Table of Contents
- Benefits of Dogs Sleeping in Your Bed: Should You Let Your Dog Sleep with You?
- 5 Benefits of Letting Your Dogs Sleep with You
- Benefits of Dogs Sleeping in Your Bed: Key Takeaways
Dog adoption has been on the rise lately.
With the social isolation imposed due to COVID-19 restrictions, many people have chosen animal interaction to overcome their feelings of loneliness.
Current statistical data reveals pet dog ownership to be around 471 million worldwide.
While owning indoor pets is amazing, many owners have health-related concerns that we are here to address.
One of them includes sleeping in the same bed as your beloved fur balls.
According to research, around two-thirds of pet owners feel comfortable sleeping all snuggled with their pups.
But is it safe to do so? Are there any benefits of letting your dog sleep in your bed?
In this article, we’ll cover all your concerns and tell you the scientific benefits of cuddling with your cute dog.
Benefits of Dogs Sleeping in Your Bed: Should You Let Your Dog Sleep with You?
Having indoor pets means they can wander around at night and go wherever they like.
Due to the emotional intimacy that you share with them, they will casually show up to your room and snuggle up to you while you are asleep.
Even if they don’t come over themselves, you may want to hold them close and pet them before dozing off.
Here we’ll discuss the potential health concerns about allowing your dog to sleep with you.
While there is nothing wrong with cuddling your dog in your bed, there are situations where it’s better to avoid doing so.
We recommend going through the following checklist before settling on your final decision:
Is your dog vaccinated?
Unvaccinated dogs are susceptible to numerous diseases and it’s best to avoid sleeping in the same bed.
Has your dog had follow-up health checkups lately?
Ensuring your pup’s optimum health is necessary for you and your dog.
Is your dog potty-trained?
If your pup isn’t potty trained, you should not let them in the bed.
No one wants to wake up to a nasty surprise.
Is your dog sick?
Certain diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans.
Avoid cuddling if your dog is sick and wait for them to recover.
Does your dog have any medical conditions?
Sleeping in the same bed is not a good idea if your dog has arthritis or other orthopedic pain.
This is because falling off the bed will cause a lot of pain for your pup.
Answering these questions honestly and sincerely will allow you to choose the best course of action.
If your dog is healthy, potty trained, and vaccinated, there are no negative consequences for snuggling close to them while you sleep.
It can even have numerous benefits for your well-being.
5 Benefits of Letting Your Dogs Sleep with You
There are many benefits of sleeping cradled in the arms of someone you love.
And while a dog may not be your romantic love, dogs are still one of the most loyal companions you can have.
It's no wonder that dogs are man’s best friends, right?
Now that we have discussed the potential drawbacks of sleeping with your dog, it’s time to learn about the benefits.
1. It Enhances Sleep Quality
Now, this may very well be up for debate.
Whether sleeping with your dog will increase the quality of your sleep depends on certain factors. These include:
- Your sleeping habits
- The size of your bed
- Who else sleeps in the same bed
- The size of your dog
- The energy level of your dog
If you’re a light sleeper, you may be disturbed by even slight movements of your large dog.
The same rule applies if your pup is more active than you.
If your pet is an early riser and wants food or playtime as soon as they wake up, you might have to cut your sleep short to cater to your pet's needs.
This may eventually impact your sleep drastically—and not in a good way.
The purpose of mentioning these hypothetical scenarios is so that you can make a well-informed decision based on your lifestyle.
Allowing your dog to sleep in the same bed as you is like having a child.
They may wake you up in the middle of the night with their movements and noise.
If that sound doesn't seem like a good idea, allowing your pet to sleep on your bed may not be ideal for you.
On the other hand, if you are a heavy sleeper, then sleeping next to your adorable dog will be peaceful.
Moving your hands on the soft fur and petting your dog on top of the head before dozing off is very calming.
Sleeping near someone you adore releases oxytocin in your body which is a feel-good chemical.
Sleeping with your pet also promotes beneficial theta brain waves which occur in the REM stage of sleep.
Not only does this strengthen the quality of your sleep but cuddling with your dog is also associated with healthy mental processes.
These processes include dreaming, memory, emotional processing, and healthy development.
Note: You can also set up a small dog bed beside yours if you prefer having more space for yourself.
2. It Provides Comfort and Security
Remember how we used to cling to our parents when we were kids?
Most of us crave the warmth of a hand or a paw that we can rely on for emotional support, even as adults.
We like knowing that there’s someone with us who we can trust when life gets tough.
And let's be honest everyone—the feeling of your adorable doggo pressed close to you is amazing.
It is always a wholesome source of comfort in difficult times.
A study on “The Implications of Human-Animal Co-Sleeping”, revealed the joy and solace of sleeping alongside your dog.
“The continued practice of co-sleeping with pets suggests that there are many benefits such as social support and social interaction which increase feelings of personal security”.
