Of all the dog training videos and how-to articles that exist online, it must be so confusing for pet parents if they should be allowing their dogs to sleep on their beds with them or not.
This has been a personal struggle for me as well, but here are the science-backed reasons that should convince you that your dog should sleep on your bed at night.
- Co-sleeping with pets elevates your oxytocin levels.
- Your pet will feel more comfortable.
- You will both develop a feeling of security
- You and your dog can get more quality sleep.
- You can have a better sleep efficiency.
- Sleeping beside your dog can ease your anxiety.
- Co-sleeping can help with your insomnia.
- Letting your dog sleep beside you can improve your heart health.
- You develop a stronger bond when you rest together.
- You will save lots of money by doing so
This article will help you understand the list above, so continue reading.
Reason #1 Co-sleeping with pets activates oxytocin system
The mere presence of your dog in your room can activate your oxytocin system, as claimed by the study of Beetz, et. al. in 2012.
They have said that the bond between humans and animals may contribute to OT release and oxytocin-mediated effects.
This means that being close to your dog during your sleep allows your body to release more oxytocin which will lead to a decrease in the levels of your stress hormones.
Reason #2: You and your pet will feel more comfortable
It has also been found out by researchers that sleeping with your dog can make you feel more comfortable.
Believe it or not, they even found out that you will feel more comfortable sleeping beside your dog compared to a human companion.
Reason #3: You will both develop a feeling of security
The practice of sleeping beside your dog is so beneficial, and one of the good benefits that you can take from it is personal security.
According to the data collected by this research from the 2012 Sealy Sleep Census, contrary to what they were expecting which was these dog owners will be sleep deprived due to the constant barking of their dogs throughout the night, dog owners actually feel more secure sleeping beside their dog which allowed them to have a good night’s sleep.
Reason #4: You and your dog can get more quality sleep
Because they feel more secured and comfortable around their dog, the participants in the studies mentioned above claimed that they have a better quality of sleep when they are co-sleeping with their pooch.
Reason #5: You can have a better sleep efficiency.
This doesn’t apply to sleeping beside your dog in your bed, but sleep efficiency has been observed to improve if you allow your dog to sleep inside your bedroom, according to this study.
What they were able to find out among 40 participants was that the efficiency of sleep was decreased due to the disruptive positions of their dogs, but sleep efficiency is better if they allow their dog to sleep inside the bedroom.
Reason #6: Sleeping beside your dog can ease your anxiety.
The fact that sleeping beside your dog induces the release of oxytocin, would most likely help you manage your anxiety.
Oxytocin or our ‘love hormone’ helps positive feelings dominate over the negative ones, so it has been linked to decreasing human anxiety.
Reason #7: Co-sleeping can help with your insomnia.
You get better sleep quality if you are co-sleeping with your pooch because the release in oxytocin can induce theta brainwaves, which aids in relaxation and makes you fall asleep faster.
So if you are suffering from insomnia, it will probably help to sleep beside your dog.
Reason #8: Letting your dog sleep beside you can improve your heart health.
Harvard Medical School has actually stated that dog owners actually have lower blood pressure compared to those who do not own a dog.
This, according to their article, might have been linked to dog owners getting more exercise when they own a dog and them getting more relaxed due to the ‘pet effect’ where a person’s blood pressure goes down when they pet a dog.
Reason #9: You develop stronger bond when you rest together
Dogs are pack animals, so much so that even they have been domesticated for so long, they still tend to carry characteristics of a pack animal with them.
A good example of this is they develop a stronger bond when their owner rests beside them. This is what dogs in the wild usually do because they feel more secure when they rest together with their pack, and our furbabies most probably feel the same way as well.
Reason #10 You will save lots of money by doing so
A study conducted by Headey, et. al. back in 1999 has proven that you can save a lot of money by being close to your dog at night.
Dog owners who practiced co-sleeping have been shown to have lower depressive episodes, and thus they no longer feel the need to consult their psychiatrists and spend tons of money on anti-depressive and cardiovascular medications.
The estimated savings that they were able to come up with was over $900 million in all of Australia.
When should you not allow your dog in bed?
Sleeping on your bed beside your precious dog has been proven to be beneficial, unfortunately, you should probably think things twice if your dog is not potty trained, if they are still fond of play biting, and if you and your pooch has severe health problems.
You will have to fix these issues first to make sure that there will be no unwanted accidents to occur during the night that can disrupt your sleep.
We can probably give you all the reasons in the world why you should let your dog sleep on your bed, but there would really be only two opinions that would matter: yours and your dog’s.
If your dog wants to sleep beside you on your comfy bed, and you are down for it, then why not?
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