9 Ways Your Dog Can Help You Sleep Better
If you have a dog that likes to sleep with you, then you know that your fur BAE can make a queen-sized bed feel like a kindergarten cot. While this scenario might make you lose sleep, there are actually ways you dog can help you sleep better. A study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that: "Humans with a single dog in their bedroom maintained good sleep efficiency; however, the dog's position on/off the bed made a difference. A dog's presence in the bedroom may not be disruptive to human sleep, as was previously suspected."
So, if you wake up in the middle of the night shoved to the far corner of the bed with no covers, retraining Fido to be your big or little spoon can actually help you get more restful sleep than banning Fido from the bedroom. In fact, a survey from Just Right By Purina reported that 31 percent of respondents said that their dog is the little spoon while sleeping while another 19 percent said their dog is the big spoon.
If you've been reluctant to let Fido share your bed, or sleep in your bedroom at all, because you're worried your pup will disrupt your sleep, you and Fido might both sleep better when you're snuggled up together. Here's how your dog can help you sleep better, because cuddling with a fur BAE is the best. IMO, if you're not doing it, you're totally missing out.
1. It Gives You Both A Sense Of Security
The Mayo Clinic study found that those who reported getting better sleep quality while co-bedding with Fido cited feeling secure while sleeping. I mean if someone climbs in your bedroom window, your dog is more likely to alert you ASAP than they are if they'e banned from the bedroom.
2. Dogs Make You Feel Comfy Cozy
Sometimes everyone needs a snuggle buddy, and dogs are the undisputed experts when it comes to snuggling. "Some people find that sleeping with their animal actually helps them feel cozy. One woman said her two small dogs kind of warmed her bed. Another person felt her cat who was touching her during the night was comforting and soothing," Dr. Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine in Arizona, told TODAY.
3. They Relieve Stress & Anxiety
Numerous studies have shown that pets help relieve stress and anxiety in humans. If you're an anxious sleeper, spooning Fido could help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer because your pup can help you feel more relaxed.
4. You Might Both Get More Sleep
If you don't allow your dog in your bed, or in your room at all, chances are that Fido is going to get up earlier and demand to start the day. In my experience, when humans and dogs sleep together Fido is more likely to snuggle as long as you want, which means you can both get a little extra shut eye.
5. You'll Fall Asleep Faster
Sleeping next to a pet can actually help you fall asleep faster, which is good news if you have trouble drifting off to dreamland. "A dog's rhythmic breathing, when one lies next to you, can help lull you to sleep," Dr. Stanley Coren wrote for Psychology Today. "In addition, being near a dog increases our flow of oxytocin, a hormone associated with affection and happiness."
6. It Deepens Your Bond With One Another
If you have a schedule that's totally bananas, and you wish you had more time to spend with Fido, sleeping with your fur BAE can deepen your bond while giving you some extra time together. "Studies have shown many physical and mental health advantages to owning a pet, and co-sleeping increases the amount of time spent with that pet, potentially increasing those benefits," Stephanie Gibeault, certified dog trainer, wrote for the American Kennel Club. "For example, co-sleeping can increase the feelings of comfort and companionship your dog provides."
7. Dogs Can Help Reduce Sleep Disorders
Is there anything dogs can't do? If you suffer from a sleep disorder, co-bedding with your pup could actually help relieve some of your symptoms or even alert you when something is wrong. The journal Sleep Review noted one person reported that their dog roused them awake when their positive airways pressure machine for their sleep apnea slipped off during the night. Additionally, dogs can help people who suffer from narcolepsy by alerting them before they have an episode.
8. It Reduces Nightmares
If you suffer from nightmares or insomnia, allowing your fur BAE to share your bed can actually help reduce some of your symptoms, and according to Sleep Review the relationship between co-bedding and reduction in nightmares and sleep disorders is being studied as a tool for people with PTSD. "Dogs are also used to mitigate anxiety, which is often associated with insomnia, and to modify hyperarousal and hypervigilance, which in turn creates a more amenable mood state for sleep initiation, as well as a greater sense of safety in those who are uneasy in the dark and/or night and who tend to phase-reverse to dodge nighttime sleep."
9. No One Loves You More Than Your Dog
No one loves you like your dog. No matter what you do, your dog will never spill your secrets, judge you, or stop loving you. Who wouldn't want to receive this kind of love while sleeping? Overall, allowing your pet to sleep in your bed is an individual choice. Bit, if you you struggle to get to sleep at night, it's certainly worth giving it a try. Because, let's be honest, there are few things in life better than snuggling with a dog.