Friends hugging

Hug It Out To Slow Down Aging

Have you heard of professional cuddlers? For about $60/hr, you can hire someone for a platonic cuddle up without the complications of a relationship. In fact, some of the services even offer cuddling parties. Sound a little creepy to you? Well, what if you found out that hugging can help to slow down the aging process? According to the University of California, Berkeley, people who don’t hug age faster. Ready to cash in your $60? Let’s look at the effects of oxytocin on the aging process.

The Love Hormone
Oxytocin is also known as the “love hormone” or “trust hormone, and it gets released when people let down their guard and participate in a good hug. As we age and get fewer hugs, the levels of the hormone drop and muscle loss are one of the major side effects. In fact, science shows that we lose five percent of muscle mass per decade once we reach our thirties. In the study at UC Berkeley, oxytocin was injected into older mice who were showing signs of aging and muscle loss. Within nine days of the injection, their muscle mass improved to within 80% of that of the younger mice. Wendy Cousins, coauthor of the Nature Communications study says, “This is good because it demonstrates that extra oxytocin boosts aged tissue stem cells without making muscle stem cells divide uncontrollably.”

Friends laughing

Oxytocin Increases Happiness
Paul Zak, PhD, hypothesized that there was a direct correlation between well-being and happiness and oxytocin, at least for women. To test his theory, he drew blood from 60 female college students after receiving a gift from a stranger of $24. The women were given the option of returning a portion of the money or keeping it. The women were also required to fill out a survey on their satisfaction with life. Results showed that women who showed a larger increase in oxytocin after receiving the money reported being more satisfied with life and were also more likely to share their money with the stranger. They also tended to be more trusting. According to Zak, “Those with higher oxytocin had more sex with fewer partners,” indicating a likelihood to form more long lasting relationships and be liked by others.

Oxytocin Increases Generosity
Another of Zak’s studies found that men treated with oxytocin were more likely to donate money after watching public service ads. Forty-one men were divided into two groups, one of which was given the hormone, and the other of which was given a placebo. They were then shown public service ads on topics such as smoking, drunk driving, and global warming. Zak says, “Those on placebo donated to 21% of the ads, those on oxytocin, 33%.” The men given the hormone donated 56% more money than those given the placebo.

Oxytocin and Social Anxiety
Researcher Jason Yee, PhD, says that oxytocin can help relieve anxiety in social situations. Prairie voles are known to form strong monogamous bonds. Yee exposed the animals to a brief period of stress, and then gave them oxycontin to reduce anxiety and compared the recovery from stress in the animals who recovered alone to those who recovered cuddling with another prairie vole. Yee found that those who were assigned a partner showed less anxiety, and were less likely to try to escape from their cage.

What do you think of professional huggers? Yay or nay? Let us know what you think about paying for hugs.

Improve The Bond With Your Children By Reading Them A Bedtime Story

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” What a lovely thought for a child to contemplate. This is a quote f5om Dr. Suess’s “Horton Hears A Who!” If you’ve ever read to your children, you do not need to be told that it is the right thing to do. Reading to your children is an act as natural as breathing. It becomes obvious with each question they ask and each phrase they memorize. However, if just the act in itself isn’t enough to convince you, here are some more scientific examples of how your relationship with your child is enriched by sharing bedtime stories.

The Research
According to the Reid Lyon, the behavior branch chief of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, “Neural research shows that when parents and caregivers interact verbally with children–which includes reading to them–kids learn a great deal more than we ever thought possible.” Reading to a child can help the child develop morals and creativity, and children are never too young to start.

The Benefits

Woman reading to child

Develops Communication
Reading a story to your baby helps them to develop their listening, memory, and language recognition skills. It is also a good way to give them the chance to hear words they might not hear otherwise, especially ones which are less likely to come up in everyday speech. Bedtime stories can also improve a child’s memory. You will find that with repetition, children will begin to remember dialogues and story lines, and will often chime in with a spoiler or two.

Creates Routine
Children like to know what’s coming next. Reading a story is an assuring way of letting your child know its time for bed. Not only does the routine element keep stress levels down, the activity itself calms them and helps them sleep better at night.

Increase Imagination
Sometimes, it is hard to believe children’s imaginations need any stimulation, but listening to a story and looking at pictures gives them ideas and helps to motivate their creativity. Reading to children encourages them to question behaviors and develop comprehension skills and increase general cognition.

mother daughter

Stronger Bond
If you’re a parent you know that nothing is better than cuddling up with your child after a long day. Adding books to that experience can strengthen the bond between you by engaging in a shared activity.

Good Habits
When you read to your children, you are instilling them with a love of books. You are their greatest inspiration and the behavior you model is the behavior they’ll imitate. Although it may be hard for busy parents to carve out time to read to their children, bedtime can be a great opportunity to pass on an invaluable gift.

What are your children’s favorite bedtime tales? Let us know what you recommend for giving children the sweetest dreams.

Couple on a date

Why Date Night is So Important

Married couples, or those in long-term relationships, tend to settle into a comfortable rhythm. Your typical Friday night might be relaxing together after a stressful week with a full Netflix queue and a glass of wine or a beer. Don’t get us wrong, sometimes that is exactly what you need and is a fun way to spend time together. However, if this is all you do when it comes to “dating” as a couple, things are likely to get boring and stale. Often, we feel that making time for a date night, especially if children are involved in the relationship, is a luxury that we can’t afford whether it’s financially or when it comes to sparing time. Resveralife wants you to think of date night as a necessity, not a luxury. Making time for each other isn’t just fun, it actually strengthens your relationship.

Reconnecting
With demanding work schedules, social obligations and caring for kids, it’s easy to coast through each day without really taking the time to be with your partner. When you set aside a specific time for a date night, you are being intentional about spending time with your loved one as a couple. You don’t have to plan a fancy five-course dinner date, unless that’s what you want, to be able to really reconnect with your significant other. Take a picnic to the park, learn how to cook a new dish by taking a cooking class together or simply grab a drink together. The activity that you choose for your date night is less about the activity and more about the mindset you approach it with. Find something that you will both look forward to doing and approach it with the mindset that you are doing something together, as a couple, not just as roommates or parents. This helps remind you reconnect with one another in a way that is far more intimate than rehashing your day at the dinner table.

Romancing
Along with reconnecting with each other, it is important to keep the romance alive in a relationship. This can be hard to do after an exhausting day at work or running necessary errands on a weekend. Scheduling a date night gives you the chance to make each other feel special and wanted. A date night helps remind you of the time you spent together when you were first getting to know each other which can lead to bringing back some of the excitement and romance of your courtship. To make a date night even more romantic or special, dress up a bit. You don’t have to go all out, unless you want to, but taking a bit of time to primp signifies that this evening is different than just heading out for a quick bite to eat; it’s about being together as a couple and creating a closer, more romantic feeling between the two of you.

Relaxing
You spend your days constantly moving from one responsibility or task to the next. You are in a neverending state of doing. When you make time for a date night, you are choosing to stop “doing” for a bit and just spend some time “being.” A date night does not come with a to-do list and it should have only one real objective: to spend time being a couple. Taking the time to really listen to one another or really talk, not just in passing, gives you both an opportunity to feel heard, cared about and more relaxed.

It’s true, scheduling a date night can be difficult, but it really is important to your relationship. A special night that consists only of the two of you helps remind you why you fell in love with the other person in the first place. Ideally, you would have a date night every week, but we know that isn’t always a realistic possibility. Start by scheduling at least one date night a month to invest some time into each other and your relationship.