As a dog owner, you should know that the doghouse is no longer a suitable punishment. More than half of dog owners in the poll slept alongside their canine companions. Though, is it wise to let your dog on your bed?
Despite years of controversy, several studies have shown that sharing your bed with a pet offers health benefits. Cosleeping with a dog may be reassuring and comforting due to the dog’s consistent body temperature, rhythmic heartbeat, and protective nature.
Feel at ease knowing that having a dog on the bed with you won’t affect your sleep one bit. In this article, we’ll go over 13 reasons why it would be a good idea to share your bed with your dog.
1. Reduces Depression
Recently, researchers examined the effects of activities involving animal helpers on people’s levels of depression. There was a reduction in depression symptoms reported by those who interacted with dogs in therapy or other activities.
If spending time with a dog, even briefly, helps alleviate sadness, just think of the benefits of sharing a bed with one. Their company induces calm and a surge of oxytocin, the “love hormone.” Your dog is now a walking, talking antidepressant!
2. Promotes Theta Brainwaves
This has a significant effect on our sleep quality since oxytocin levels are up when we share a bed with a dog. Theta brainwaves, characteristic of the rapid-eye-movement (REM) stage of sleep, are facilitated by sleeping with your dog and the accompanying chemicals.
A canine’s heart rate has been proven to match that of its owner while the two are together. Another piece of evidence is that a dog’s presence may have a sedative impact on a human’s nervous system. You and your dog should get the deepest, most restorative sleep possible while you sleep together.
3. Increases Sense of Security
How soundly you sleep may be significantly influenced by your sense of security. According to new research, having a pet in the bedroom improves the quality of sleep for women since it makes them feel more at ease and safe.
Consider that a dog’s natural inclination is to guard. If anything happens while you’re sleeping, they’ll alert you right away. While highly protective or sensitive canines may have trouble with this, many dog owners report improved rest thanks to their canine companions.
4. Eases Insomnia
Being unable to sleep at night is one of life’s most infuriating experiences. For people whose sleep is disrupted by worry, here’s some good news: a canine companion helps ease their discomfort.
Sleeping with a dog has been shown to improve insomnia by lowering anxiety, reducing hyperarousal, and lowering alertness. All of this improves your mental and physical readiness for sleep, which might aid in the fight against insomnia.
5. Maximizes Comfort
Researchers showed that using a support animal helped reduce nightmares and PTSD symptoms in the same group of people (PTSD). The presence of a dog in bed with you may instantly make you feel more relaxed and at home.
The chances are high that the cute animal will appreciate lying next to you as much as you do. Most dog owners would agree that this contributes to a cozy environment.
6. Decreases Loneliness
Sleeping alone may be a source of additional sadness and suffering for those who live alone. What could be better than a human bed warmer to help you forget your loneliness?
Recent studies have shown that many people, particularly those who live alone, feel that having a pet in the room with them makes it easier to fall asleep. One of the best reasons to let your dog on your bed at night is the comfort, security, and company they can provide.
7. Improves Sleep Quality
How well you sleep while in bed may be measured by a number called sleep efficiency. It has been recently shown that people who have a dog in their bedroom are more likely to stick to their regular sleep schedule and get a better night’s rest.
For seven nights, both participants and their canine companions wore sleep monitors. Their research revealed that canines had an 85 percent sleep efficiency, whereas humans only achieved an efficiency of 81 percent. To provide some context, a score of 100 indicates optimal sleep efficiency. Try sharing a bed with your canine if you’re finding yourself groggy in the morning.
8. Reduces Stress
Do you know about “The Pet Effect?” To put it simply, it’s the phenomenon in which the presence of a pet causes its owner to feel less anxious and stressed. A whopping 74% of pet owners claim to have experienced an improvement in their mental health as a result of having a pet.
The hormone oxytocin, responsible for relieving stress and improving happiness, is released when you cuddle with your pet, as we discussed before. Your heart rate will slow, your levels of the stress hormone cortisol will drop, and you’ll have a more restful night’s sleep as a result.
9. Lowers Blood Pressure
One research indicated that human-dog connection, such as caressing or touching a dog, resulted in reduced blood pressure measurements, suggesting a calming influence on the human body.
It’s possible that the calming effects of being with a dog continue even after you go off to sleep. There’s no better way to wind down at the end of the day than to cuddle up with your furry friend before bed.
