A baby Rhino was taken into custody at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center in South Africa, and now can not sleep without being attached to his female keeper at all times. The Rhino was found after poachers killed his mother. He was found lying down with his head crying on his mothers dead body, and now, can not escape the depression that swallows him. Why he needs someone there when he eats and sleeps and breathes, well maybe you would too if your mother was violently poached directly in front of your eyes for her horn.
Everyone takes comfort in knowing that somebody is there to protect them, or to watch over them. Think about it, it is in our nature, not just as humans but as animals, to need to feel protected or to protect, and when that feeling is threatened then we will obviously become restless. Have you ever tried to sleep at night without a blanket on top of you? Some of us do, and some of us sleep naked, but for the most part, even on hot nights, a blanket or a sheet will provide a person with a sense of security that will help to soothe them to sleep. In fact, depending on your self-esteem, this feeling might weigh you down throughout your day to day life.
I remember back to my middle school days when I would feel extremely uncomfortable or anxious if I was not wearing a jacket that zipped all the way up to my neck. Why? Because I was afraid of people seeing me, and hurting me because perhaps I wasn’t dressed right or what not. The fact of the matter is that in the end, humans are self-conscious beings who need to feel that they have some control over their lives at all times. This shines through in the animal kingdom, and in this case, the baby Rhinoceros who needs to feel protected at all times because his mama was butchered.
Why do babies especially feel this need to be protected? Because they are defenseless…
For starters, babies do enjoy the feeling of being constricted, or hugged, or swaddled even. Many parents believe that swaddling is no good for their infants health, but in fact it promotes neuromuscular development, and reduces crying by 28%. Most of all, though, is that babies are found to sleep better when swaddled. This same theory applies to adults also, not that we need to be swaddled, but the feeling of security can be a welcome sensation in our lives, both day and night. Science says that cuddling provides us with the sense of security that we need in order to make us feel good and safe in our own bed, which will eventually translate into our real lives outside of the bedroom.
Now don’t get me wrong, cuddling does not always have to be done with a person. Sure, if you want that release of Oxytocin that the soft touch of another human can give to you, then yes, it should probably involve another, willing, person. However, snuggling up with one’s La’noodle pillow at night will not bring you any harm and can still help ease you into sleep with a better sense of security and comfort. Wrapping yourself up in a warm wool comforter on a comfy cozy bed can do wonders for you as you fall into a deep sleep.