For millennia, people have been sleeping with their animal companions, but sleeping with your pets has its positives and negatives.
While some experts frown upon this practice from a health perspective, other experts weigh in on the benefits of sleeping with your pets. Here we'll explore the pros and cons of sleeping with your pets so you can decide for yourself.
There has been much research done on the mental health benefits of interacting with animals, including lessening depression and lowering stress levels.
Sleeping with your pet “may help out with anxiety and depression because a dog is like a weighted blanket. It gives you that snuggling and cuddling effect,” according to Raj Dasgupta, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.
Additionally, overwhelmingly positive results came from a study where those in chronic pain benefited from sleeping with their pets next to them, and even those with PTSD found some sleep relief.
Studies also reveal that sleeping with your pet in the room, but not necessarily on the bed had even more benefits — that could be a compromise for couples who can’t agree on the “pet-in-bed” situation!
There are some obvious cons to sleeping with your pet, like being disturbed in your sleep or allergies.
Dogs and cats do not have the same sleep cycle as humans do, so if you are a light sleeper, you’re very likely to wake up during the night when your pet moves, as well.
There is little danger with sleeping with a pet, but in the instance of small children and babies, it’s usually best not to do so, in case the animal gets spooked or accidentally scratches the child.
If you know you are prone to allergies from your pet, sleeping in the same bed is going to irritate your sinuses, as well, which is another factor to consider. Though some will still carry out the practice despite allergies!
At the end of the day (quite literally) it is up to you and whoever else is sleeping in your bed to decide where your comfort levels lie when sleeping with your pets in the bed. We certainly know it’s hard to resist them when they want to jump up and snuggle!
Read more about “The Pros and Cons of Sleeping with Pets” in this Washington Post article.