Is It Normal to Hug a Pillow While Sleeping? – Science of Cuddling

is it normal to hug a pillow while sleeping

Is It Normal to Hug a Pillow While Sleeping?

Have you ever wondered why we hug pillows or stuffed animals during the night?

We do it for comfort, of course. But just how is this comforting to our bodies?

Is It Normal to Hug a Pillow While Sleeping?

It is normal for many people to hug their pillow when they are trying to fall asleep. This may be due to the fact that it makes them feel secure and helps them deal with fear and anxiety. Cuddling a pillow can also be a sign of possessiveness or insecurity.

Key Takeaways

Many people hug their pillow to fall asleep

Cuddling a pillow may be a sign of insecurity or possessiveness

Pillow hugging allows people to feel cozy and relaxed

People often hug pillows because they cherish their relationships with loved ones

People hug a pillow because it reduces their fear of being alone

What are the benefits of hugging a pillow during sleep?

Sleeping with a pillow on your chest and hugging it can psychologically give a person a sense of security and safety. This results in a good night’s sleep.

Why do people hug a pillow while sleeping?

People often hug pillows because it makes them feel comfortable and secure. According to a study done by the University of Toronto, people who hug a pillow while sleeping tend to be people pleasers and value strong personal bonds.

Hugging pillow while sleeping psychology

The act of cuddling can be traced back to our earliest ancestors. The need to be close to someone (whether it’s a romantic partner, family member, or friend) is a fundamental human desire.

Pillow hugging while sleeping is one way that people attempt to satisfy this need. Although it may seem like a simple act, there is actually a lot of science behind it.

Pillow hugging while sleeping is a subconscious indication that you miss someone

Pillow hugging while sleeping is a subconscious indication that you miss someone or something. It is a way to comfort yourself when you are feeling anxious or stressed.

People are comforted by pillow-hugging because it reminds them of home. Pillow-hugging can provide a sense of safety and security to those with anxiety.

miss you

What does it mean when you sleep hugging a pillow?

People use hugging pillows for different reasons. Some people might do it to alleviate pain, while others might do it to express their emotions towards someone they miss.

There is actually some science behind why people hug pillows while sleeping. One theory is that it helps to keep us warm. When we hug a pillow, our body temperature rises and this can help us feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Another theory is that hugging a pillow can help to reduce stress levels. When we hug something, our body releases the hormone oxytocin which has been linked with reducing stress and promoting feelings of happiness and relaxation.


Sleeping with a hug pillow helps to alleviate loneliness. There is no wrong way to hug a pillow while sleeping- it’s just for loneliness.

Security and comfort

A hugging pillow is a type of pillow that you can wrap your arms around while sleeping. This can provide a feeling of security and comfort, as well as helping to achieve the ideal sleep position.

More physical affection

There are a few different interpretations to this common sleeping position. Some people believe that it indicates a need for more physical affection in their lives. Others believe that it signifies a desire for more emotional intimacy. And still others interpret it as simply meaning that you like to feel cozy and comfortable when you sleep!

Why Do People Hug a Pillow While Sleeping

Don’t Want to Be Alone

  1. Hugs can be a way to cope with loneliness.
  2. Hugs can be a way to cope with tiredness.
  3. Hugs can provide comfort and security.
  4. Hugs can help us feel loved and supported.

Reduces Your Snoring or Apneic Episodes

When you sleep on your side or back, gravity pulls your tongue and soft palate down, which can cause them to collapse and vibrate. This results in snoring. However, if you hug a pillow while you sleep, it can help support your head and neck, keeping your airway open so you can breathe more easily.

If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (the most common type of sleep apnea), snoring is one of the main symptoms.


Pregnant women are advised to use a body pillow to hug and stay warm. This is because sleeping on your back can cause problems. Pregnancy can cause people to develop a habit of needing a body pillow.

man standing near window kissing pregnant woman

Need for Strong Personal Bonds

There are many benefits to having strong personal bonds with others. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that these relationships can provide emotional support during difficult times. Good friends and family members can offer a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, or simply a comforting presence during tough times.


Most children love to cuddle. It is a way for them to feel close to someone and feel safe. Cuddling can help children feel more secure and loved. It can also help them feel less anxious and stressed. Cuddling can even help boost a child’s immune system.

So, if you are looking for a way to show your child some extra love, try cuddling with them today!

Routine-Oriented hugging

A routine is a pattern of behavior that has worked for you in the past. A hug is a routine if it’s done every night before you sleep.

For some people, hugging a pillow while sleeping is a comforting and familiar routine that helps them fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.

Feeling Insecure

There are a few reasons why people might feel insecure and turn to hugging a pillow while sleeping. One reason could be that they feel they need the extra support emotionally or physically. Another reason could be that they are afraid of being alone and need the comfort of something familiar to help them relax and fall asleep. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that everyone deals with insecurity in different ways and there is no shame in seeking comfort in a pillow.

Hugging pillow is a sleeping position

People often hug their pillow while sleeping because it is the most comfortable position for them. This is due to the fetal position being the most common sleeping position for people. The fetal position is a sign of comfort and vulnerability, which adults often need when they are relaxed. People who sleep with their arms stretched out are typically emotional attachments, meaning they value bonds with others. However, some people may be shy and find it easier to hug their pillow than people.

Attachment to Stuffed Animals

Psychologists agree that healthy attachment to weighted stuffed animals is not problem, not even for adults. But what is healthy and what is unhealthy?

Why can’t I sleep without hugging a pillow?

People who can’t sleep without hugging a pillow often value their relationships very highly. Sleeping allows people to rebuild relationships with people they care about.

Does hugging stuffed animals release oxytocin?

People used to hug weighted stuffed animals these days which has the same effect. Research has shown that sleeping with a weighted stuffed animal as an adult can improve your sleep quality because it is soft, light, and comfortable. Some adults even talk to their stuffed animal which is also OK.

Hugging a stuffed animal has many benefits – like it helps you sleep better by releasing oxytocin, which is also released when you cuddle with someone else, and it has pain-relieving properties. So if you’re in pain, hug a pillow or someone else to get relief.

Oxytocin is a hormone that has psychological effects and influences social behavior.

What are the benefits of oxytocin?

It is normal to hug a pillow while sleeping. In fact, doing so may release oxytocin, which is sometimes called the “cuddle hormone.” Oxytocin has a variety of benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety levels, calming the mind, and helping you sleep better, and helping people in the spectrum.

Children can benefit from self-soothing techniques, such as hugging a pillow, to help them relax and sleep better.


Recent research has also shown that oxytocin has antidepressant and anxiety-relieving effects.


In addition to its psychological effects, oxytocin also has anti-inflammatory properties which can be used in healing wounds. Oxytocin can be obtained from cuddling or hugging your partner, or from sleeping well.

Social communication

For people with autistic spectrum disorder, oxytocin can help improve social communication. In one study, oxytocin improved participants’ interactions with partners and increased feelings of trust.


So, what have we learned? Cuddling is good for your health! It can help reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and reduce anxiety and depression.

If you’re pregnant, cuddling can also help reduce the risk of preterm labor. Sleeping on the floor during pregnancy is also a popular idea among women to sleep better.

And if you’re feeling lonely, cuddling can help you feel more connected to others. So go ahead and give your pillow or a stuffed animal or your loved one a big hug!


Uvnas-Moberg K, Petersson M. – Oxytocin, a mediator of anti-stress, well-being, social interaction, growth and healing PMID: 15834840.


By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.