Yes, we mean actually sleeping. There is a reason sleeping beside a lover makes you feel more rested and gets you waking up in a better mood.
There are special chemicals that get released all through your body while you sleep soundly beside someone you love that end up doing wonders for your brain and body. Find out how.
Get Your Dose Of The Cuddle Hormone
Cuddling releases oxytocin (aka the cuddle hormone), which is a fancy name for the chemicals the brain associates with feelings of empathy, trust, relaxation, and reduced anxiety.
The more you make physical contact with someone you love, the more your oxytocin levels rise, making you feel calm, loved and protected.
You Fall Asleep Faster
The hormones released into your brain such as the previously mentioned cuddle hormone actually help you fall asleep more easily. Some studies have shown that it takes the average healthy person 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep.
The security of sleeping beside someone they love can get the brain to overthink less, be less active, and actually shorten the average time to about seven minutes.
You Get More In Sync With Your Partner
Couples who go to bed at the same time and share a bed tend to share a stronger bond and even align their internal body clocks.
They tend to wake up around the same time and get in a compatible routine, resulting in more harmony in the relationship.
It Decreases Your Stress Level
Other studies have found that stress-causing cortisol levels drop when you’re sharing a bed with someone you love. This can even decrease a person’s general anxiety.
Lower levels of stress also mean less risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and other serious chronic illnesses. It’s an all-around win.
It’s Like Popping A Free Pain Killer
Stress isn’t the only thing decreasing when you sleep beside a lover: the number of cytokines in your body also gets smaller. Cytokines are a cause of inflammation and pain.
Something about the calmness and body heat of their body beside us eases that physical pain. So instead of Advil, try a nap for this natural painkiller.
Gaining A Sense Of Promixity
We tend to feel happiest when connected and feeling close to other humans. This could be because of the oxytocin rush it creates, or it could be the result of evolutionary traits from when our ancestors used to sleep by each other as a form of protection.
This is why couples tend to sleep worse when they’re separated, and some studies show that once reunited again, their sleeping problems quickly recede.
It Makes For A Better Intimate And Physical Relationship
Research seems to indicate that there’s a 14% increase in the likelihood of arousal and intimacy after sleeping the optimal amount. In return, doing so also helps you sleep better due to the cocktail of chemicals it releases including serotonin (which regulates mood and appetite), norepinephrine (which regulates sleep), vasopressin (which increases sleep quality), and prolactin (which regulates the immune system).
This all works together to regulate your sleep and life cycle.
It Increases The Odds Of A Restorative Sleep
You’re likely to feel more tired when you go to sleep next to your partner, either due to feeling completely relaxed and safe with them or as a result of having a little fun before bed. This ends up boosting estrogen levels in women and oxytocin in men, which both increase levels of fatigue.
You Feel More Energized In The Morning
As all the chemicals and variables in your body are interconnected, they all act in a domino effect. Naturally, when you wake up next to the person you love, you feel happier. This sends the right signals to make you more energetic.
Based on the other mentioned reasons, the odds are that you slept well and all through the night, which doesn’t hurt either.
It Makes You A Better Companion In All Your Relationships
Your partner isn’t the only one who benefits from sleeping beside you. The benefits you get from it affect your mood, logic, and ability to control your emotions because you feel rested, connected, and secure.
Insufficient sleep can create communications barriers and increase the odds of conflict and disagreements. Good sleep is the way to happier relationships.
Your Blood Pressure Goes Down
Decreased blood pressure alone has its fair share of benefits. And it’s directly associated with high oxytocin levels.
In short, low blood pressure allows you to live longer. That’s because it does things like reducing your chances of life-threatening cardiovascular diseases.
It Can Improve Your State Of Mind
A nice change from sitting in your therapist’s chair once a week is being physically close to the person you love on a nightly basis. The happiness of being beside your lover releases dopamine and serotonin. Enough of those hormones can counteract mental health issues like depression, though it’s not really a replacement for therapy.
It Improves Your Sleeping Conditions
The reason why so many people loving sleeping with a blanket is that body temperature begins to drop as you sleep. So when your body feels colder, it’s so nice to have the warmth of the person sleeping next to you to keep you snug, and it makes stealing the blanket not seem as bad.
It Helps Slow Down Aging And Makes You Look Younger
A neuropsychologist named David Weeks actually wrote a whole book about aging titled the Secrets of the Superyoung where he explained:
“Sleeping in one a bed with someone you love and having regular quality cuddle time and making love could make you look ten years younger. What is more, when you’ve got lower stress levels, your body naturally feels a lot younger.”
It Can Activate Your Immune System
Sleeping beside someone you’re attracted to increases the odds of being physically active. They say that active partners show more resistance to common colds and the flu because they produce more antibodies.
The chemicals that intimacy releases regulate the cells and keep the immune system balanced and strong.
The Side You Sleep On Matters
A study by bed manufacturer Sealy UK actually found that people who sleep on the left side of the bed tend to have a better start to their day, enjoy their job more, have many friends, and even share a positive outlook.
Those that sleep on the right side, however, preferred to be alone, didn’t like their job, and were grumpier and more pessimistic.
You Build A Stronger Bond With Your Partner
The brain associates the bed as a safe zone. This is why pillow talk is the best at night time and opens the gates for partners to reach a more vulnerable, deeper, and open dialog with each other, especially as you’re also physically close to each other.
There Is A “Closeness” Magic Number
Another study looked into the effects of physical contact during sleep among 1,000 couples. They found that the magic number for distance kept during sleep is 2.5 centimeters, or about an inch apart.
In case you can’t picture it, that’s very close. they found that even simply brushing against your partner during sleep can send a rush of oxytocin.
It Helps Break Bad Habits
It’s easier to develop bad sleeping habits when sleeping alone, such as watching TV or eating in bed. However, the blue light from watching television, for example, can mess with your melatonin levels (the hormone that makes you sleepy) and ruin your sleep cycle.
It helps to have someone to keep you accountable.
It Reduces Inflammation
We’ve mentioned that sleeping beside someone you love lowers cortisol levels. This, in turn, reduces cytokines which are the proteins that contribute to inflammation and lead to pain.
Chronic inflammation can be dangerous as it can lead to forms of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, and even depression.