Pet owning households in the UK are at an all-time high. Over the last few years, many families have opened their doors to a furry companion and are now looking for guidance around topics such as allowing your pet to sleep on your bed. Experts suggest allowing your pet to sleep on your bed can bring many benefits, elevating your life and quality of sleep, but why?
We have teamed up with Barbara Santini, psychologist at dimepiecela.com, to answer five questions the nation has been asking surrounding sharing their bed with their furry friends at night.
Will having my pet in bed improve my sleep?
The short answer is yes.
Studies show that allowing your dog to sleep in your bed can mitigate anxiety and improve your mood and environment for rest, combatting insomnia in the process. Barbara explained that “sleeping with pets encourages the production and release of more oxytocin.
When our oxytocin levels are high, we are more likely to experience total body relaxation.” This, in turn, stimulates theta brainwaves (brainwaves that only occur during REM sleep) and helps our mind not only make memories but increases creativity.
So - sharing a bed with a furry friend has real positive benefits on not only your sleep, but your creativity! We couldn’t think of any better reason to invite our pets in for a cuddle, but there are still four more…
What impact does having my pet in bed have on my health?
The closeness you and your pet share whilst sleeping in the same bed may benefit your immune system. After speaking with Barbara, we have discovered that pets encourage the diversity of microorganisms in your home. Your immune system naturally strengthens when exposed to a variety of microorganisms, which will subsequently have a positive effect on your health.
If you have a baby, it has also been proven that your child will have less allergies if brought up around animals. Pets also help to lower blood pressure in humans, helping us live for longer!
Can sleeping with your pet reduce anxiety?
Pets help us feel safe, and their presence can provide an additional layer of security at night. Sharing your luxury mattress with your four-legged friend creates a secure and cosy atmosphere, as being close to their warmth and feeling their steady heartbeat grounds us.
Animals can also be quite protective, helping us ease into rest after a long day! In addition to this, Barbara states “Dogs heighten comfort, especially for people who feel lonely. If we have a nightmare, dogs can wake us up, helping ease the problem.”
Is sleeping with your pet clean and hygienic?
Having a pet keeps us on top of our cleaning, as more often than not, pets increase the build up of dirt in our home. These extra washes can help with allergies and dust, especially during the warmer months. Statistically, nine out of ten of us wash our sheets every two weeks, but that’s not hygienic enough and won’t keep allergens away throughout the summer.
Pets give us an additional reason to keep the house in order, so having them in our beds encourages us to take care of our luxury bedding, washing it every few days on a warm cycle and preventing the accumulation of dust in the fibres. This also helps keep luxury mattresses fresh.
Does sleeping with your pet increase your bond?
Previously in this blog we’ve discussed all the incredible benefits sleeping with our pets has on us humans, but what about the other way round? Being close to us at night improves our pets trust in us, which makes both communication and training easier, strengthening our relationships and enhancing the bond we share. By sharing these feel-good hormones, dogs will feel like part of a pack and cats will view this as an extra level of protection.
Pets are an extension of the family and many truly make our house feel like home. Allowing them to sleep on the bed has many proven benefits, for both us and them. We encourage you to give your pet permission to sleep on your bed and see if you experience the additions they bring to our health, immune system, and most importantly, sleep.
If you are concerned about hurting your pet in your sleep, or perhaps feel they may disturb you as you sleep, why not treat them to a luxurious pet bed of their own? Place it next to yours and continue to enjoy the benefits of being close, without sharing your bed.