It is a controversial topic whether or not one should let their dog into their bed. Dog owners themselves have very different opinions on the matter. Some say that dogs should never be allowed in the clean bed, as it is not hygienic, while others cannot imagine sleeping without their dog. Below, we’ve looked at the positive effects of sleeping with your pet.
In fact, a US survey found that 55 per cent of pet owners surveyed said they regularly share their bed with their dog. Despite years of debate on this issue, several studies have finally concluded that letting your pet sleep in your bed is actually good for you. Here are 13 scientifically-backed reasons why sharing your bed with your dog is a great idea.
1. Reduces depression
A recent study looked at how activities in the presence of animals have a positive effect on depressive symptoms in humans. It found that people who live their daily lives close to their four-legged friends suffer less from low moods. Imagine what sharing your bed with your dog can do for you! Their presence helps you relax and boosts oxytocin production.
2. Promotes deeper and more restful sleep
Oxytocin also helps you to sleep deeply and restfully. Studies have shown that when owners share their bed with their dogs, the heartbeats of the two synchronize. This is further evidence of the calming effect that the presence of a dog can have on the human brain.
3. Increases the sense of security
A recent study looked at how the presence of a pet in bed affects women’s sleep quality. The results show that it provides safer and more comfortable sleep, even if it causes more uncomfortable rest. In any emergency, a dog would wake its owner immediately, and knowing this gives a considerable sense of security.
4. Relieves insomnia
There are few things worse than tossing and turning at night and not being able to fall asleep. The good news for those who suffer from anxiety-induced insomnia is that the presence of a dog can help with this too. Studies show that sleeping next to a dog can help alleviate insomnia by reducing tension, excessive excitement and wakefulness. This creates a better mood and environment for falling asleep.
5. Maximizes your sense of comfort
The same study also found that the presence of animals can reduce nightmares and even help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
6. Reduces loneliness
Especially for people living alone, sleeping alone can increase feelings of depression and anxiety. The company of a dog, on the other hand, can significantly reduce this. Despite the fact that many people prefer to sleep alone, recent studies show that many people – especially single people – find the presence of a pet helps them sleep.
7. Improves sleep quality
Sleep efficiency is calculated using scores, and it shows how much time you actually spend sleeping, including, for example, how much of it is superficial sleep, deep sleep or REM sleep. A recent study concluded that people who slept with a dog had better sleep patterns and rested much more efficiently. Participants wore sleep trackers for seven nights. The humans observed had an 81 percent sleep efficiency rate, while the dogs had an 85 percent sleep efficiency rate. If you regularly wake up tired, try sleeping with your dog.
8. Reduces stress
Have you heard of “The Pet Effect”? It means that having a four-legged friend around reduces stress and anxiety. In fact, 74 per cent of pet owners report that their mental health has improved after they got a pet. As we mentioned earlier, cuddling with your pet leads to the release of oxytocin, which reduces stress and boosts your mood. It can also lower your heart rate and ultimately help you get a better night’s rest.
9. Reduces blood pressure
When talking about the physical effects of dog contact on the human body, one study found that human-dog interaction, such as petting or touching a dog, lowers blood pressure. This is very good news for people who are already over the safe limit.
10. Strengthens the bond with your dog
Sharing a bed always helps to build a stronger bond. It may be worth trying this method if you feel there is more work to be done in your relationship.
11. Contributes to a healthy heart
A study by the American Heart Association found a link between owning animals and healthy heart function. They showed that keeping small animals reduces systemic hypertension among owners, despite having similar body mass indexes and socioeconomic profiles. Dogs help keep owners more active and more active, but there are also likely to be sedative and blood pressure effects.
12. Reduces allergies later in life
Many people think that dogs can bring allergens and infections into the bedroom. But one study found that babies who slept with pets were less likely to develop allergies later in life.
13. Better overall health
In addition to the above, having a dog has a number of benefits, such as lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduced feelings of loneliness and more opportunities for socialization. One study showed that 41% of pet owners reported a very positive experience of sleeping together. Therefore, having your dog around leads to an improvement in overall health and well-being.