4 Benefits to Sleeping With Your Pet
The current article was submitted to Dog Conspiracy for publication by: Lisa Smalls.
We all know that our four-legged friend is really just another member of the family. Like a child, we do everything for them from feeding them, taking them to doctor appointments, and even spoiling them! However, this also means they will likely sneak into your bed in the middle of the night (whether you like it or not)!
But if you haven’t figured this out yet, you may need them just as much as they need you. Studies show that as long as both you and your dog are comfortable with your sleeping arrangements, going to bed with your pet can reduce stress, anxiety, and overall lead to a better night’s sleep.
Check out these four benefits to sleeping with your pet:
1. Safety: If you’re like me, you may rely on your dog as your very own home security system and you know that they will start barking as soon as they hear any disturbance outside (which doesn’t always work in your favor). But having a dog sleeping in your bed may make you feel safer and more relaxed, allowing you to (quite literally) sleep soundly at night. There are many studies that suggest why dogs are so protective of their owners, but being the territorial animals that they are, it likely has to do with the idea that their owners are family and that the home is their territory.
2. Relieves Stress and Anxiety: There are many different ways that a dog can serve as a great companion animal. For many, just petting or cuddling with a dog can help to fight anxiety disorders or stress. Keith Humphreys, a professor of Psychology and Behavior Studies, admits, “Holding and stroking a dog is calming for many people, even those without anxiety problems.” No matter what the issue is that is keeping you up at night, cuddling with your pet is sure to help!
3. Fights Depression: Studies show that there are several mental health benefits to owning a dog. They can promote an active lifestyle, lower blood pressure, and limit loneliness. Additionally, researchers have found that spending time with a pet can increase oxytocin and dopamine levels in your body — which promote positive feelings.
4. Enhances Bond: Dogs are pack animals, and from infancy crave sleeping close to each other. Similar to how they develop bonds with their pack, sleeping with your dog may result in a stronger owner/dog relationship. Having consistent quality time with your pet and shared territories can make them more receptive to commands, or even result in them acting more caring towards you.
Nearly half of dog owners sleep with their dogs, but it’s not for everyone! The most important thing is to figure out what works best for you and develop healthy habits in order for both you and your dog to maximize comfort when sleeping.
Lisa is a freelance writer from North Carolina that often covers the topic of sleep health for sleep-health website, Mattress Advisor. She is an avid dog lover who is unashamed to admit she loves sleeping with her pup!
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