Benefits of Sleeping with a Dog in Your Bed

Benefits of Sleeping with a Dog in Your Bed

Offering so much more than just cute looks, dogs provide us with a multitude of physical, emotional and mental benefits. In celebration of World Dog Day, we've taken it upon ourselves to forge the argument for having them kip next to you in bed. Discover why.

Problem: Anything. Solution: Dogs.

Think we’re joking? Oh, no. Whether you’re looking to squeeze more steps into your day, boost your serotonin levels, or even tackle loneliness, dogs can genuinely help. (It doesn’t hurt that they’re fluffy cuddle machines, either.)

As a nation, we love dogs. In fact, 2021 study by PMFA, a whopping 33% of Brits share their homes with a furry friend – a trend that’s been steadily escalating for decades.

Perhaps it’s their unflinching loyalty. Perhaps it’s their unspoken empathy. It might even be their soothing presence. (As demonstrated in a 2018 study by Canisius College, New York, which found that women sleep more soundly with a dog in their bed.)

Whatever the reason, dogs offer us so much, while rarely asking for anything more than regular walkies, their favourite chew-toy, and the occasional scratch behind the ears. They’re more than pets - they’re family.

But we’re a sleep blog, not a dog blog (sigh!) So, in celebration of World Dog Day, we thought we’d share some insights on the benefits of sleeping with a dog in the bed.

Dog laying on pillow

Letting Dogs Sleep in Your Bed: The Case For

Letting dogs sleep on your bed isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, many historians believe that dogs have been nuzzling up to us for upwards of 20,000 years. (We’re, uh… not calculating that in dog years.)

Essentially, the reasons our ancestors invited our canine’s ancestors into their tents is much the same as the reason you let your Boston Terrier, German Shepherd, or Yorkie snooze at the foot of your bed:

  • Security
  • Companionship
  • Bonding
And that’s before we discuss other benefits of dogs sleeping in your bed, including relieving anxiety, addressing insomnia, and lowering your blood pressure. Truthfully, there are more reasons to sleep next to a dog than we could possibly list.

So, we’ve steered into what we know best – sleep, as we engage our inner lawyer and build the case for letting dogs sleep on your bed.

Companionship

If you live alone, you’re likely have experienced that innate sense of vulnerability when you settle down to sleep. Sometimes it’s faint; others more pronounced, but it’s a psychologically ingrained response that’s often the cause of much late-night anxiety.

And so, to kick off our list, we’re focusing on perhaps the most profound benefit of letting your dog sleep on your bed – companionship.

Whether it’s tackling that sense of isolation or serving as a live-in danger detector, sleeping next your canine friend can massively boost your feelings of safety and security; posing significant benefits to the quality of sleep you’ll snag.

But it’s more than that. Dogs are devoted, lifelong companions. They’ll learn to understand – and even anticipate - your moods, meaning you’ll always feel connected.

Woman and dog cuddling on bed

Anxiety

Anxiety can wreak havoc on your sleep; often making getting a full night’s rest near-impossible. But dogs have been shown to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety - along with several other mental health conditions – improving your chances of quality sleep.

As noted in several studies, even just the act of stroking a dog reduces the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body, thereby easing your mind and literally relaxing your body.

Dogs are already used in a range of therapeutic settings, so if you’re struggling with anxiety you may wish to try sleeping next to a dog for some additional comfort.

Insomnia

Insomnia – characterised by having difficulty falling or staying asleep – affects up to a third of UK residents at some point in their lives. But studies have shown that dogs can support us here, too.

As researchers discovered, the presence of a dog has a calming influence that lowers a person’s blood pressure and can address anxiety’s role in insomnia by supporting with relaxation techniques.

As such, insomnia sufferers have reported a reduction in the severity and frequency of symptoms when sleeping next to a dog.

Side note: dogs are amazing.

Comfort

It may be the most obvious of benefits to cuddling up to your pooch, but the surfeit of comfort we feel when sleeping next a dog can’t be found anywhere else.

Maybe it’s the warmth of their fur. Maybe it’s the soft, sleep-inducing rhythm of their breathing. Maybe it’s just the company.

Whatever the reason, we challenge you to find anything more comforting than a lazy snooze with your arm draped around your furry friend.

Go on. We’ll wait…

Puppy dog laying on bed in duvet

Bonding

Okay, so our final entry isn’t linked to sleep, per se. But it will have a positive impact on your relationship with your dog, which will improve the effectiveness of our other tips.

Whether you’ve picked up a puppy or adopted a rescue dog, it’s important to develop a strong bond between you and your new best friend (sorry, human friends, we don’t make the rules) as well as lessen any anxiety they might be feeling as a result of the sudden change of environment.

As such, letting them sleep in your bed from the beginning will allow them to feel safe and secure in their new space, and form the foundation of a lasting bond between the two of you.

It may take a few nights to find your sleep rhythm, but once you’re both locked in step, you’ll start enjoying the many, many benefits of sleeping with a dog in your bed.

So, should dogs sleep in your bed? It’s a personal choice, but for us, it’s a resounding ‘yes’.

Do you sleep with a furry friend at the foot of your bed? Let us know how it’s boosted your shut eye in the comments.

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