Oxytocin- The Good, The Better, The Best
What It Is?
Oxytocin is a peptide hormone and neuropeptide. Also called the “cuddle” or “love” hormone, it is released when people snuggle up or bond in various ways. It plays a role in social bonding, sexual reproduction, and childbirth.
It is produced in the hypothalamus and secreted by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain.
What It Isn’t?
Oxytocin is released during skin-to-skin contact and can provide numerous benefits in regard to sleep. This is not a reason to bring a rando home and have your way with them. Below you will find many ways to naturally increase the level of Oxytocin flowing in your body.
How To Increase Oxytocin?
Oxytocin is released during skin-to-skin contact, this includes but isn’t limited to
Cuddling (the more naked the better),
And particularly, orgasm.
This touching idea is reinforced by the first date observation. That being said, if the person you are on a date with makes every effort to touch your shoulder or leg in a playful, “oh stop it”, kind of way, they are showing that they are interested in you and they are allowing oxytocin to flow between the two of you. This will steadily form a bond between both people involved.
You can release this hormone by simply doing something nice or someone to fortify your bond with them. When you share a meal, give a gift, give someone your full attention, use the “L” word or even pet a dog, you naturally release this hormone.
Essentially, be a loving, caring, and thoughtful human being and every now and then, go out of your way to lend a hand.
Whoop Dee Doo, But What Does It All Mean, Basil?
So what does it all mean? What does this have to do with exercise and overall wellness?
Oxytocin can be manipulated to improve the quality of your sleep. Improving the quality of your sleep will aid in the recovery of damaged muscle from exercise, memory consolidation, insulin sensitivity, among many other things. In other words, improving the quality of your sleep is very important.
The bedroom, and more specifically your bed, should be reserved for only two things – sex and sleep. As you read above, the skin-to-skin contact and orgasm that sex provides will help form a relationship with the individual in the bed with you. The more comfortable you are, the better you sleep. The better you sleep, the better decisions regarding your lifestyle change you will make.
Why would you want to reserve your bed to just those two activities? Well, let me tell you. Our habits are formed on neural associations. Neural associations are simply hooks in your environment that trigger a certain response.
You strap on your exercise specific shoes, put in your earbuds and push play on that playlist that gets you pumped – you are priming your body for exercise and you will be a force to be reckoned with.
Your child is a scholar of a student. Every time they earn an A on their report card you guys go out to get a treat, maybe ice cream, cookies, snow cones, what have you. You better believe that the second your child sees their report card marked up with “A’s” that their mouth starts to water and they start to scheme up which treat they want to indulge in.
Lastly, picture your bed. You get home from class, go to your bed and start snacking and studying for the test tomorrow. Now each time you sit in your bed, your mind will be active, ready to understand the math problems of the day. Good luck falling asleep when your mind is that active!
You think just because you aren’t in school anymore that this doesn’t affect you? Wrong! I bet you have a TV in your room. Boom – roasted!
If You Only Read One Thing
Be nice to others and go out of your way on occasion to produce a smile in a loved one.
It may be beneficial to sleep naked next to your loved one. The more skin exposed, the more Oxytocin that is released. I’m not making this up. Research it yourself if you need an excuse to stay away from those you sleep with.
A large amount of Oxytocin is released during orgasm. So don’t stop short.