When the time comes to go to sleep, many of us have different routines to wind down. Some of us wash our take a shower, read a book, put our kids to sleep, or curl up with our dogs on the bed while watching a movie. Personally, there is nothing I enjoy more than sleeping with my dog every night.
Some people think I’m crazy, but according to a new survey conducted by the American Kennel Club found that of the 60 million US households that own a dog, 45% of dog owners allow their pets to sleep in bed with them.
And it turns out that there are some science-backed benefits as well!
A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that adults without sleep disorders had absolutely no negative effects on their sleeping patterns – no matter the size of the dog.
The Journal of Behavioral Medicine conducted a study that measured the blood pressure of 60 male and female participants while they either pet a dog or talked to someone else.
The results show that people’s blood pressure was the lowest while they were petting a dog when compared to talking to someone else. So make sure to pet your dog before going to sleep to relax a bit.
Some research has shown that interacting your dog can decrease cortisol levels and increase oxytocin.
Cortisol is a hormone that causes stress in the body, while oxytocin is a hormone that increases pleasant feelings in the body. Basically, just being around your pet makes your chill out.
One of my favorite reasons to sleep in bed with my dog is because they help me stay warm. Any dog owner that lives in a colder climate can contest that dogs are great heaters.
I also feel so much safer when I sleep in bed with my dog. She is always the first one to know if someone is at the door – sort of like a built-in security system.
So the next time you are about to jump into your bed, make sure to bring your dog for a cuddle session.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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