The debate rages on between nighttime pet snugglers and those who keep their pups on the floor. Some say that a dog in the bed disrupts sleep, worsens allergies, and of course contributes to dog hair on the bed and covers. On the other hand, doggie owners claim that sleeping with their dog gives them a better night’s rest and deepens the bond between canine and owner.
Scientific research has shown that there can be real benefits to sleeping with your dog, though, as long as you keep them on top of your covers. Need proof? Read on!
Feel Better Emotionally
It’s a known fact that pet owners get a real emotional boost from interacting with their pets. Cuddling your dog raises your serotonin and oxytocin levels in your brain. These are your “feel good” chemicals that give you feelings of trust, protection, mental stability, emotional wellness, and positive feelings.
Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia as well as a study conducted by the Azabu University of Japan have concluded that the release of these chemicals is beneficial for a good night’s sleep.
Insomnia, stress and anxiety are the most common stumbling blocks to a good night’s sleep. Snuggling the dog can combat these issues, offering reassurance to the owner as they drift off to sleep. In addition, listening to the dog or cat’s breathing as the sleep has a soothing, hypnotic effect.
In 2015, the Mayo Clinic released a study that proved that owners who sleep with their dogs get an all-around better night’s sleep, as long as the pet isn’t cramping their sleeping position.
Extra Security for Women
Dogs in the bed offer a security blanket in two ways: first, their body warmth increases the feelings of safety while in bed, and second, the presence of a dog adds a layer of security because they will alert the owner and protect them if trouble should arise during the night.
The International Society for Anthropology has found that for women especially, having a dog in bed increases a sense of safety and security. Cats and even human sleeping partners fall short of this feeling of added security compared to dogs.
For dogs, cats and humans alike, sharing a sleeping space such as a couch or a bed increases the feelings of loyalty, trust and bonding. Humans love to feel close to their animals, and their pets love to be close to their owners.
A survey done by the Mayo Clinic shows that allowing pets to sleep with their humans strengthens the bond between them. In particular, if your pet is left alone throughout the day co-sleeping is an effective way to rekindle the bond.
Helps with Chronic Pain
The University of Alberta released a study that confirmed what pet owners already know: people suffering from sleep disorders and chronic pain find their symptoms relieved from being in close proximity to their beloved fur babies. Being in bed with their furry friend increases feelings of safety, well-being, and relaxation that humans need to help ease their pain.