If you’re a pet owner, you’re probably very familiar with the feeling of a little furry creature waking you up in the morning (or in the middle of the night!).
We’re so used them curling up on the foot of our beds and in fact, according to Bed SOS, over 60 per cent of us are happily sleeping with our pet in the same bed.
Maybe rest of us don’t, because we’re concerned about the germs our fluffy friends might be bringing into bed with them – or the space they’re taking up. 1/3 women from the survey said they would never let their pet sleep in the same bed as them.
But it turns out, sleeping in the same bed as your pet could have some serious health benefits. Whether that’s just because we’re spending more time with them, or their calming presence makes us feel happier.
Sarah Mackie, writer and area co-ordinator at Pets as Therapy said, “For those in relationships, sharing a bed with a large pet can create extra challenges, but those sleeping alone could benefit from some animal company.
“Our primal need for the feeling of a safe place is often filled by a pet, whose steady heartbeat and lack of personal space provide the perfect conditions for calm.”
These are benefits of sleeping in the same bed as your pet…
It can help you get a better night’s sleep
It’s been proven that proximity to animals has helped people suffering from disorders like sleep apnea, nightmares, and even those affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
So if you’ve found that being around your pet generally improves your mental health, it might be worth trying a night sleeping next to your pet.
But if you’re sharing the bed with a significant other, it might not be the best idea, says Sarah. “A married couple sharing their bed with anything larger than a spaniel is, in my opinion, akin to sharing with a sprawling toddler – all bony bits and wriggling! However, for those people who might otherwise sleep alone, then an animal takes the place of a teddy and, as such, can aid a very restful sleep indeed.”
It can reduce stress and anxiety
Similarly, due to the close relationships that we form with our pets, it’s natural to feel comforted or more relaxed in the presence of a loved pet.
For those suffering with conditions such as depression and anxiety, sleeping in close proximity to a pet can help to provide reassurance and a comforting presence.
It can improve the bond you have with your pet
Pets are such important members of the family. They’re also really intuitive to your movements and how you’re feeling – they can even get anxiety if they’re separated from you.
Sleeping in the same bed as your pet is naturally improves your bond with them, as you’re spending more time with them.
It can even work for children. Allowing your pet to bond with children is especially important if they feel nervous sleeping alone, or even get nightmares. A dog by their bedside can help to calm any unpleasant dreams.
However, make sure your child is responsible with the pet before allowing them to sleep in the same bed – and that your pet already has a positive relationship with the child.
Pets can decrease feelings of loneliness
According to a recent study, over 1 in 4 pet owners said that sleeping with their pet provides feeling of companionship. For those living alone, such as singles and the elderly or those working away from home, sleeping next to a pet can help quell any feelings of loneliness.
They can help you feel safer
All pets, but especially dogs, are naturally light sleepers and they stay alert even while resting. For people who are concerned about security, or sleeping alone, staying in the same bed as your pet can help to reassure that they will be woken up if anything out of the ordinary happens.
If sleeping in the same bed as your pet works for you, fantastic! But it doesn’t work for everyone.
It’s important that you stop letting your pet sleep in the same as bed as you if any problems arise. Such as they are restless and preventing you from sleeping, they begin to show signs of dominance or if it triggers any allergies.