Sleeping With Your Dog: 13 Science Backed Tips

A recent study looked at how animal-assisted activities impacted depressive symptoms in humans. They found that people who performed activities or therapy with dogs reported fewer depressive symptoms.

1. Reduces Depression

Building on the fact that sleeping with dogs increases the flow of oxytocin, this also has a profound impact on how deeply we sleep. Sleeping with your dog, and the chemicals that accompany the experience, promote theta brainwaves, which are known to occur during the REM stage of sleep.

2. Promotes Theta Brainwaves

Feeling safe can play a large part in how well you sleep. A recent study explored how the presence of a pet in bed impacted womens’ sleep quality and found that it made them feel more secure and comfortable.

3. Increases Sense of Security

There are few things worse than lying awake at night, not being able to sleep. Good news for those who suffer from anxiety-induced insomnia — a dog in the bed can help!

4. Eases Insomnia

That same collection of studies found that support animals can be used to diminish nightmares and even help those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The level of comfort a dog brings to the bed helps put you at ease and makes you feel cozy.

5. Maximizes Comfort

Especially for those living by themselves, sleeping alone can add to feelings of depression and discomfort. What better way to combat loneliness than with a living bed-warmer?

6. Decreases Loneliness

Sleep efficiency is a score calculated to determine how much time you actually spend sleeping while you are in bed. One study recently found that humans who slept with a dog in their bedroom kept a better routine and were able to sleep more efficiently.

7. Improves Sleep Quality

Have you heard of “The Pet Effect”? It’s the phenomenon which involves reduced levels of stress and anxiety while your pet is around. In fact, 74 percent of pet owners report improvement in their mental health from pet ownership.

8. Reduces Stress

Speaking of the physical effects contact with dogs has on the human body, one study found that human-dog interaction, like petting or touching a dog, led to lower blood pressure readings.

9. Lowers Blood Pressure

The term “three dog night” refers to the practice Alaskan native-Americans used that involved sleeping with their dogs for mutual warmth. The dogs would gather around the campfire with the humans and on cold nights would share their bed. The colder the night, the more dogs were necessary to keep warm.

10. Strengthens Bond With the Dog

With cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in the United States, a healthy heart is definitely important. Good news for pet owners — a study from the American Heart Association found a link between pet ownership and a healthy heart.

11. Promotes a Healthy Heart

Many people’s argument against sleeping with your dog includes the fact that they may bring allergens into the bedroom. However, one study found that infants who slept with their pets were less likely to develop allergies later on in life.

12. Reduces Allergies Later in Life

Having pets in the household has an array of benefits like lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, decreased feelings of loneliness and more opportunities for activities and socialization. However, these benefits don’t stop at bedtime.

13. Better Overall Health