How Can Dogs Help You Sleep Better?

Sleep research has advanced at an unprecedented rate over the last decade. While it cites several significant statistics, the overarching conclusion is that humans are becoming increasingly afflicted with sleep disorders. Fortunately, there are some other ways that can help with sleep issues other than getting medicated. Did you know dogs can help you get a good night’s sleep?

Numerous studies show how animals can help people with mental illnesses. They have already proven to be extremely valuable in their roles as domestic pets and service animals. Now, sleep specialists believe they are also helpful for your sleep problems.

The Dog’s Role in Sleep Therapy

A 2015 Sleep Review article examined the results of using animals in sleep therapy. The study took into account the customs of co-sleeping with animals.

Additionally, they claimed that using dogs and other emotional support animals could aid in treating various sleep disorders. Furthermore, these animals can help improve their owners’ sleep without formal training.

However, the paper also argues that any scientific evidence does not support the claim that pets can aid in sleep. If we ignore that, there are several reasons why this might be the case.

For starters, pets give their owners a sense of companionship and make them feel less lonely. Having them close by can help prevent nightmares. Even when their owners have nightmares, dogs can be trained to react and wake them.

Additionally, having regular interactions with pets can aid in preventing cardiovascular diseases, lowering blood pressure, and maintaining an active lifestyle. You should increase the amount of oxytocin released, which improves mood. Your sleep schedule will also get better, as your general health does. In other words, they give you a sense of security, which makes it easier for you to unwind and get to sleep.

Emotional Support Animals and Service Dogs

The situation may differ for those who depend on service animals and have severe medical conditions. Co-sleeping with a service dog has been said to provide comfort for people who experience extreme night terrors. If their owner falls asleep in public, they are trained to wake them up and even call for help.

Having a trained animal nearby will significantly reduce any risks associated with sleep disorders. Additionally, emotional support animals can help their owners cope with nightmares and relax.

Nevertheless, several studies also discuss the possibility that sharing a bed with your pet interferes with your ability to sleep. You might not be aware of the disturbances in your sleep because animals frequently move at night.

So, the answer to whether it is good to help a dog sleep better is a soft yes. There is currently no scientific evidence to support these claims. But since your pet can support you in so many areas of your life, they may also impact how well you sleep. It also depends on your level of intimacy and the nature of your bond with your pet.

As you know, there are other benefits of getting a pet. One of the many advantages of living with a furry friend is that you’ll sleep better.

The Scientific Advantages of Sleeping With Your Dog

Putting your furry friend in the doghouse is no longer acceptable for dog owners today. In fact, according to a survey of pet owners, 55% of them admitted to sleeping with at least one dog. But is it a good idea to share your bed with your dog?

Despite years of controversy, numerous studies have found that sleeping with your pet can benefit you. Co-sleeping with a dog can be a safe and comfortable experience thanks to their warm bodies, steady heartbeats, and protective nature.

You can relax if you’re concerned that having your dog in bed with you will affect the quality of your sleep. Here, we’ll go over a few benefits of sleeping with your dog that has been supported by science.

Lowers Depression

In a recent study, researchers investigated the effects of human depressive symptoms on activities involving animals. They discovered that people who used dogs in therapeutic or recreational activities reported fewer depressive symptoms.

Imagine what sleeping next to a dog could do for depression if interacting with one can help! Their presence enhances our ability to unwind and produce more oxytocin, the love chemical. As a result, your dog effectively becomes a living antidepressant!

Promotes Theta Brainwaves

Adding to the fact that oxytocin flow is increased when sleeping with dogs, this has a significant effect on how deeply we sleep. Theta brainwaves, known to take place during the REM stage of sleep, are promoted by sleeping with your dog and the chemicals that go along with the experience.

According to studies, dogs’ heartbeats coincide when they are near their owners. This is additional evidence of the calming effects of a dog’s presence on a person’s brain. So the next time you sleep next to your dog, visualize your hearts beating together as you both get the deepest, most restorative sleep.

Increases Sense of Security

How well you sleep can be greatly influenced by your sense of security. A recent study looked at how having a pet in bed affected the quality of women’s sleep and discovered that it improved their sense of comfort and security.

