There’s honestly nothing I love more after a long day than throwing on a pair of sweatpants and having a little cuddle sesh. Cuddling doesn’t even have to be romantic – just last night I was snuggled up in bed with my roommate watching Friends (and I loved every second of it). Cuddling with your guy is great, too, and is definitely one of the things I miss most being away from my boyfriend at school. I need my cuddles, let’s be real.
Pro tip: your favorite thing to do actually has serious health benefits. Don’t believe me? Read these six surprising benefits associated with cuddling.
1. It makes you happier, body and mind.
Shoutout to dopamine and serotonin! For anyone who’s not a med student, these neurotransmitters – chemical substances that transmit nerve impulses – are found in the brain and are responsible for helping your body move fluidly, keeping your mind calm and focused, and affecting your mood. Touching someone releases these two hormones, both of which can boost your mood instantly.
2. It reduces stress.
The moment you make skin-to-skin contact, your brain tells your adrenal glands to cut back on cortisol production, which makes you feel less anxious. I need some of that in my life, like, right now.
3. It strengthens your immune system.
Cuddling can stimulate your parasympathetic (otherwise known as relaxation) system, which releases serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. All of these feel-good hormones boost your immunity to help fend off sickness. So, yes, cuddling keeps you flu-free through the chilly fall months!
4. It improves your sex life.
If this isn’t reason enough to cuddle, then I don’t know what is. According to a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, people feel more satisfied with their sex lives and, in turn, with their relationships in general when they cuddle afterwards. Sounds good to me – the only thing better than the sex itself is the pillow talk and chest cuddles afterward.
5. It combats depression.
This one isn’t rocket science. That little hormone I mentioned before, oxytocin, is released as soon as human touch occurs, and, additionally, has been shown to curb depression. While oxytocin is by no means a cure, its release into the brain can definitely help relieve common symptoms of depression. Good mental health makes for a happy, cuddle-filled future for you.
6. It reduces cravings.
As someone with a dangerous sweet tooth, this claim really caught my attention. Apparently, another interesting effect of oxytocin is its ability to ease the cravings for food, drugs, and alcohol. I’d say cuddling is worth a shot, if I’m able to be the little spoon in bed instead of jamming a spoon into a jar of Nutella at 1 in the morning.
So, there you have it. No more excuses not to grab your gal pals, boyfriend, or rando from the party and snuggle on up later. Maybe you’re a big spoon kind of person, or someone who digs face-to-face cuddling (too much breath in my face, though, if you ask me). Whatever your favorite way to get up close and personal is, do it in the name of science. You’re welcome.
Featured Image via Tumblr.