Sarah Irby, Editor in Chief~

It’s fall, y’all! You know what that means? It means the weather is going to start getting cooler, the sweaters, scarves and boots are going to come out, and we’re all going to be sipping on our pumpkin spice lattes. The season also means it’s prime time for snuggling, so you better get your cuddle buddies ready.

Cuddling your significant other is always a good time, but you don’t have to have a significant other to enjoy the act. In fact, I’ve had strictly cuddle relationships with people before, and no, it wasn’t awkward.

You might be thinking, “why should I find someone to cuddle? Who cares?” Well, as a matter of fact, cuddling has some nice health benefits in addition to making you feel comfy cozy.

First and foremost, cuddling releases oxytocin – the feel-good hormone – as well as endorphins into your brain. These chemicals increase your overall happiness and sense of well-being. Oxytocin also helps to boost your immune system and relieve pain. It is a powerful chemical that has the potential to reduce blood pressure, stress, anxiety and sleeplessness. In addition, oxytocin is a bonding hormone, so it can help you feel closer to whoever or whatever you’re cuddling. Yes, this goes for furry friends too!

Illustration by Genevieve Griffin

Believe it or not, cuddling is also great for your sex life. In addition to oxytocin, cuddling releases dopamine, which can make you feel a little frisky. Cuddling after sex provides intimacy that reaffirms both emotional and sexual bonds with your partner; therefore, people report “higher levels of satisfaction with their sex lives,” according to research out of the University of Toronto Mississauga. And since that dopamine is still being released when you’re cuddling after a romp in the hay, it can also lead to round two. Who doesn’t want that sometimes?

Cuddling also helps boost affection and our ability to relay that affection to our partner.  Communication is hard sometimes, and our bodies can often express how we feel when our words fail. Never underestimate the power of non-verbals.

Some of you may have an aversion to cuddling, and I totally get it. I really have to be in the mood for it myself. Often it just leads to me feeling sweaty, trapped and uncomfortable. And lord knows I can’t sleep when someone has their arms wrapped around me. I need my space.

However, you can’t argue with the facts. Cuddling does seem to make everything feel alright, even if just for a little while. I’m willing to risk a little sweatiness if I get happiness and relaxation in return. Maybe during exam week, we should all just have a gigantic cuddle orgy. That’s not weird, right?

So what have we learned today? Obviously if we don’t want to get sick, we should cuddle. If we want better sex, we should cuddle. If we want to increase bonding and communication, we should cuddle. If we want to feel good in general, we should cuddle. Obviously cuddling is the answer to everything (okay maybe not everything, but still).

So the next time you find yourself stressing out or just plain unhappy, maybe make some time for a quick cuddle sesh.