Some people sleep with pets but can co sleeping have some downsides? Is it for everyone, and how does it affect our sleep quality and the sleep quality of our pets?
You might be wondering whether it’s okay for your dog or cat to sleep with you. We’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of sharing a bed with a pet, as well as best practices for sleeping with your pet.
Why do pets want to sleep with humans?
According to a study, 56% of people sleep with a pet in their bedroom, and nearly 35% of children share their bed with one at night. However, with over 86 percent of puppies opting to sleep near a person when they have the option, co-sleeping may be preferred by your pet.
Animals, as much as humans, need security and connection to their herd. Pets who sleep in their human bed have a greater trust level and a closer bond with the people in their lives.
Dogs and cats more intimately bonded to their owners get extra health advantages, such as an increase in beneficial neurotransmitters like oxytocin and dopamine.
Should your pet sleep with you?
You can make either decision depending on your living situation or the kind of pet you have. Sleeping with pets can have its benefits and risks, and it’s important to have all the information before you and your pet sleep in the same bed.
Below, we listed some benefits and drawbacks human animal co sleeping can have.
Benefits of sleeping with pets
From better mental health to lower blood pressure, here is the list of benefits of sleeping with a pet.
Comfort and a sense of security
The presence of a dog can subjectively increase the feeling of safety in your home, especially when you put your guard down during sleep. In addition, pets are a great source of comfort for people who suffer from depression or anxiety. They may feel as the warm, furry animal decreases their tension.
Bonding with your pet
When it comes to your connection with your pet, allowing them to sleep with you may help strengthen it. In a Hungarian study, dogs were discovered to have a similar attachment to their owners as children do toward their parents. Some dogs become anxious when separated, even for the night. They may sleep better knowing you’re close once they’ve entered your room to sleep in your bed.
Positive impact on mental health
Dogs may function as a vital support network for many individuals dealing with long-term mental health difficulties, even if they are not recognized service dogs. According to studies, adults and children who interact with dogs have higher oxytocin levels and lower cortisol levels. In addition, relaxation and stress reduction are linked to increased oxytocin and reduced cortisol levels.
Sleeping with dogs entails snuggling up and making direct physical contact, leading to less stress and better relaxation. Many people believe that sleeping with their pets improves their sleep. However, previous research showed that individuals who did not have pets were less inclined to use sleep medication than those who had dogs.
Help with chronic pain.
For people with chronic pain, sleeping with their dog helps regulate their sleep habits by decreasing their stress levels, exposing them to the sun early in the morning when they take them for a walk, and giving comfort when they are in discomfort, according to the University of Alberta.
Longer sleep with a pet in the bedroom
In a Mayo Clinic study, adults who slept with a pet animal in the room had an exceeding good sleep efficiency rating, indicating that they spent even more time asleep than was required to obtain all of the important benefits. However, the number was considerably lower for those who slept with their cat or dog in their bed.
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Pets have been shown to benefit human health in various ways, including lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reducing blood pressure. Owning a dog likely reduces the chance of death since it has these favorable cardiovascular benefits.
Numerous studies have shown that stroking dogs and other pets have lowered blood pressure and heart rate in recent years. If stroking your pet is one of the secrets to obtaining health advantages, snuggling up together at night might be beneficial.
Risks of sleeping with pets
Lower sleep quality
Animals can move about, bark, or meow and cause sleeplessness. Because animal and human sleep cycles are different, it is only natural that sleeping with a pet may cause disharmony. In addition, pets will inevitably get up and walk around on the mattress, inadvertently stepping on people. All of this activity will result in sleep disruption. These micro awakenings, which can happen without your awareness, can be disruptive as they pull you out of deep sleep.
Exposure to germs and allergens
According to experts, people may catch a pet allergy from sleeping with a pet. Sleeping with pets is not uncommon, but people can acquire a sensitivity to pet allergies. Young kids, those who are immunocompromised, and individuals who have open wounds should avoid sleeping with dogs.
Risks for your pets
Small dogs and kittens who are still growing may be injured or suffocate if they fall off a high bed, get rolled over in their sleep, or suffer a broken bone. Furthermore, just like animals can make you sick, you can pass on viruses to them as well. At the same time, it might be difficult to turn down your adorable puppy for the sake of your animal.
How to sleep with your pet?
Here are some tips to help you make your sleep with your pet better
- To minimize disruptions when changing sleeping positions, make sure your mattress is big enough to accommodate you and any other persons who use it.
- It’s important to maintain good hygiene to prevent the spread of unpleasant germs. Wash your bedding regularly, as well as any pet beds or blankets you bring into your bedroom. If your pet spends time outside, you can wipe down their paws and coat to keep dirt out of the bedroom
- Keeping your pet healthy is also in your best interests. Ensure your pet has up-to-date vaccines and flea and tick medications and treatments, as recommended by its veterinarian.
- Taking your pet for a stroll before bedtime allows them one last opportunity to go to the bathroom, which might aid in the burning of extra energy and result in less movement throughout the night.
- Animals, like people, have a circadian rhythm that controls when they are tired and when they feel awake. It’s possible that going to sleep and getting up at the same time every day might help you, and your pet maintain a similar sleep schedule, which could aid in preventing restless nights.
Even if the sleep habits of your companion animal are different from yours, many people can share a bed with their pet by making minor modifications. Keep an eye out for overheating or any other indications that your pet isn’t getting enough rest to ensure a good sleeping experience for all. Small children and tiny pets should not share the same bed as others because of the risk of injury.