hispanic man hugging pillow lying on bed sleeping at bedroom

Why Hugging Pillow While Sleeping Can Improve Your Sleep Quality

Hugging a pillow at night or while you’re taking a nap offers a relaxing and comforting experience. Whether it’s a standard-sized pillow, body pillow, or stuffed animal, hugging or holding a plush cushion close to you can provide a sense of stress relief after a difficult day or experience.

The position in which you sleep can also provide support for your back, including spinal alignment and relief for neck, shoulder, and hip pain, which can aid your sleep and promote healing after injury or chronic pain. 

The Benefits of Hugging a Body Pillow

You may find that hugging a regular or oversized pillow brings a sense of comfort as you fall asleep. You’ll also notice, over time, that there are numerous benefits to hugging a cushion close to your chest during sleep, which fuels a sense of stability and physical closeness.

It’s often the next best thing to human touch if you sleep alone or prefer to feel this type of comfort if you prefer to sleep on your own. 

Therapeutic Effects of Soothing Sounds and Pillow Hugging

When you listen to the gentle sounds of waves, rain, or songbirds, hugging a pillow can bring about positive thoughts and memories, which can ease you into a deep, satisfying sleep.

It’s a great way to promote a healthy, good night of sleep while you focus your mind on comforting thoughts and away from the tension and stress of life.

Improved Spinal Alignment

If you struggle with spine or back pain, you’ll find that the natural sleeping position of hugging a pillow can help promote proper spinal alignment.

While you may need to strategically move the pillow to set and maintain a consistent position that’s beneficial for your spine, you’ll find that pillow hugging naturally works with your body’s natural curvature, which can support your head, neck, and lower back. 

Reduced Stress and Anxiety

It’s not uncommon to take stressful thoughts and anxiety to bed, which can prevent a good night’s rest and disrupt sleep during the night. If you have an existing sleeping disorder, such as sleep apnea or insomnia, you may struggle with consistently sleeping well on a regular basis.

When you hug or hold a pillow close, even as you begin to relax and attempt to fall asleep, this can lessen the tension your body holds as a result of stress and provide much-needed relief for a good night’s sleep. 

When you hug or perform an action that feels supportive and calming, this can trigger a release of endorphins, which combat the sensations of stress in the body so that you can quiet your mind and ease into better sleep.

These enjoyable hormones, which are released during a comfortable experience, will dissipate and work with your body’s natural ability to relax so you can enjoy quality sleep.

Produces the Positive Effects of Physical Touch and Closeness

For many adults, the act of hugging a pillow close can evoke fond memories of childhood, such as a hug from a grandparent or favorite pet or a favorite cushion or stuffed animal.

Hugging or embracing a large pillow can bring a sense of stability, safety, and emotional support, especially after a traumatic or difficult experience when falling asleep can be exceptionally challenging. 

A soft pillow or cushion that is reminiscent of childhood can provide that need for physical reminiscing and a connection with something solid and available, which can also bring comfort when you feel lonely or stressed.

Helps Release Oxytocin for Improved Well-being

The act of hugging or feeling a sense of safety or happiness can help release oxytocin, which helps reduce stress in the body while promoting a sense of calm, bonding, and contentment.

When you tap into this level of relaxation, you’ll enjoy stronger emotional bonding in life and feel more grounded and secure as you sleep at night.

The experience of hugging a pillow can significantly improve your state of mind, so you can reach a better level of tranquility while reducing stress hormones, especially during highly stressful situations or events in your life. 

sleepy young woman sleepwear lying embracing pillow closed eyes isolated pink color background

Precautions to Take When Hugging a Pillow During Sleep

It’s essential to remember a few things when you sleep while hugging a pillow. The quality of bedding, pillow material, and sleeping environment all have an impact on how well you sleep and the comfort level you enjoy during the night.

It’s a good idea to consider the following factors when you choose a hugging pillow or similar cushion and focus on maintaining a good sleeping position and a routine for bedtime.

  • Invest in a good quality memory foam pillow and a sturdy mattress to support your body during sleep. While hugging a pillow gives you greater stress relief, the quality of your mattress, pillow, and bedding also plays an important role in good sleep hygiene.
  • If you use a body pillow for hugging, you’ll find that sleeping on your side is the best option for comfort, as sleeping on your back or stomach can prove challenging.
  • Pay attention to pressure points and how hugging a pillow either improves or impacts your body, especially if you’re healing from an injury or aiming to find relief from chronic pain.
  • Soothing music and sounds can help you ease into a deep REM sleep, which can enhance the benefits of pillow hugging.


From childhood to adulthood, hugging a pillow offers a wonderful sense of security and comfort. It’s also a great way to relax, feel a sense of connection, and improve sleep while reducing stress levels and supporting your body’s natural posture.

While many other factors contribute to a good night’s rest, pillow hugging is a great way to promote an improved sense of grounding and stability.


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