One of life’s simplest pleasures is a good long cuddle. From when we are infants, we yearn to be held and to hold others. There are so many wonderful ways to cuddle and benefits from snuggling. We are going to share with you the benefits of cuddling with yourself and your loved ones and even give you some tips and tricks along the way. Including some of our favorite cuddling positions for back, side, and stomach sleepers.
The Cuddle Hormone
Whenever you hug or cuddle someone, your body releases Oxytocin into your brain. Oxytocin is an amazing hormone that creates and supports so many wonderful changes in your brain and your body. It is also known as the cuddle, hug, or love hormone. Oxytocin is responsible for forming bonds and strengthening relationships.
Every time you kiss your partner, snuggle your kid, or hug a friend, you’re both getting a boost of Oxytocin. This extra boost will strengthen your connection. There are also benefits to your mental and physical health and well being.
Health Benefits to Cuddling:
Besides mental health, your physical health can also benefit from frequent snuggling. A study from The University of North Carolina found that a brief hug followed by 10 minutes of hand holding while doing nothing more than watching a movie, helped to lower the heart rate and blood pressure. Snuggling is a great stress reliever which lowers stress. Which we know is great for the health of your mind and body.
When we have a loved one in pain, it is a natural reaction to try and soothe them through physical touch. When children fall and scrape their knee, the first thing they want is a hug or to be held. It turns out that cuddles can lower pain levels. This is because oxytocin blocks pain receptors. So a kiss on the ouchy really can make everything all better.
Snuggling can also improve your sleep. By cuddling with your love, pet, or sleep partner for as little as ten minutes can significantly increase the quality of sleep you get throughout the night. It also can help you get to sleep faster.
With all of the loving and healing properties that cuddling has, it is no wonder that there is such a thing as Cuddle Therapy. Therapists often encourage cuddling more with your kids, significant other, or even with your pets as a way of strengthening emotional bonds or for healing the heart.
However, there is another way to benefit from therapeutic cuddling with a Professional Cuddler. These individuals provide cuddle therapy sessions that involve sessions where you cuddle. Each case is unique, but this Professional Cuddler provides the power of a hug in a controlled and formal environment.
We understand that this might sound strange, or uncomfortable, and it might be at first. The concept of hiring someone to cuddle seems foreign to a many people. Yet, we encourage you to keep and open mind, because it can be helpful for a lot of people. Especially for people who struggle to form physical or emotional relationships with others.
Whether that is due to past trauma, abuse, or social disorders. If you have issues forming intimate bonds with others, and you crave to have physical relationships, Cuddle Therapy can help you navigate and potentially alleviate the reasons you are having trouble making those connections.
During a session with a cuddle therapist there are boundaries and structures in place. You are also encouraged to voice boundaries and limitations without fear of hurting the other persons feelings or harming the relationship.
Many Professional Cuddlers are trained to know how to navigate consent properly. This gives both the client and the cuddle therapist the power to give and/or refuse consent to cuddle in certain ways. This keeps both parties safe and comfortable. While cuddle therapy is a relatively new concept and even a little unique to some people, it can be a great tool to help people go out and form intimate, healthy, and long lasting relationships.
Cuddling for Couples
Of course, cuddling in a romantic relationship is one of the most natural and beneficial versions of snuggling. Even if you both live busy, hectic lifestyles, you should try to cuddle up when you both get into bed at night. This is one of the best ways to squeeze in a long and cozy cuddle into your day. And you don’t even need to be fully awake to experience the benefits.
Benefits of Cuddling Your Partner:
While some love bugs enjoy cuddling more than others, it is important to get your snuggles in. Oxytocin helps to bond and strengthen relationships. When it comes to sexual relationships, there is a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior which shows that couples who cuddle after, tend to report higher sexual satisfaction overall.
You may also find that the more often you embrace and cuddle one another, the more often you will get your groove on. This is because snuggling is an integral part of the love making process.
However, it’s not just about the boogie. Like we said earlier Oxytocin does more than just bond people romantically, it can also be a survival tactic. Studies have shown that when people cuddle they also show signs of being defensive over each other. When you snuggle with people and create that bond, you are more likely to protect one another.
