Many people fall asleep just fine on their own. What they don’t realize, is that there are actually health benefits associated with falling asleep near your pet. Kristin Rhynehart from New Jersey has a rescue dog named Raven that is around 11 years old. And one day, she was looking for her dog, but couldn’t find him. Upon checking the entire house and looking outside, she decided to check her daughter’s room. What she saw surprised her as it was quite unexpected. Her daughter was sleeping right next to Raven. At that point, she thought she would record a video, which has now garnered millions of reviews. (1)

Sleeping With Pets

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 60% of American households that have pets. Around half of them share the bedrooms. (2) A survey that was completed by the American Kennel Club revealed that 45% of dog owners even let the dogs sleep in their own bed. Another 20% were in crates and 17% on a dog bed. (3) Though Americans were reported to be at the forefront of sharing their beds with dogs, many other countries also participate in this custom. If Kristin realized the benefits to co-sleeping with a pet, she might even be prone to setting up permanent bedding in her daughter’s room!

Benefits To Sharing The Bed With Pets

There are health benefits to exercise, getting proper sleep, and eating a proper diet. But what many might not expect, is that there are also health benefits to co-sleeping with pets. A survey was compiled by Queensland University of over 10,000 people on human-pet co-sleeping. It showed that it only took 4 minutes longer for humans to fall asleep. (4) They experienced a greater sense of security and a feeling of protection with their pet in their bed. Reduced stress was another important outcome that people reported. Regardless of if the pet helps keep their human’s mind off daily stressors or not, it helps to have them near. (5) They can also help keep you warm in colder temperatures.

Other Benefits

One study used fitness trackers over a seven-day period that helped assess sleeping time for humans sharing a bedroom with dogs. The results showed that 81% of humans spent the time asleep and 85% for dogs. (6) According to Sleep Review, dogs might also help combat sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and nightmares.  “One of the greatest benefits of SAs, particularly for medically complicated patients, is that they offer a nonpharmacological solution to treating a sleep disorder in a way that may augment or even replace other (currently standard care) treatments.” (7) Sleeping with a pet can also help aid in sleep for people with chronic pain issues.

Health Risks To Sleeping With Pets

Even though there are numerous benefits to co-sleeping with pets, there are also some risks. A larger dog could crowd the bed, especially if you have another partner. This could get messy if one has allergies to dander and the dog sheds. Pets do have the potential to transmit diseases as well, so that should be kept in mind. As much as 60% of micro-organisms transmitted from vertebrate animals to humans was estimated.

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