In particular, this biochemical reaction primarily consists of the release of oxytocin, a very powerful hormone also known as the 'love' hormone. It's been proven that higher levels of oxytocin can improve sleep, strengthen immunity and even reduce risk of heart disease. There are, of course, other ways to boost your oxytocin levels, such as watching cheesy rom-com's or even interacting with others via social media. But nothing does the trick quite like a good cuddle sesh. According to Paul Zak, a world-renowned expert on oxytocin and TED speaker, we should be striving for 8 hugs a day. Minimum! Obviously the more the better. Cuddling and stressCuddling and touch have actually been shown to suppress the flow of cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone as high levels have been observed in individuals that are stressed or are experiencing anxiety. By reducing cortisol levels and increasing oxytocin, blood pressure and heart rate can both see a natural decrease, which are great ways to reduce stress, anxiety and even depression.Cuddling and sex It's hard to talk about cuddling without talking about sex. Did you know how important post-sex cuddles can actually be for your relationship? In a study published on Springer Link highlighted that couples who regularly engage in post-sex affection ie: cuddling reported greater overall satisfaction with their sex life and relationship in general, so take some time to enjoy the moment post-coitus. What are some other pros to cuddling? You may be surprised... Check out our video for some more facts on all the benefits of embracing your loved one.