Sleeping with our beloved pets is a source of great comfort and companionship for many of us. However, concerns often arise about the impact this cozy arrangement may have on our sleep quality.
We’ve all experienced those restless nights when Luna or Fluffy decides to claim more than their fair share of the bed, leaving us longing for a good night’s rest. In fact, scientists are still debating whether sleeping with pets is a healthy choice or just another sleep disturbance.
That’s why we wanted to explore the benefits and drawbacks of sleeping with your pets and help you discover how a giant mattress can be the key to harmonious co-sleeping with your four-legged friends.
Should You Sleep With Your Pets?
In the past, many medical professionals advised against sleeping with pets. However, as more evidence emerged, it became apparent that co-sleeping with furry friends has many benefits.
Research shows that over 50% of owners allow their pets in the bedroom. In comparison, Over 86% of dogs choose to sleep next to their human(s) when they have the opportunity. So, if it were up to them, you would certainly share a bed.
But you should be careful about sleeping with small pets like gerbils, guinea pigs, and chinchillas. You can unintentionally hurt them when changing positions, which is why it’s not a good idea to sleep with them. In addition, they are not easily potty trained and like to nibble on things.
So, whether you should let your pets sleep with you depends on your preferences, health status, and other factors.
The Benefits of Sleeping With Pets
Now, let’s see what sleeping with (large) pets can do for your physical and mental well-being.
1. Comfort and Security
Sleeping with pets offers a higher sense of comfort and security because of their warm bodies, steady heartbeat, and protective nature. Dogs are particularly great as sleeping companions because they are always alert. That way, you can rest comfortably, knowing they will sense if anything is amiss.
When you feel comfortable and secure, you are likely to have a night of sound sleep.
In addition, service dogs can be trained to recognize physical signs of nightmares in people with certain disorders like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). They can be trained to wake their humans up and comfort them, helping them ease their nightmare problems.
2. Emotional Support
We already mentioned how service dogs can ease nightmare symptoms in people with PTSD. But sleeping with any pet is actually great for your emotional health.
Cuddling up with your pet can reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood. That’s because our brains release oxytocin, which is a hormone linked with positive emotions. It also decreases cortisol, which our body produces under stress.
As a result, our heart rates and blood pressure remain lower, and we feel more relaxed and at ease. In addition, co-sleeping reduces feelings of loneliness and strengthens the relationship between you and your pets.
3. Better Immunity
Having pets in your home significantly changes the makeup of bacteria in your bedroom. Scientists argue that exposure to various microorganisms can benefit our health because it keeps the immune system on its toes.
Having pets is particularly important for babies and children, as it affects the immune system development. In fact, one study found that infants exposed to dogs had fewer allergies and instances of eczema later on. That’s another reason why co-sleeping on a giant mattress seems like such a great idea.
4. Improved Wellness
Cuddling up with your furbaby is an excellent way to calm down and relax after a long day. This has several beneficial effects on your health, like:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Lower heart rate
- Decreased cortisol levels
- Increased oxytocin production
- Lower cholesterol and triglyceride level
Owning a pet is linked to better cardiovascular health, improved overall well-being, and reduced risk of death.
The Downsides of Sleeping With Pets
Although there are many benefits to sleeping with your pets, there are also certain risks you need to know before you let your four-legged friend join you for a good night’s sleep.
Germ and Allergen Exposure
We mentioned that exposure to various microorganisms could help strengthen your immune system. However, pets may also carry dangerous bacteria, parasites, and viruses that could endanger your family’s health.
Grooming your pets regularly, not skipping vet visits, and changing sheets are usually enough to keep your giant bed safe. But, if someone in your family is immune-compromised or prone to infections, keeping your pets out of bed may be best.
Lastly, pets often play outside and can bring pollen and other allergens into your bedroom. This may irritate you during sleep, so it’s vital to clean your pet’s fur and paws before letting them into the bedroom.
