Are There Benefits to Sleeping with Your Dog?
By Special Guest Blogger: Lisa Smalls
Non-dog owners may disagree, but sleeping with your dog can provide significant mental health benefits—especially if your dog is a deep sleeper. While research is variable on whether you receive quality or disruptive sleep when your beloved companion is cuddled up to you, there are proven benefits that actually sleeping with your dog contributes to improved mental health.
Your dog is likely your closest companion—they are loyal, lovable, and above all else protective. That kind of support and comfort is hard to beat when all you want to do is pass out after a hard day’s work.
Here are five benefits that sleeping with your dog provides.
Satisfying Fundamental Emotional Needs
Humans and dogs alike require fundamental emotional needs such as to touch and be touched, along with the need to feel loved. Cuddling up to your dog in bed provides that social and emotional interaction which helps to decrease stress and alleviate anxiety. Human behavior studies show that simply petting your dog can immediately reduce stress and anxiety which are two of the strongest factors that cause insomnia.
Keeping You on Time
Dogs have an amazing internal clock and are horrible at procrastinating. What that means for you is that your dog will alert you when it is time to go to bed and when Fido decides it is time to wake up, you will also know. The added bonus is that it is unlikely your dog will allow you to
continue sleeping. After all, you have a lot to do in the morning from going potty outside to feeding and watering your buddy.
Keeping You Safe
Dogs are great at many things, but you can especially thank them for their adept nose and good hearing. While you may not notice a subtle change in your environment, your dog will both notice and alert you when they detect a threat. That could be a burglar prowling outside, smoke lighting a curtain, or a mouse pattering across the wood floor. Whatever the danger, your personal bodyguard will keep you just as alert as they are and give you peace of mind if you live alone.
Research that shows dog owners who sleep with their dogs get more sleep than owners who
don’t attribute this to the physical warmth and comfort a dog provides. Not only is your dog’s fur soft and pillow-like, but their body temperature is often five to six degrees warmer than our own.
This warmth provides comfort and a sense of security. Sleeping with your dog to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression is backed by scientific data and research. The practice will provide you fundamental emotional and social needs as well as keep you tuned into the world around you whether you know what’s going on or not.
**Disclaimer: the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the above text belong solely to the author, Lisa Smalls, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Kris Phillips or Furever Friends Pet Photography.
** Images are exclusive property of Kris Phillips & Furever Furever Pet Photograph and protected under copyright.
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