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Sleeping With Your Pet: Benefits and Risks

A man sleeps soundly with his dog sleeping on top of him

Learn how sleeping with your pet can both help your health and potentially put it at risk.

Many people enjoy sleeping with their pets, and that can often foster benefits for both you and your pet. However, there can also be adverse effects on your health and your relationship with your pet. Read on to discover the possible benefits and risks of sleeping with your pet, as well as general tips on establishing boundaries with your furry friends. 

Benefits of Sleeping With Your Pet

Greater Sense of Security

Sharing your bed with your pet can increase your sense of emotional and physical safety. If you live alone, the sense of having a protective dog near you can give you peace of mind that nothing else quite can. 

Reduced Stress Levels

Pets help promote feelings of calm and relief, which help to counteract anxious thoughts, depression, and stress associated with sleep-onset insomnia. Just touching your pet can raise levels of oxytocin in our brains, which is a hormone that promotes happiness and bonding relationships. 

Warmth and Comfort

The physical warmth and rhythmic breathing of a pet’s body next to you in bed can provide a soothing effect that can lull you to sleep. Your pet’s body temperature is higher than yours, so if you plan on sleeping with them, make sure to adjust your thermostat so that sleeping with your pet does not make you overheated. 

A Stronger Emotional Bond

Pets like to be near you, so sleeping with your pet can make them as happy as it makes you. If you are gone most of the day working, spending time with your pet at night helps to strengthen your bond. 

Risks of Sleeping With Your Pet

Aggravated Pet Allergies and Asthma

If you have asthma or allergies to cats or dogs, you should not let your pet sleep in the same bed as you, or even in your bedroom, because they will likely disrupt your sleep. Pet allergens can adhere to other surfaces and remain inflammatory to people with allergies even after the pet has left the room. If you’re allergic but want to sleep with your pet anyway, you can use a HEPA filter to help. 

Increases Risk of Disease

This isn’t a problem if you keep your pet’s health up-to-date, but a pet can easily transmit zoonotic diseases, which include plague, meningitis, and parasites. If you’ve been bitten by fleas, or have broken skin, and your dogs are infested your risk increases. 

Interrupts Sleep

Pets can disturb your sleep by waking you up with their movement, especially if you have a mattress with poor motion isolation. Cats are happy to paw or sit on your face to intentionally wake you up. You can try to move your pet to their bed or crate if you want to keep them close, but not disruptive. 

Can Cause Dominance and Aggression

If you allow your pets to share space in your bed, this can create or intensify dominance or aggression issues with them. You can train your pet to sleep in one spot on your bed in an attempt to curb their aggression. 

Interferes With Couples’ Intimacy 

If two people are already sharing a bed, you should not let your dog sleep in-between you. This decreases your necessary contact that builds and strengthens intimacy and encourages a feeling of dominance in the pet. You can instead let the pet sleep beside one person, or at the foot of the bed. 

Tips to Remember Before Sleeping With Your Pet

  • Decide where you want to allow your pet to sleep and be consistent with it. 
  • Invest in a mattress large enough for you, your partner, and your pet(s). Look for ones that offer edge support and motion isolation, like memory foam or latex. 
  • If your pet wakes you, do not indulge them with a snack or play. Establish a routine where food and exercise only occur during the daytime. 

Sleep Well With A Mattress From All American Mattress

At All American Mattress, we have the expertise and great prices to help you choose the perfect pillows and foam mattress for your bedroom. We have mattresses and bed frames available made from a variety of materials to suit your needs, whatever they are. Stop by our showroom, visit us online, or give us a call at (410) 451-9006 to see how we can get your toddler sleeping through the night. We offer brand names at affordable prices, and we will always work hard to keep your whole family comfortable. For more mattress shopping tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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