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What Research Says About Sleeping With Your Dog

55% of pet owners sleep with at least one dog. This is why you should be one of them.

Aug 27, 2021

Whether you’re single, dating, or married, if you have a dog, they most likely sleep in bed with you. One study found that 55% of pet owners sleep with at least one dog. This is great news! 


While sleeping with your dog has always been a topic of debate, studies find overwhelming benefits–some of which may surprise you. We totally understand being skeptical of hygiene and your dog’s discipline, or even maintaining intimacy in the bedroom, when your dog sleeps in your bed. But we’ve got a few reasons why sleeping with your dog can seriously improve your life and even some solutions for maintaining a happy, healthy, and clean relationship with your pets at bedtime. 

 

Sleeping with your dog can improve your mental health. 

Having pets, especially dogs, has been known to promote better physical health. They require that you maintain some level of physical activity-through play and walking- and bring love and laughs into any home. 


Like physical health, mental health has a direct impact on quality of sleep. The U.S. Service Animal’s organization says that on a case-by-case basis, dogs can provide emotional support or therapy to their owners. If you’re having trouble sleeping due to depression, stress, or anxiety, letting your dog sleep on the bed can bring you peace of mind. Studies show that a dog's warmth and protective nature can naturally lower your blood pressure and offer you a sense of safety. Knowing your dog is nearby can also spike oxytocin levels, bringing you a sense of joy, calmness, and love. 


Furry friends keep you cozy and comfortable.

The key to a restful sleep is comfort. In addition to the perfect bed sheets, cool temperatures, and blissful darkness, research shows that dogs keep you cozy throughout the night. Your dog’s presence can help you reduce insomnia and nightmares by ridding you of loneliness. One study found that people who live with PTSD may develop a fear of sleep over time. Sleeping with dogs, however, improved their sense of safety, promoted calmness, and made sleeping easier. 


Improved health and comfort leads to a better quality of sleep. 

You might be thinking, won’t a dog in my bed be distracting during the night? No! Studies suggest that the effects of sleeping with a dog are quite the opposite–relaxing, even–with little to no sleep compromise. 


Sleeping with your dog has been scientifically proven to better your mental health, give singles a sense of safety, care, and comfort, and promote an active lifestyle each morning. Combined, these benefits lead to the biggest pay-off of them all: high-quality sleep. 


Tips for co-sleeping with your dog

Whether you already do or are seriously considering it, sharing a bed with your dog should be easy-breezy. 


We recommend lightweight mattress toppers for an easy-to-wash clean. Next, opt for light and breathable cotton sheets. You don’t want you and your dog’s combined body heat to make sleeping hot and uncomfortable. Finally, keep your furry friends clean! When your dog is accustomed to sharing spaces with you, like your bed or even your couch, it’s in your best interest to keep them groomed and wiped-down as often as possible.


Written by Cybele Ramirez

Cybele is a freelance writer covering all things culture and lifestyle. She’s also a content strategist in the tech startup space and mastering Media Studies at The New School. You can find this native New Yorker canoodling her two dogs, trying out a new recipe, or on IG @cybelina.

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