Injuries and Territorial Behavior
If you’re a restless sleeper, you may roll over or make a sudden movement that injures your dog or cat. In addition, pets can react unexpectedly when woken up, making them bite or scratch you.
The best way to prevent this is to get an oversize mattress like the Alaskan King, which offers enough room for everybody to get comfortable and maintain their personal space.
In addition, when co-sleeping with pets, it is important to keep children away from them as they may struggle with reading body language and respecting personal space, potentially increasing the risks of bites and injuries.
Pets wake up many times during the night and often switch positions. In addition, they may sprawl out and take up more than their fair share of bed space. This can wake you up and disrupt your sleep.
Sleeping with a cat appears more sleep-disturbing than sleeping with a dog. That’s because of their natural nocturnal instincts. Cats are known to become more active at night and dawn, which can lead to playful behavior, meowing, or pouncing, which can disturb your restful slumber.
Tips for Safe and Restful Pet-Friendly Sleep
Co-sleeping with your pet can be a wonderful experience, but you need to make sure it doesn’t affect your sleep quality and health. Here are some tips on how to create a co-sleeping haven:
1. Get a Giant Mattress
Sleeping with pets is often disruptive because there is not enough space for everybody. A giant mattress provides a large sleeping surface where every family member has enough room to stretch out and get comfortable.
That allows you and your furry companions to enjoy a peaceful and uninterrupted sleep, free from any space constraints or disturbances caused by cramped sleeping arrangements.
You can check out our giant Alaskan King mattresses, available in several sizes.
2. Play With Your Pets Before Bedtime
Engaging with your pets before bedtime helps them spend energy and reduces their chances of becoming hyperactive during the night. By incorporating play into your bedtime routine, you can promote physical and mental stimulation for your pets, helping them relax and unwind.
This simple bedtime ritual can lead to a more peaceful and restorative sleep for both you and your furry friends.
3. Wash Bedding Regularly
This one is simple – good hygiene prevents the spread of dangerous germs. That’s why you need to wash your sheets and other bedding regularly, following the care instructions on the label.
Although the general recommendation is to wash your sheets every week, if you sleep with your pets, the best idea is to wash your bedding every 3-4 days.
4. Groom Your Pets
Regular grooming is more than just keeping your pets looking good – it’s necessary to keep them healthy and ensure a comfortable sleep environment.
Cleaning and brushing their fur eliminates most of the dirt and allergens that would otherwise end up in your bed. This reduces the risk of allergies and sleep disruptions.
In addition, you should trim their nails to transform those scratchy midnight taps into gentle paw massages and allow a peaceful and worry-free night of sleep alongside your furry companions.
5. Protect Your Mattress, Pillows, and Duvet
Using a duvet cover, mattress protector, and pillow protectors prevents dirt, dandruff, allergens, and microorganisms from taking over your sleep environment. Combine that with regular bedding care, and your giant bed will remain clean and healthy at all times.
6. Correct Territorial or Aggressive Behavior
Sometimes your pets can get territorial or aggressive around their sleeping spot. You need to correct this behavior with positive reinforcement and training. That way, you can help your furry friend understand boundaries and develop a calm demeanor.
You can also teach your dog “on” and “off” commands to make bedtime much easier. Unfortunately, cats have an innate ability to interpret instructions as optional suggestions, especially when it comes to their cozy kingdom of sleep. So, good luck trying the “on” and “off” commands on them.
Sleeping with your furry friends can benefit your physical and mental well-being in many ways. They provide comfort and security, support our emotional well-being, boost our immunity, and contribute to our overall wellness. However, it’s important to be aware of the downsides, such as exposure to germs and the potential for injuries or disruptive behavior.
You can create a safe and comfortable pet-friendly sleep environment by following simple tips like getting a giant mattress, playing with your pets before bedtime, grooming them regularly, not skipping vet visits, and correcting territorial or aggressive behavior.