Cuddling is an intoxicating forms of intimacy that can be both romantic or platonic. The feeling of warm skin is comforting moment in a relationship no matter the type. A cuddle session is more than simply finding solace with another person. Science shows cuddling also benefits the brain. Overall, cuddling satisfies the human body. Here are the secrets behind snuggling next to a loved one.

Benefits of Cuddling

Cuddling has many health benefits according to Poonam Sachdev from WebMd. Cuddling with your favorite person releases hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. Oxytocin, often called the “love hormone” connects two people together making it easier to be more affectionate with your loved one. Sachdev says oxytocin is a calming hormone and aids as a stress reliever. 

The medical doctor also says, cuddling can lower blood pressure, which results in a healthier heart. Cuddling solves more than broken hearts. Sachdev reports cuddling relieves pain. When you cuddle with someone suffering an injury, oxytocin is secreted and blocks pain receptors.

Newborn’ babies will also benefit from cuddling. Sachdev says babies may cry less and sleep well when they have skin-to-skin contact with their parents. Once the baby gets more comfortable with cuddling, their oxygen levels will increase and help with brain development. Sachdev also says cuddling will “raise survival chances” to undersized babies. 

Cuddling can be interchanged as a hug. A long awaited hug might be needed after a hard day at work.  Forbes writer, Alison Escalante, reported the secret to the best hug is to “hold on tight, until you relax, and grow your bond.” Escalante believes “squeezing” during a hug relieves pressure in the body. New parents should practice gently squeezing babies to calm them down. Also the benefits of a nice embrace can decrease postpartum depression for new moms. 

Photo credit: Anna Shvets

How Long To Cuddle

The act of cuddling depends on the relationship. In a loving, devoted, romantic relationship, the average time to cuddle is about 30-40 minutes, according to Lisa van Raatle from Psychology Today. Raatle also says the average couple may cuddle three to five times a week.

Keep in mind, every couple’s love language is not physical touch. Some aren’t comfortable with drawn out sessions of cuddling. It’s important to measure and study your partner’s tolerance. Cuddling does increase sexual performance but Raatle says it’s viewed as “nurturing behavior.” 

Best Cuddling Positions

In order to cuddle your body has to be comfortable. Couples may limit cuddle sessions because of body heat or their limbs might become limp. Annette McDermott from Healthline provided tips for the best cuddling positions.


The most common cuddle position is the spoon. The spoon is both partners lying on their sides but the more “dominant” person is behind with their belly resting on their partner’s back. Usually the dominant partner wraps their arms around their partner for extra security. Yes, spooning is a great way to connect with your partner but when spooning, the dominant partner may feel suffocated when breathing from the back of their partner’s head. 

Cheek to Cheek

To eliminate an uncomfortable cuddle session, some partners may love the “cheek to cheek” position. This position is when both partner’s backs are turned towards each other and their lower back and buttocks touch. McDermott describes the “cheek to cheek” as a way to still physically connect with your partner without interrupting your freedom.

Leg Hug 

The “leg hug” requires only one limb. This position gives your partner freedom to sleep on any side of their body. It’s simple, put one leg on top of your partner’s leg. McDermott says you might have to modify your leg to make your loved one feel cozy. However, this cuddle position is utilized for maximum sleep.