“Never go to bed angry” is often cited as the best advice for those that want to maintain a healthy, happy marriage over the long-term. But a recent survey of the health benefits of sharing a bed with your beloved by Daily Mail writer Anne Hodgekiss suggests that adopting a “never go to bed alone” policy may be one way to increase your longevity, health and happiness.
The benefits of sharing a bed with someone you love appear to be far more beneficial to individual health and wellness than once thought. For one, it seems that the physical presence of a partner or spouse (even one that talks/snores/squirms in his or her sleep) can lower the amount of cortisol in our bodies.
This is a good thing as too much cortisol, a.k.a. ‘the stress hormone,’ can raise blood pressure, cholesterol and may make people more vulnerable to illness as it suppresses the immune system.
Sleeping in the arms of a mate isn’t just as good for you as meditation or yoga when it comes to inducing a state of calm, it may even be good for your waistline as elevated cortisol levels have been linked to stress-related weight gain.
Bunking with your partner doesn’t just reduce stress—it floods the body with the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin. Not only does this hormone offer immediately euphoric effects for lovers and bunkmates — you don’t have to have sex to produce oxytocin; cuddling and intimate conversation will work too — it also helps seal the bonds of affection between human beings.
And that’s not its only benefit. Hodgekiss cites research by Dr. John Hamilton, author of Why Kindness Is Good For You, who argues that oxytocin offers protection from disease-causing inflammation in the body.
Says Hamilton: “Oxytocin has also been shown to reduce inflammation. While inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process, too much of it, which can accompany bacterial infections or chronic stress, is damaging to the body. It’s well known, for example, that inflammation plays a role in many types of cancer.”