Can’t sleep? The six reasons why cuddling will help you drift off
SLEEP is an essential bodily function that allows your body and mind to recharge and heal. If you’re struggling to sleep, there’s one cosy habit that could help.
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Up to 16 million UK adults have insomnia, and 23 percent manage no more than five hours of sleep a night. If you feel like you’ve tried every trick in the book and nothing is working, getting cosy and cuddling up to your partner could help. Express.co.uk chatted to the sleep experts at MattressNextDay and Dr Deborah Lee to find out the six ways that cuddling can improve your sleep.
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It can improve your mood, making you less anxious at night
Otherwise known as the ‘happy hormone’, cuddling releases serotonin into your body.
Having low levels of serotonin can contradict this pattern, and result in worse sleep.However, the act of cuddling can increase your serotonin levels and improve your mood, whilst decreasing any feelings of anxiety.
Can’t sleep: When you can’t sleep, have a cuddle (Image: Getty)
Can’t sleep: Cuddles lower your stress levels (Image: Getty)
It helps lower your stress levels before bedtime
Throughout the day we build up the stress hormone cortisol, which can have a direct impact on your sleep. To stop this vicious cycle, consider a cuddle with your partner or another loved one.
Dr Deborah Lee said: ”Nerve impulses pass through the skin and your peripheral nerves to travel up the spine to the brain, where they stimulate the release of oxytocin (the ‘cuddle hormone’), and serotonin and dopamine. (the ‘happy hormones’).
“As a result, levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, are also reduced.
“This means you’re more likely to sleep better, and therefore be better prepared to handle the stress of the day ahead.”
Can’t sleep: Cuddling boosts your immune system (Image: Getty)
Your blood pressure will lower, decreasing your chances of insomnia
Less stress means lower blood pressure, putting you at less risk of cardiovascular disease and certain sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia.
Contact with a partner has been known to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, lowering your blood pressure and resulting in better quality sleep.
It helps boost your immune system, making it easier to fall asleep
Therapeutic touch such as massage and cuddling is said to have a positive effect on your immune system.
When your immune system is in tip-top shape, this makes it easier to fight off coughs, colds and other illnesses. And we all know how these kinds of illnesses keep you awake at night!