Cuddling releases oxytocin which is associated with love, connection, and trust.
Snuggling up to your dog will help you feel more content and happier.
This will also improve your overall physical and emotional health.
So, don’t be hesitant to embrace your loving dog. You deserve to feel good and wake up refreshed to a better day.
Sleeping with your lovely dog will also enhance your productivity at work.
Feeling revitalized, you will be destined to climb up that corporate ladder with ease. That also means more treats for you and your adorable pup!
RELATED: Why and How Much Do Dogs Sleep?
3. It Helps with Insomnia
Anyone with insomnia will vouch for the mental and physical strain it can cause on your health.
Without good sleep, you’ll probably wake up irritable and tired, and even a minor inconvenience will push you over the edge.
You may have difficulty concentrating on your personal and professional pursuits.
Sleep disorders are quite common, affecting around 70 million Americans annually.
While some attribute this to mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and stress, others blame external factors such as poor dietary habits and the use of drugs.
If you’re a parent thinking about letting your child sleep with their beloved pet, its efficacy in improving the well-being of your adolescent is worth mentioning.
A survey conducted by Statista Research Department in 2022 revealed 16.3 percent of adolescents (aged 13 to 17) were unable to consistently go to sleep by midnight.
The survey regarded stress and anxiety to be fundamental causes.
Bonding time with your dog before sleep will calm your mind and create trust between you and your beloved pet.
The oxytocin released by sleeping with your pet can help regulate stress.
Over time, this will help eliminate the mental factors that induce insomnia in the first place leading to better and more consistent sleep.
It is worth noting that there are multiple reports on the matter.
While sleeping with a pet dog reduces insomnia in numerous people, it can also create a hyper-arousal state in some, leading to further disturbances during sleep.
Much like all things, we advise experimenting with your lifestyle to learn what suits you best.
What works for someone else might not work for you.
As someone who suffers from insomnia, my adorable dog, Leia, is a welcome companion when it’s time to sleep. But she is growing up fast and likes to steal the covers.
To hear more from owners who let their dogs sleep in the same bed, check out the following YouTube video:
4. It Helps Reduce Bad Dreams
Struggling with nightmares can take a toll on our mental health.
Witnessing the personified versions of our greatest fears trying to harm us in our dreams reveals a lot about our disturbed psyche.
This can eventually lead to triggers, emotional reactions, and self-deprivation of sleep.
These nightmares can be especially recurrent for people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Witnessing something that caused you mental anguish with such repetition can manifest in poor sleep quality and even daytime distress.
But there is no need to worry any longer. Luck is on your side: allowing your dog to sleep with you on your bed can help minimize nightmares.
Since sleeping with your pet enhances sleep quality, stabilizes mood, and regulates heart rate, it will automatically signal your mind to relax.
Our mental state is extremely dependent on our surroundings and whether we feel safe.
Sleeping with your pet helps you feel safer which ultimately results in fewer bad dreams.
Researchers also acknowledge the efficacy of pets in helping with PTSD.
“Pet-Facilitated Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” published by Eric Lewin, revealed that animal-assisted therapy (which promotes interaction with animals for healing) is a useful technique in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
5. The Pet Effect
It doesn’t matter whether you own a dog or a cat.
Spending time with your pet in the form of playing or a nighttime cuddle session helps you feel better about yourself.
It can even help you feel more purposeful and make your life more disciplined.
You’ll wake up earlier than usual since you know you must feed your pet.
You’ll also stay physical as you take your dog on their much-need walks. This will prove to be extremely beneficial for your health.
While all these advantages come under the umbrella term “Pet Effect”, they also extend to sleeping on the same bed as your pet.
While feelings of loneliness can surge at any time, they typically last longer at night because it’s harder to distract yourself.
Having your dog sleeping beside you can help overcome negative emotions and create meaning in your life.
A study by Mei Chan and Tapia Rico on “the pet effect“, revealed the physiological changes humans experience when holding a pet.
They found that animal interaction or “Animal Assisted Therapy” reduced blood pressure and heart rate. This ultimately reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The study also concluded that pets lead to feeling more socially connected which is essential for emotional well-being.
This study was focused on cancer patients, but everyone can benefit from the numerous benefits of spending time with their pets.
Benefits of Dogs Sleeping in Your Bed: Key Takeaways
So, now you know the advantages and potential disadvantages of allowing your adorable pooch to snuggle up with you in the same bed.
If you and your pet are healthy, sleeping in the same bed is very beneficial for both of you.
But if your dog has not been vaccinated, is not potty-trained, or suffers from other physical ailments, it’s best to pursue some other sleeping arrangement.
You'll need to be patient while training your dog according to your lifestyle.
Consistency and perseverance will ensure a healthy attachment that will last for a long time.
We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Happy cuddling!