Does your dog sleep with you at night in the same bed? Had you considered both the sides of co-sleeping before you finally made your decision? Well, there is at least one well-meaning person in your life who had suggested that you not let your furry buddy sleep in the same bed. But is it what the research suggests?
A survey by AKC says a little less than one-half of all the pet owners welcome their dogs in bed. There are downsides and advantages of co-sleeping. For most people, the positive side overweighs the negative. So, read on and know how sleeping with your dog in the same bed will be a comfy and serene experience for both you.
There are two meanings of letting your dog sleep with you. First is that your dog sleeps with you in the same bed, and second is that your dog sleeps in the same room as you but in his own dog bed or a crate. The reason why this is to be considered is that both of these cases have a significant difference in their impact on your sleep.
There is a term called ‘sleep efficiency’ to measure the quality of the sleep you have. Basically, the sleep efficiency is calculated considering the actual time you are having a deep sleep and the total time you spend in the bed. A device called ‘Actimeter’ (movement detectors) is strapped on you and your pooch to detect your movements while you sleep.
According to the report Psychology Today mentioned in their article, when sleeping with your dog in the bedroom, but not on the same bed, people maintained the sleep efficiency of 83% which is above the satisfactory sleeping efficiency of 80%.
While on the other hand, people who let their dogs sleep with them maintained sleep efficiency slightly above the acceptable mark of 80%. That said, letting your dog sleep in the bed only caused a minor drop in the efficiency and did not cause any significant drop in the quality of their sleep.
Despite pretty much similar results, people, in fact, woke up more frequently whose dogs were sleeping in the same bed than whose dogs sleeping elsewhere. But in the end, sleep efficiency is the same and you don’t have to compromise your sleep by having a dog in your bed.
These are more considerations:
- A dog can sleep through the night without needing a pee or potty break.
- He will stay in his own bed or crate without making any noise, whining or crying.
- A dog is never too small that you might accidentally harm or never too large that he might accidentally harm you.
Let’s now take a look at some more reasons you should let your dog sleep with you.
Snuggling up to your canine pal is not unusual. This is very normal and typically quite comforting. When you sleep with him, you are increasing the time you spend with your pet and that counts. You both feel the presence of each other and that makes you and your canine happier.
A dog also helps us relax. Your pooch’s rhythmic breathing and touch help lull you to a sound sleep. Moreover, when you are near a dog, your body increases the oxytocin levels, a hormone associated with happiness and affection. This is what people call ‘Sleep Therapy’
A Feeling of Being Safe
When you are with someone in an empty dark room, you always feel a little bit vulnerable to unknown threats. A dog sleeping beside you will make you feel you have your companion and there’s nothing to worry about. In addition, your dog has a keen sense for threats and always stays alert even when he has dozed off. Feeling of being safe adds to your comfort level. The same goes for your dog; he will feel safe that his owner is beside him and he is not vulnerable to anything.
Your dog is actually safe when he is with you. You can close the door and keep the bedroom confined. This will build a habit of going for the potty before going to sleep. Make sure you both go for a short walk after the evening time before you go to bed so that your doggie can finish his business. Importantly, trained dogs won’t go potty inside as they will not soil their ‘dens’.
A dog loves to follow routine. Once your dog starts getting accustomed to sleeping with you, he will go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day. Have you ever heard from the pet parents who say, “My dog waits for me to come into the bed and barks until I come”? This kind of behavior encourages you to maintain your work-life balance and your daily routine.
A Little Bit from History
Sleeping with dogs is not a modern thought. Aboriginal Australians used to sleep with their dingos (a native Australian dog species) for warmth and protection from evil spirits. A popular phrase “three dog night” came from a Canadian maritime province. It was a standard practice to sleep with dogs for warmth on cold days. They would sleep with two dogs for warmth and if it’s still colder, you would want to have another dog and it will be called “three dog night”.
Josephine, before getting married to Napoleon Bonaparte, used to sleep with her pug Fortune every night. When Napoleon knew the truth and Josephine insisted on letting the dog sleep on the bed on their wedding night, he didn’t refuse Josephine’s wish. But unfortunately dog bit Napoleon on his thigh. Dogs sometimes are overprotective of their parents and the same appears to have happened here, bad luck for Napoleon!
Letting your dog sleep with you is just a matter of choice. I feel sleeping with your dog has more upsides than downsides. All in all, if you are healthy and do not have any ongoing severe medical condition, especially sleep deprivation, insomnia, and allergies, you should definitely consider allowing your dog to sleep in your bed. And yes, the most common worry of disturbed sleep is not an issue with your pet dog.