The Science of The Snuggle
Worried that you and your partner are drifting apart? Well according to a new study, the key to relationship longevity may be as simple as snuggling.
The study was done out of the University of Bonn in Germany and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It found that humans experience a jolt of oxytocin when they have physical contact with someone they care about. So a simple hug or peck on the lips provides a boost of the so-called love hormone. And regular doses of oxytocin causes dopamine to be released as well, while lowering your levels of cortisol, aka the stress hormone. If you feel like you are addicted to your honey’s cuddles, that’s why. See there is real science associated with the snuggle.
Snuggling Is Not Just For Women
Another study out of the Kinsey Institute found that men actually get more out of cuddling than women do. In fact, frequent snuggling and kissing impacted men’s relationship satisfaction in the Kinsey study more than it did the female participants, who had all been together on average about 25 years.
Certainly sexual frequency may decrease the longer you are in a relationship, but these studies indicate that keeping the physical contact going through hugs, cuddles and kisses still indicates a healthy and happy relationship. Of course, by engaging in cuddles you indicate to your significant other that you aren’t just about the sex. But it can create a positive loop. Researchers at the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that couples that snuggled after sex were happier and more satisfied with their relationships. Basically touching your partner releases feel good hormones that will definitely make you happier in your relationship and possibly spawn more sex as well—definitely a win-win!
Benefits of Cuddling
Having frequent physical interactions, such as kissing or cuddling that don’t go into the sexual, can be good for your relationship, but there are other health <> benefits as well. The reduced stress and lower blood pressure you experience is because of the oxytocin that your body releases, while the cortisol that accompanies frequent cuddling helps you sleep better.
Skin on skin contact creates a bond between you and your partner (that’s why it’s so important for newborns to be placed directly on their mom’s skin). So don’t be afraid to communicate with your partner that you would like to cuddle more and let your significant other know what you prefer, whether it is a traditional spoon position or a half-spoon or face-to-face. Figure out what works best for you and then reap the relationship rewards!