To Cuddle or Not to Cuddle: Which is Better for Our Sleep?

Some of us can’t help but crave and adore some cuddling time, but others need their space. No matter which camp of the two you are in, everyone can agree on one thing: we all want the best night’s rest. Does cuddling provide a better night’s sleep? We are going to dive right into that subject to decipher if indeed some bonding time can send us off to dreamland.

 

The Sleep Process

What do our bodies need in order to fall asleep? Darkness, serenity, a great pillow? Yes to all of those, but what our body needs more than anything is to be able to do its natural process. Sleep begins at a molecular level: neurotransmitters send signals to the brain that it is time for the body to fall asleep. There are four stages of sleep the brain cycles through, and disrupting even one of them can set you up for a tired next day.

REM Sleep

The fourth and final stage of sleep is called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and it is when dreams occur, also when our bodies are in their most profound stage of rest. Muscle paralysis, changes in temperature, and sometimes even heart rate changes can all manifest during this stage. Despite all of the work the body is doing, in reality, we are getting the best rest possible during this stage. It is the aim of the body to reach REM sleep every time it falls asleep. Unfortunately, if your cuddle partner decides to shift position and awakens your during this stage, it can throw off your entire night of rest.

 The Effects of Cuddling

Social bonding releases the precious hormone oxytocin: from playing with your dog to cuddling up with your lover, the hormone is there to make you feel good. For people who suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders, finding natural ways to replicate hormones like this can be tricky. Generally, cuddling is thought to be a positive thing, and when oxytocin is released the body perceives it as such. But how does it affect sleep? Is it something beneficial or perhaps something you want to stay away from?

 

Oxytocin’s Effect on Sleep

Oxytocin affects sleep positively, as it likely has similar effects on the body when it is awake. Enjoyment of social contact and interaction puts the body at rest; it relaxes the body in such a way that it allows it to get a better night’s sleep. Oxytocin is an important driver in cuddling, but it is responsible for more than that as it excites and relaxes us at the same time.

 

The Counterargument  

The counterargument, of course, is that some people need their space to sleep and that cuddling actually produces more anxiety than relaxation. This is not necessarily difficult to diagnose, and if an individual feels like they need their space to sleep better, then, by all means, they should sleep with ample space. Even though your brain might be releasing oxytocin that is making you sleepy, these products can quickly fade when you eventually drift apart from one another and actually start keeping each other awake. Although it seems that cuddling while falling sleep can be nothing but a positive thing, this may not be the case for everyone.

 

To Cuddle or Not to Cuddle?

Research certainly leans toward the conclusion that cuddling helps people sleep better. However, oxytocin affects people differently, so it can be difficult to predict in individual cases whether or not cuddling will help someone sleep better. The only foolproof way to determine if cuddling is for you is to test it out. It could be the worst night’s sleep ever, but it also could lead to a wonderful new way of resting.

 

For more information, reach out to us at aidanm@restwell.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Founded in 1990, Restwell sells its product line through National Retail & Independent Dealers in North America. Restwell also has a Hospitality Sales Division which services corporate accounts across Canada.

Restwell manufactures all bedding, at its state-of-the-art facility in Surrey B.C., to order through “just in time” production techniques which serves its dealers and customers more efficiently. Most bedding orders are scheduled, produced and shipped within 3 days of receipt with fast, friendly and reliable service on our dedicated trucking fleet.

Want a Promotion? Prioritize your Sleep & Watch as your Performance Improves!

Getting a promotion takes a lot of hard work, some luck, and a particular combination of keen awareness & perception. But how can you get noticed by your boss sooner rather than later?

The answer is… more sleep!

There are many myths about how successful people forego sleep and that helps them become more successful. This is absolutely wrong! Sleep instead is one of the most powerful currencies that we all traffic in. The relationship between sleep and career success is more symbiotic than many people would make you think.

A recent study showed that sleep helps us all regenerate our creativity and many other valuable business traits. Learn more about how sleep can help supercharge your career in the points below.

 

Sleep Helps Us Cognitively

Sleep boosts the brain’s cognitive capabilities, strengthening its ability to learn and analyze new information, and enhances long-term and working memory. Basically, anything you need to be a great worker is regenerated by sleep. Sleep also strengthens the brain’s associative networks, opening up the entrepreneurial mind’s ability for insight, and to combine individual pieces of information in fresh, novel ways.

 

Creative? You’d Be More Creative if you were Rested!

One of the best ways to show your worth to your company is by conceiving new ideas, and to see new potential in technology and products that already exist, an ability to imagine doing things differently, whether by introducing entirely new products or by re-imagining how existing tools might be used in new ways.

 

Workplace Attentiveness = $$$

Recognizing opportunities is a big part of becoming a bigger part of your business. There’s an abundant amount research showing that lack of sleep significantly impairs the brain’s attentional capabilities; poor sleep makes us distracted, and less apt to notice details that may signal promising opportunities.

 

Risks that come with Restlessness

Lack of high-quality sleep compromises the brain’s ability to effectively assess risk. That’s true broadly, and it’s also true specifically for entrepreneurial risk. Studies show sleep lowers inhibition, increases both aggressiveness about seeking gains and expectations about what those gains will be. Not getting enough sleep makes us less risk averse, and more likely to pursue short-term gains even at the expense of longer-term advantages. Long hours of work broken up by a handful of hours of sleep doesn’t deliver the brain the rest and rejuvenation it needs from longer, deeper stretches of rest.

 

Lack of Sleep, Lack of Ideas

In one experiment, researchers had employees from around the world spend two weeks keeping daily diaries of their sleep. The less sleep they reported, the less able they were to spot the ideas that seemed superficially promising, but had structural vulnerabilities. On the other hand, the more sleep they logged, the more likely they were to give lower ratings to those ideas that looked superficially attractive. That’s a pretty essential, specific, quantifiable benefit—or impairment—that sleep delivers. Even just one bad night of sleep will cause employees to work lower because of their cognitive impairment.

You don’t need to be a genius to recognize the tremendous benefits from sleep in this realm of sharp, analytical, creative thinking. Investing in a full night of sleep—every night—pays big-time dividends to your cognitive performance, no matter what you do.

 

For more information, reach out to us at aidanm@restwell.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Founded in 1990, Restwell sells its product line through National Retail & Independent Dealers in North America. Restwell also has a Hospitality Sales Division which services corporate accounts across Canada.

Restwell manufactures all bedding, at its state-of-the-art facility in Surrey B.C., to order through “just in time” production techniques which serves its dealers and customers more efficiently. Most bedding orders are scheduled, produced and shipped within 3 days of receipt with fast, friendly and reliable service on our dedicated trucking fleet.