Although communication is an important aspect of relationships, a meaningful touch, which can help deepen relationships may be forgotten by people. Cuddling with people whom you care about can help break the cycle of daily stress because you can shift your focus to your loved ones and the feelings you have for them.
It can also help increase sexual desire due to the release of dopamine. A simple massage or sweet hug from your loved one after a stressful day can further lead to intimacy, which can help strengthen your relationship.
8. Helps curb cravings and weight gain
Weight gain and the inability to lose weight can be due to a number of reasons. One factor is hormonal imbalance. Studies have shown that oxytocin also plays a role when it comes to pleasure eating. It helps curb your appetite and cravings and increase the feeling of satisfaction after meals, which promote better food choices and prevent binge eating.
9. Relieves chronic pain
People who have chronic pain tend to have low oxytocin levels in the body. According to research, oxytocin has the ability to ease the pain experienced by people who have cancer and lower back pain, including those who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
10. Lowers inflammation
Cuddling can help reduce the levels of inflammation in the body due to the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin boosts T-regulatory cells that fight inflammation and reduces interleukin 6 (IL-6) levels during infections or inflammation.
11. Reduces anxiety
Physical touch can significantly lower levels of anxiety due to the release of oxytocin. Cuddling is also a simple and peaceful physical activity that can help calm the nerves, especially when a person has generalized anxiety disorder or other severe anxiety disorders. When comes to social anxiety, oxytocin can help promote positive thinking and an optimistic view of the world.
Overview of Cuddling
- Cuddling boosts the immune system and helps prevent the body from developing infections.
- Cuddling acts like a painkiller. According to scientists, it is most probably due to the release of the hormone called oxytocin.
- Oxytocin is a feel-good hormone released when we cuddle.
- When we hug someone in social situations, anxiety can be reduced and helps increase our self-confidence.
- Aside from oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine can also be increased through cuddling.
- Cuddling enhances libido and may make a tiring day relaxing.
- It can also help lower the risk of developing heart disease.
- Cuddling can help improve your overall health, strengthen relationships, and prevent indirect depression.
- It minimized stress levels and helps normalize blood pressure levels.
- It promotes bonding and physical attachment in people you care about.
- Cuddling can make you feel relaxed with better sleep.
The Bottom Line
Extra tender loving care can be expressed through cuddling with your loved ones. They can be your partner, children, pets, or friends. You can also get a massage and a warm bath if you prefer some alone time. Feeling connected by some sort and feeling warm is enough for oxytocin to be released into the body and cause a number of health benefits.
Physical touch is one of the best methods to show our affection to people we care about. Aside from establishing good relationships and improving overall health, it can also help break the cycle of stress that we experience every day. So what are you waiting for? Hug or cuddle with that special someone and reap the benefits it provides.