Sleeping difficulties are rife in the USA with more than 8 million people struggling to either fall or stay asleep every night according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. While most individuals who battle to sleep turn to one of countless sleeping aids available on the consumer market, there is a much healthier and more enjoyable way to treat even the peskiest of sleeping disorders: sleeping with your beloved dog. According to the American Kennel Club, 45% of dog owners are only too happy to let their dogs sleep in their bed, a gesture which is as beneficial to the pooches as it is to their owners. There are countless benefits, including easing insomnia that you can expect to enjoy when sharing your bed with your dog. Let’s have a closer look at a few of them.
Helps you kick insomnia to the curb
According to a report written by Dr. Stanley Coren for Psychology Today, a dog’s rhythmic breathing can lull you to sleep in a similar fashion as what white noise does. He elaborated further, stating that being in close proximity to a dog can also boost our oxytocin production which is associated with happiness and affection, making it easier to relax and fall asleep. It has also been established that owning a dog is good for your mental health which means that if anxiety is at the root of your insomnia, you will enjoy a welcome reprieve from your sleepless nights once you start sharing your bed with your dog.
It can help alleviate chronic pain
People living with chronic pain often experiences ‘painsomnia’, the inability to fall asleep due to being in pain. Studies conducted at the University of Alberta found that sleeping with a pet may actually help those living with pain sleep substantially better. Not only does the dog’s presence help to reduce the anxiety, stress, and fear that is known to aggravate nighttime pain, but it also provides you with natural warmth that can help ease the pain. If you find yourself tossing and turning at night due to pain, it is important to first ensure your mattress is as comfortable as possible and conducive of healing before inviting your cherished mutt to join you for a good night’s rest.
Lowers your blood pressure and keeps you calm
Having your beloved canine next to you when you sleep can help lower you’re your blood pressure significantly which is especially good news to anyone enduring hypertension. According to research published by the Harvard Medical School, dog owners displayed the most significant decrease in blood pressure when touching their dogs, making it well worth your while to cuddle with your pup, especially now during the colder months. Further research also suggests that dog owners experience significantly less cardiovascular reactivity during exceptionally stressful times, once again keeping hypertension at bay and reducing the effects of stress on the body.
It is clear to see that it is with very good reason that the dog has been hailed as man’s best friend. Not only do our canine companions bestow their unconditional love upon us but they are also proving to be of great benefit to our overall health and well-being.
Article by: Jane Anderson, a freelance writer, editor and dog owner