Sleeping With Pets

Updated May 12, 2022

man sleeping with dog

Should You Sleep With Your Pets?

It is not uncommon for someone to sleep with their pet. A National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) article says that a survey showed 56 percent of dog owners sleep next to their dogs. There are potential health benefits for sleeping with your pet but there are also some potential risks. This page will weigh the benefits and risks of co-sleeping with your pet.

May Increase Sleep Quality

Having your pet sleep next to you can affect your sleep, but that depends on certain factors. The number of people in the bed, the size of the bed, and the size of the pet are all factors that could affect sleep quality. Mayo Clinic reports a study that showed people slept better when their dog was in the bedroom rather than in the bed. 

It also mentions that when sleeping in the bed, dogs were less disruptive to sleep than cats. For some pet owners, a man's best friend is essential to a proper sleeping environment

Comfort and Security

A Healthline article discusses a survey that revealed women associate having a dog in bed with comfort and security. A dog provided more security than another person or a cat. Having a dog in the home, in general, might increase security.

For people who struggle with nightmares from PTSD, service dogs can help. Service dogs can sense when someone is having a nightmare, and wake you when they experience a nightmare. For more information on nightmares and PTSD, look at our page on dreams and nightmares.

Improves Mental Health

Having a pet can help reduce feelings of worry and loneliness. It can also distract from certain mental health symptoms that cause sleep loss. Sleeping with a pet can be helpful to both adults and children who struggle with mental health. Many people have claimed that people with pets were less likely to take sleep medicine.

Better Immunity

Having cats or dogs in the bed with you will bring a variety of bacteria. Exposure to a diversity of microorganisms improves human health and immunity. Having the cat or dog in the bed may be more beneficial to your health than just having your pet in the house.

Having a pet may be more beneficial for children and infants with developing immune systems. For both men and women, having a pet in the house at an early age can reduce the risk of developing an allergy to cats or dogs. Exposure to two or more cats or dogs in the first year of life may reduce a person’s likelihood of developing allergies to dust mites, bluegrass, ragweed, and other allergens.

Improved Health

Pets can improve human health. Pets can help you maintain lower blood pressure and decrease cholesterol. Owning a dog has been linked to an overall reduced risk of death do the other positive effects on the cardiovascular system.

Spending time with your pet can reduce your heart rate and blood pressure. For better sleep, spend quality time cuddling with your pet at night. Snuggling with your pet can help with insomnia or other sleep disorders that could be affecting your quality of sleep.

Allergies

As discussed earlier, having a pet early in life can help with allergies, but for some, a pet can cause problems if you have allergies. Millions of people have allergies to pets but still, have one. The dander and hair on your bed may cause difficulty sleeping if your allergies are bad enough.

Increased Germ Exposure

Exposure to certain bacteria can strengthen your immune system. Unfortunately, pets can sometimes bring in germs and zoonotic diseases (diseases that spread from an animal to a human). Germs can spread from bites, scratches, or licks to the face or an open wound.

If you let your pet outside, make sure you are bathing it regularly (every four weeks). Wash your sheets and keep your mattress clean to avoid the buildup of germs and dander. For more help, check out our page on cleaning your mattress. Catching a disease from a pet is rare according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Rude Awakening

In some cases, pets can have lead to poor sleep. A dog may kick in its sleep or it may wake you up with the need to go outside. If your pet causes too many disturbances, you could simply place a bed beside yours so your furry friend can sleep next to you. If your dog sleeps next to you or in its own bed, it could disturb you with snoring if you are a light sleeper.

Aggression

It is not common but, some people have been bit by a dog while they were sleeping. Children are more likely to sustain a bite than adults. If this is an issue, the dog should sleep outside the bed or bedroom.

Tips for Sleeping With a Pet

Here are some tips that will make your life easier if you sleep with a pet.

Choose a Mattress With the Proper Size

To make sure there is enough space for everyone, make sure you have a mattress that is big enough for you and your pet. For optimal space, choose a queen or king size mattress.

Vet Visits

To keep your dog free of illness, routinely take your pet to the vet. Make sure it is up to date on vaccinations as well as flea and tick medication.

Walk Your Dog

Walking your dog will give it some exercise before it sleeps. This will reduce the chance of your dog waking you up at night.

Consistent Bedtime

Like us, animals have circadian rhythms or internal clocks that dictate what they feel tired and awake. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule will help avoid nighttime restlessness amongst you and your pet.

Michigan Humane

If you didn’t know, US-Mattress is partnered with Michigan Humane to find a home for thousands of animals in Michigan. Michigan Humane is a nonprofit organization that helps fight for animal rights and protects them from abusing environments. They will carry out investigations regarding animal abuse and they will fight for legislation that protects animals. Purchase from our website to help animals who are in need.

About the Author Steven Bieber

Steven is a content writer who recently broke into the mattress industry. In his free time, he enjoys watching football and listening to music.


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