Do you cuddle up at night with your dog? Are you wondering if it’s a wise idea to go to sleep with your dog?
Wonder no more. New scientific evidence seems to prove that sleeping with your dog can bring both emotional and physical benefits.
A new study, ‘An Examination of Adult Women's Sleep Quality and Sleep Routines in Relation to Pet Ownership and Bedsharing’ looked at 962 women in the USA to discover what effect pet ownership had on sleep.
The study found that 55% of the survey group allowed at least one of their dogs to share a bed with them and nearly one-third shared with a cat.
The research claims that 57% of participants also shared their bed with a human partner. While cats and people were ‘disruptive’, dogs apparently make the perfect bedfellows. They sleep soundly, with little disturbance, and have an in-built ability to comfort us.
The research follows similar findings last year in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, an American monthly medical journal. Respondents said that they share beds with their pets because they’re warm. This is true: dogs’ body temperature is up to six degrees higher than our own. This makes them great hot-water bottles.
Indeed, an old Canadian phrase, ‘three-dog night’ refers to freezing-cold winter nights when it was common practice to snuggle up with your dog to keep the cold at bay.
The Mayo research also suggested that dogs can help us relax. The rhythmic breathing of a dog lying by your side can help lull you to sleep. Experts have also long known that being close to a dog increases the flow of oxytocin, a hormone related to happiness and affection.
On top of that, cuddling up with a pooch can make us feel safe. If you go to bed on your own, you can feel vulnerable. But having your dog on the bed can offer a sense of protection.
If you love your dog, but inviting him or her into your bed seems like a step too far, you might like to investigate Ginger Ted’s range of cosy, durable dog beds and blankets. Even sharing a room with them at night will be a great comfort to both of you, as long as no one snores!