Consider this: your dog’s instinct is to defend. If anything goes wrong while you are sleeping, they will let you know immediately. Although sensitive or overly protective dogs may have issues with this, many people discover that knowing their dog is watching over them allows them to sleep better.

Relieves Insomnia

There are few things worse than lying awake at night, unable to sleep. Good news for those who experience anxiety-related insomnia, thus having a dog in bed can be beneficial!

According to research, having a dog in bed can help relieve insomnia by reducing anxiety and modifying hyperarousal and hypervigilance. All of this contributes to a better mood and environment for sleep, which can aid in the treatment of insomnia.

Increases Comfort

The same research also revealed that people with PTSD can benefit from using support animals to reduce nightmares and other PTSD symptoms. Having a dog in bed adds comfort that helps you relax and creates a warm, inviting atmosphere.

As much as you enjoy lying with them, that furry, cuddly animal will adore it with you. This contributes to the cozy environment that most dog owners find so soothing.

Reduces Loneliness

The loneliness of sleeping alone can exacerbate depressive and uncomfortable feelings, particularly for those who live alone. What more effective treatment for loneliness than a living bed warmer?

Recent studies show that many people, especially those who are single, find the presence of a pet to help them fall asleep, even though some people prefer to sprawl out alone. Co-sleeping with your dog is an excellent idea because they can offer you comfort, security, and relaxation.

Enhances Sleep Quality

Your sleep efficiency score measures the amount of time you spend sleeping in bed. According to a recent study, people who slept with a dog in their bedroom maintained better routines and could sleep more soundly.

Participants wore a sleep tracker for seven nights along with their dogs. They discovered that while dogs sleep more soundly than humans, humans only managed to sleep 81 percent of the time. For comparison, a score of 100 indicates ideal sleep efficiency. Try sleeping with your dog if you’re feeling tired in the morning!

Reduces Stress

Do you know about The Pet Effect? It’s a phenomenon where stress and anxiety levels drop when your pet is present. 74 percent of pet owners say that having a pet has improved their mental health.

As previously mentioned, cuddling with your pet causes the release of oxytocin, a hormone that lowers stress and improves mood. Additionally, it may lower your heart rate, reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and ultimately enhance your ability to sleep.

Reduces Blood Pressure

In terms of the physiological effects of contact with dogs on people, one study discovered that petting or touching a dog resulted in lower blood pressure readings.

The therapeutic effects of being near a dog likely continue as you sleep. What better way to relax, unwind, and eventually fall asleep with your favorite animal by your side?

Improves the Dog’s Bond

The phrase three dog night refers to an Alaskan native American custom in which people would sleep next to their dogs to keep each other warm. The dogs would sleep in the humans’ beds on chilly nights and join them around the campfire. More dogs were required to stay warm as the night grew colder.

This undoubtedly contributed to developing the early human-canine bond, and some veterinarians still believe it can aid socialization. In addition to many people claiming that dogs are easier to train when they sleep close to their owners, sleeping together lets the dog know they are a member of your pack.

Promotes a Healthy Heart

A healthy heart is unquestionably important because cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death in the United States. A study from the American Heart Association discovered a connection between pet ownership and a healthy heart, which is good news for pet owners.

Despite having similar body mass indexes and socioeconomic profiles to pet owners, having a pet has been shown to reduce systemic hypertension in those people. Your dogs will undoubtedly encourage you to exercise more, but they may also have a calming effect and affect your blood pressure.

Reduces Allergic Reactions Later in Life

Many people use the possibility of bringing allergens into the bedroom as justification for opposing sleeping with your dog. However, one study discovered that infants who slept with their pets had a lower risk of developing allergies.

Early exposure to dog allergens is beneficial! Even though this might not apply to everyone, it’s something to consider if you let your dog sleep in your child’s room.

Improved Overall Health

Numerous advantages of owning a pet include:

  • Reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Fewer feelings of loneliness.
  • More opportunities for socializing and engaging in activities.

But these advantages don’t end at bedtime.

According to one study, 41% of pet owners said sleeping with their animals was discreet and even beneficial. Having your dog close by can improve your overall health, whether awake or sleeping.

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