While this may seem unnecessary in our modern and much less dangerous world, it still demonstrates how snuggling can really enhance and deepen the level of a relationship.
Cuddle Positions for Couples
There is no right or wrong way to snuggle. Every couple is different and they will want to snuggle in different ways. It can be fun to try out new and different cuddle positions to add a little flare to your snuggle. There are also different ways to cuddle for different sleep preferences. If you like to lay on your back, but your partner prefers to sleep on their side there are still cuddling positions that will work for both of you. So we are going to share some of our favorites with you. Starting with one of the most common cuddle position, spooning.
A snuggle position for the history books. It is cuddly, cozy, and typically very comfortable for both partners. Especially if you are both used to sleeping on your sides.
Laying on your side with knees slightly bent is a very relaxing and soothing position (even for sleeping) for a lot of people. Great for a cuddle on the couch or right before going to sleep as well.
Don’t forget, even if you are the smaller person you can still be the big spoon every once and a while. It can be fun to switch who is the cuddler and who is being cuddled.
The Sweetheart Cradle
This is when one person lays on their back while the other snuggles up and lays their head on their chest or shoulder.
The Sweetheart Cradle is great for couples where one partner prefers to sleep on their back while the other is a side sleeper. This way both of you can sleep in your preferred position while also getting in a romantic snuggle.
The Honeymoon Hug
This super loving cuddle position is where you both lay on your sides facing one another and then you wrap your arms and legs around each other.
Perfect for that honeymoon phase when you are both absolutely smitten with one another. Like spooning, the honeymoon hug is also a great option for two side sleepers.
The Leg Hug
Great for a couple of back sleepers, if you want to snuggle but neither of you enjoy sleeping on your side, the leg hug might be the way to go.
This is where both partners lay on their back while hooking and cuddling with their feet and legs. Another great thing about this snuggle position is that it is very comfortable for holding hands with each other.
The Inverted Leg Hug
Just like the name implies this comfy snuggle position is very similar to the leg hug, except one or both partners lays on their stomach instead of their back. This position is our favorite for all the stomach sleepers out there.
Cuddling With Your Kids
Cuddling your little ones can be so special and rewarding for both parents and children. If you can snuggle as an entire family, this is even better. By holding and hugging your kids it helps to further show your kids that you love and care for them. While it is important to say “I Love You” with your words, it is also important to show your kids you love them with your actions as well.
Benefits to Snuggling Your Kids:
When you snuggle your kids you’re not just showing them how much you love them. By cuddling your kids you are also helping them grow bigger, stronger, and more independent. Especially during those “clingy” stages, many people believe their kids will be more independent individuals if they push their kids away and force them to go do other things.
However, studies have shown that kids who were held more had overall higher levels of oxytocin. Those children that grew up with higher levels of oxytocin showed signs of being more independent from their parents overall. These same kids also found it easier to form relationships as adults.
By snuggling with your kids you can also help them develop in a multitude of other ways like teaching them healthy personal boundaries, helping them to sleep better, and lower their stress and anxiety. There are constantly new studies coming out with different benefits to snuggling. We haven’t come across a single one with a negative factor to a good long cuddle. So snuggle away you cuddle bugs.
Why Siblings Should Snuggle:
From a very young age it is important to support and encourage siblings to cuddle each other. When it comes to newborns and toddlers parents are often nervous that their toddler may accidentally hurt their younger brother or sister.
While this is a fair thought, and you should monitor your kids interactions, especially with newborns. However, you should still try to find ways they can do their own version of snuggling. You can start with a kiss on the forehead or maybe your toddler can hold their little brother or sisters hands or feet gently while you hold them.
Try to do this right away when your older kids are still curious about the new addition to the family. This can help create a positive relationship and help prevent jealousy.
The Power of Hugging Your Kids
When your babies are young they want to hold onto their parents and snuggle and even sleep in their parents arms. Which is why when they are younger it is easy to get in some quality snuggle time.