10. Strengthens Bond With the Dog
Native Alaskans often slept with their dogs for warmth, earning the practice the nickname “three dog night.” When it became chilly at night, the dogs would sleep in the human’s sleeping bag next to the bonfire. More dogs were needed to stay warm on nights when the temperature dropped significantly.
Even today, some doctors believe that this practice might aid in the socialization of dogs. Many people believe that dogs are more readily taught if they sleep in the same room as their owners because it sends the message that they are valued members of the pack.
11. Promotes a Healthy Heart
Considering that heart disease is the biggest cause of death in the USA, keeping your heart in good shape is crucial. Research by the American Heart Association revealed that having a pet is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, which is great news for pet owners.
Despite having equal socioeconomic statuses and body mass indices, pet owners were shown to have lower levels of systemic hypertension. Dogs may help you stay active in several ways, including lowering stress and blood pressure.
12. Decreases Risk of Adult-Onset Allergies
The fact that your dog may introduce allergies into the bedroom is a major reason why many people advise against sleeping with your dog. Infants who shared a room with a pet, however, were less likely to develop allergies when they became older.
Allergens carried by dogs may have a more favorable effect if exposed early on. Although this isn’t always the case, it’s something to think about if you’re contemplating letting your dog sleep in your kid’s room.
13. Improved General Health
Pet ownership has been linked to several health advantages, including reduced blood fats and inflammation, less isolation, and more time spent outside the home. On the other hand, you may continue reaping the rewards well after night.
41% of pet owners in a survey said they felt it was advantageous to sleep with their dogs. One may argue that having a dog in close proximity to you at all times, day or night, is beneficial to your health.
Advice on How to Keep Your Dog Safe While You Sleep
As beneficial as sleeping near your dog can be, it’s best to lay a set of ground rules before doing so. You will want your dog to know what they can and can’t do so as to not disrupt your sleep.
Here is a quick checklist of tips:
- Set boundaries: Designate your dog’s own personal space on the bed. Make it plain to your pet where they are and are not permitted to sleep, whether that is on your bed or their own bed next to you.
- Don’t allow aggression: If your pet exhibits aggression toward you or toward someone you share a bed with, sleeping with them will be difficult. That behavior shouldn’t be allowed in the sleeping area.
- Keep pets above the covers: This may help prevent allergies and filth from entering the bed, two potential drawbacks of sharing a mattress with your dog. The secret to a good night’s sleep is teaching your dog to sleep on the floor rather than in bed with you.
- Take them out before bedtime: Having your pet have an accident on your bed is the last thing you need. Take them outdoors before night and as soon as you get up in the morning to help with this problem.
- Keep your pet clean: Keeping your pet bathed can also help keep the dirt and allergies to a minimum while in bed. Plus, nobody wants to sleep with a smelly pet!
- Use a mattress protector: Having a mattress cover as part of your set of bedding may greatly increase its durability in the face of pet use. You will get a lot of usage out of your mattress if you invest in one that is resistant to water, dirt, and allergies.
When You Shouldn’t Sleep With Your Dog
Co-sleeping with a dog is not for everyone. Some research shows that in certain cases, sleeping with pets can hinder your ability to rest.
Here are some instances in which you should consider letting your dog sleep on his own bed.
- If they aren’t house trained: If your dog is too young and still having accidents, it’s better to crate-train them first before allowing them to sleep in your bed.
- If you have allergies: If your allergies are severe, it’s best not to sleep in the same bed with your dog. There are many options when it comes to well-reviewed dog beds that allow them to sleep near you. This way, you both can still experience many of the benefits associated with sleeping near each other.
- If you are a light sleeper: Dogs often move around in their sleep, act out their dreams and even snore! If you’re a light sleeper or there is limited room in your bed, you may consider letting your dog sleep in their own bed.
- If you have a new dog: A new dog may need some time to adjust before they are ready to sleep in your bed. Show them they are a part of your family by placing their bed in the same room as yours. If they show interest in sleeping with you (and are well-behaved), you can always let them on the bed later on down the road.
- If your dog or you have health issues: While being near your dog can solve a myriad of health problems, there are instances where it is unsafe to sleep with your pet. If you or your dog are sick or injured, it may not be the best time to sleep together.
Many studies have shown that sharing your bed with a dog is beneficial to your health. Having a furry friend in bed with you may improve your quality of life in many ways, including by making you feel more secure and lowering your levels of stress and worry.
Naturally, you and your partner may benefit much from a luxuriously soft foam mattress. The advantages of sharing a bed with your dog, or purchasing your dog its very own bed, are several.