Being a pet owner means having your furball follow you wherever you go, including your bed! But before you decide to make the bed a pet-free zone, there's something you should know — sleeping with your pets benefits your sleep!
From easing insomnia to lowering your blood pressure, it's incredible what sharing the bed with your bundle(s) of fur can do for your sleep and overall health.
1. Reduce Depression
55 percent of pet owners say they share their bed with at least one dog, which means they reap a huge benefit — less depression! Sleeping with your pets increases the flow of oxytocin (the love chemical), so you relax easier.
It turns out that over 74 percent of pet owners have reported having improved mental health from keeping a pet, so when you sleep with them, the Pet Effect carries over.
2. Promote Theta Brainwaves
We go through all kinds of different brainwaves and sleep cycles as we sleep. But when you sleep with a pet or two, you end up sleeping deeper because of the promotion of theta brainwaves. These brainwaves occur in the REM stage of your sleep cycle, which means you'll stay in that stage of deeper sleep for longer.
Studies have even shown that your dog's heartbeat syncs up with yours and helps keep you feeling calm as you sleep together.
3. Sleep More Securely
Not only does knowing your pet is close by good for your depression, but it also helps with your sense of your security. The cozy, snuggle atmosphere goes a long way to helping you and your pets feel safer. And when you feel more secure at night, you sleep better too. Multiple studies show that women feel safer if they snuggle with their fur babies.
This feeling of safety even helps diminish nightmares, especially if you have PTSD.
4. Reduce Insomnia
If you have a complicated relationship with insomnia, then rejoice! Sleeping with your pet will help reduce anxiety-induced insomnia by modifying the hyperarousal and hypervigilance that spike when you experience increased anxiety. Plus, you'll have a lower level of cortisol (the stress chemical) which will help lower your heart rate.
With a lower heart rate, you’ll be able to drift into sleep easier.
5. Sleep More Efficiently
Along with reducing insomnia, sleeping with pets can also help you sleep more efficiently. What does that mean exactly? It means that you'll spend more time in bed asleep. According to studies, people who sleep with dogs have an 81 percent sleep efficiency, while the dogs themselves have a sleep efficiency of 85 percent.
Yup, even your pets benefit from sleeping with you!
6. Lower Blood Pressure
It might seem like a tall tale, but sleeping with a fur baby or two will help you live healthier, too. Sure, you're plenty active taking care of your pets all day. However, when you sleep with a dog or a cat, your blood pressure decreases, which helps you unwind and drift off easier.
And you'll end up keeping your heart healthy by decreasing your systemic hypertension due to the calming effect sleeping with your pets gives you. You'll even lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
7. Stronger Bond
You might have heard the old wives' tale that sleeping with your pets (especially dogs) makes them more aggressive and harder to train. But that's not exactly true. Sleeping your pets actually helps with socialization and their training.
When your pets share the bed with you, they feel even closer to you, strengthening the bond you share. They'll feel more a part of your pack (or pride)
Tips on How Safely Sleep with Pets
Whether your pets have always shared the bed with you or you are recently considering it, there are a few things to do that make sleeping with pests safer for all parties involved.
- Set boundaries of where they're allowed to sleep, such as on their pet bed on your mattress. You can also have them sleep on the floor with their bed (you'll still get the benefits of being closer with your pets).
- Don't let them sleep next to you if they show aggressive behaviors.
- Keep your pets above the covers, so your mattress stays cleaner and allergen-free.
- Make sure to take your dogs out before bedtime or that your kitty uses the litter box.
- Remember to regularly bathe your pets and keep them clean.
- Get a mattress topper that is water, dirt, and allergy-resistant to protect your bed better.
Keep in mind that sleeping with your pets may not be a good idea if they aren't house trained or if you have severe allergies. It also might not be a good idea if you’re a light sleeper, have recently opened your home to a new pet, or if either of you has health issues.
Upgrade Your Sleep
No matter if you've been sleeping with pets for years or just brought a new furry bundle home, sleeping with your pets provides plenty of benefits. But to get the most benefits, you'll need the right mattress that supports both your and your pet's sleep. What does that look like? A bed with excellent motion isolation, pressure relief, cooling properties, allergen & mite resistance, solid edge support, and medium-firm levels.