However, when your kiddos get older, having them slow down long enough for a quick peck on the cheek can be hard enough, let alone getting them to slow down long enough for a snuggle. It is still important to be there for them and give physical love and affection when they are open to it.
Especially when your kids grow into their pre-teen to teenage years, never underestimate the power of a hug. Try to give hugs before leaving or when they get home. If they had a hard day, a hug might be more helpful than you may realize. Or if they are upset about getting a bad grade on a test they may need a hug more than they need to be chastised in that moment, you can always give them a stern talk afterwords.
When your kids are young, you can dictate when you talk about things and your kids will typically be rather open. Teenagers begin to pick and choose when they want to be open with their parents. Not just verbally but physically as well. So if your teenage son squirms every time you try to hug or kiss him in front of friends, you might want to tone it down.
However, if he enjoys to snuggle on the couch when watching TV, maybe it is a good idea to start watching more TV together. Overall, make sure you really cherish those moments when your kids seek out a hug or a cuddle. Don’t pass them up because if you do they might hesitate to ask again.
Your Friends Deserve a Hug
When we are young, kids are not afraid to snuggle and give their friends hugs and even hold hands. For some reason, once we get older many adults shy away from having much physical contact with their peers at all. We think it is about time to make a change.
Now, it is vital to make sure your friends are comfortable with the idea before surprise spooning them on the couch. (Please don’t do that!) One great way to begin more physical contact is through introductions, like a hug. The next time your friends come over for dinner give them a hug when you greet each other.
When it comes to the folks that label people who hug as “huggers” with disdain. It is these people who probably need the benefits of a good hug more than most. Studies have proven that when you hug people or receive hugs multiple times a day it can create a ripple effect of health benefits. Not only will your stress level go down, but you might even become physically healthier with lower blood pressure as well. So if you can extend a welcomed hug to a few friends, you should literally embrace the opportunity.
Cuddle Up With Yourself
Who said you need anyone else in order to get in a good cuddle? While snuggling with others has its benefits, you don’t need another person to get all the lovely benefits. Especially with the help of a soft weighted blanket or a snuggling cradling body pillow. We love the pillow by Comfort-U, there are multiple ways to use it that create extra comfy cuddling positions.
When you cuddle up underneath a good weighted blanket, it has been shown that your body releases Oxytocin. This is the same feel good hormone that is released during cuddles with other people. So don’t be afraid to show yourself some much needed self-love and care.
If you really want someone there with you, but you are not in the place for a relationship right now. You might want to look into adding a pet into your life. The love of an animal is truly something extra special.
Learn about the multiple benefits of using a weighted blanket as well as some of our favorite brands in The Benefits of Weighted Blankets.
Furry Cuddle Companions
Don’t forget Fido! Your fluffy friend needs a good cuddle as much as you do. It can be beneficial to your pets health to snuggle on a regular basis. (Even if your cat only allows it for a minute or two.) Guess what? Your pup loves it too! Research shows that when snuggling with their owners, dogs Oxytocin levels rise as well. So it is not just great for you but your dog will receive all of those benefits too.
From ferrets to parrots, animals also interact and show affection through physical touch. It is important to provide this kind of love and support to your pets. If you work away from home or if you cannot supply the amount of love and connection that your pet craves, it can effect their happiness and health in drastic ways. Giving your pet a friend and companion can be one way to help ease the loneliness if you cannot supply the right amount of attention.
Before you get a pet be sure to do your research and find the right pet for you. Some animals need more time and attention than others. Make sure you can provide your pet everything they need before you decide to adopt.
Once you find the right fit, snuggling up with your fluffy companion is precious interaction. Both you and your pet will benefit greatly from your cuddle sessions.
How To Cuddle Better:
There are many different ways to cuddle, snuggle, and nuzzle your loved ones as much as possible. We are positive it will bring you extra amount of love and health into your life. So whether you’re snuggling up with your favorite blanket or your sweetheart, make sure to get in a good cuddle in on a regular basis. And if you aren’t cuddling, start!
Do you have a favorite cuddling position that is missing from our list? Let us know! Contact us with any questions or suggestions.