Cuddling…who knew one word could cause so much controversy among couples across the globe? We’ve all seen the sitcoms and RomComs where one partner is dying to be cuddled while the other would rather die than be cuddled. Well half of you will be very happy to know that there are positive reasons to cuddle before going to sleep on your talalay mattress and there are reasons why you should make time to cuddle, no matter how tired you are.
Shape Magazine has come up with five great reasons to continue to cuddle before bed.
Cuddling releases oxytocin, which is also known as the feel-good hormone. “It increases overall happiness,” says psychologist, physical therapist, and author of bestseller A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness Elizabeth Lombardo.
“Cuddling and holding releases chemicals, like oxytocin, in the brain that create a sense of well-being and happiness,” says Dr. Renee Horowitz, an ob-gyn who recently opened the Center for Sexual Wellness in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
The most obvious benefit to cuddling is getting close to your partner in the physical sense. Cuddling can lead to fun sexy time or relaxing and loving time post sexual intercourse, but there’s also a chemical plus.
“There is also the release of dopamine, which is an excitatory hormone that increases sexual desire,” Horowitz says. Plus, studies show that sex is healthy for fitness and mental reasons, too. So it’s a win-win.
Stress management coach and holistic therapist Catherine A. Connors reminds how physical contact with others can help to reduce stress. “Hugging, kissing, or more physical acts of touch increases oxytocin levels, which is a ‘bonding’ hormone—this chemical reaction can help to reduce blood pressure, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease, but it can also help to reduce stress and anxiety,” Connors says.
According to Dr. Fran Walfish, celebrity doctor and author, cuddling is healthy for people because of the obvious factor of emotional attachment. “Oxytocin is a neuropeptide that is closely linked to childbirth and breastfeeding, and a recent study shows that it has a biological role in bonding between mother and baby,” she says. “The study, led by Lane Strathearn, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, shows that women raised with insecure attachment themselves are more likely to have difficulty forming secure attachments with their children (and partners).”
It’s healthy to want to be close. “Too little or too much is not good. Observe and explore your own personal comfort zone. You will be a better communicator with your partner on how much feels good and when it gets too close for comfort,” Walfish says. “Your goal is to find a balance between your comfort zone and needs along with your partner’s.”
According to David Klow, a marriage and family therapist in Chicago who works with many couples on how to improve intimacy in their lives, reminds us of one great benefit of cuddling and non-erotic physical touch. Most couples in marital therapy complain about communication issues, Klow says.
“Most people want to feel understood, and communication is the vehicle by which they transmit understanding and empathy. Non-verbal communication can be a very powerful way to say to your partner, ‘I get you,'” he says. “Cuddling is a way of saying, ‘I know how you feel.’ It allows us to feel known by our partner in ways that words can’t convey.”
Let us know why you or for or against cuddling, until next time, have a great weekend and happy cuddling!
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