There is an active debate in the pet community about whether or not co-sleeping with your dog is best practice. Some studies show that sleeping with your dog can result in a bad night’s sleep.
However, there are numerous other studies that tout the benefits of letting your dog sleep in the bed with you. For example, sleeping with your pup has many mental benefits such as an increased feeling of safety and comfort. People suffering from PTSD found that sleeping with their pet helped diminish nightmares.
There are physical benefits as well, like the fact that sleeping with your dog releases oxytocin in the brain. This is the chemical that’s released when a person falls in love, or when they are around their baby. The chemical promotes theta brainwaves which are associated with REM sleep. This means it’s likely that you’re sleeping deeper when sleeping with your pet. The chemical also mitigates anxiety and stress, which can help you sleep better.
Petting and touching your dog can even help lower your blood pressure. This not only happens during the waking hours, but when you sleep with your dog too.
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The below graphic from Casper explores even more benefits of sleeping with your dog. Of course, remember that co-sleeping is not for everyone. Those who are injured or those who are very light sleepers might consider letting them sleep nearby in their own bed. Read the below information and make your own decisions about what’s right for you!
13 Researched-Back Reasons to Sleep with Your Dog
1. Sleeping with Dogs Reduces Depression
Contact with dogs increases the flow of oxytocin, the love chemical.
2. Promotes Theta Brainwaves
The release of oxytocin from theta brainwaves, which occur during REM sleep.
3. Sleeping with Dogs Increases Sense of Security
Having a pet in the bed improved sleep quality for women in one study.
4. Sleeping with Pets Eases Insomnia
Sleeping with a dog mitigates anxiety and reduces hyperarousal.
5. Maximizes Comfort
Support animals diminished nightmares in PTSD patients.
6. Decreases Loneliness
41% of pet owners say sleeping with their pet provides companionship.
7. Sleeping with Dogs Improves Sleep Quality
Sleeping with your dog result in a higher sleep efficiency score.
8. Sleeping with a Dog Reduces Stress
74% of pet owners report improvement in their mental health from pet contact.
9. Lowers Blood Pressure
Human-dog interaction led to lower pressure readings when tested.
10. Strengthen Bond with Your Dog During Nap Time
Sleeping together helps with socialization and makes training easier.
11. Promotes a Healthy Heart
The American Heart Association found a link between pet interaction and decreased hypertension.
12. Reduces Allergies Later in Life
One study found infants who slept with their pets were less likely to develop allergies.
13. Get Better Overall Health by Sleeping with Dogs
Close contact with pets has an array of benefits like lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
When Co-Sleeping with Your Pup Doesn't Make Sense
• If they aren't house trained
• If you have severe allergies
• If you are a light sleeper
• If you have a new dog
• If you or your dog have health issues