According to Statista, 90 million dogs were members of U.S. households in 2017 — and given how dramatically the number had risen since 2000, when there were around 68 million, it’s likely that in 2019, it’s even higher, even though the exact numbers aren’t available yet. And when I saw the dogs are members of U.S. households, I mean it; a whopping 95 percent of Americans consider their pets to be part of their family, per the 2015 Harris Poll. As such, it’s to be expected that a good many people would allow their dogs access to their bedrooms or beds at night; snuggling with your dog while you’re all cozy in your (maybe matching) PJs is one of the great joys of life with pets
Knowing all this, being aware of the ways your dog might be affecting your sleep can likely be considered vital information for your everyday life. Many of the effects are positive; some are… uh… less so; but either way, Fido’s presence in your bedroom or bed has some major ramifications for your REM cycle. Here are just a few:
1. You Might Wake Up Less In The Middle Of The Night
Or at least, you might if you’re a woman. According to a study published in the journal Anthrozoos in November 2018, women who sleep next to dogs are a lot less likely to be woken up during the night than women who sleep next to either cats or other humans.
2-Your Stress May Not Bother Your As Much
The fact that pets can help reduce your stress levels is a well-known, well-documented benefit to having an animal friend at home; numerous studies have found that pets like dogs improve our mental health and emotional well-being. Those benefits don’t stop when you go to bed, even if your dog doesn’t sleep in the same room as you or next to you; just living with a pet can help keep everyday stress in check. And when your stress levels are lower, you sleep better.
3. Your Bed Might Be Warmer
Dogs typically run a little hotter than humans do; that’s great during the winter, when a little extra warmth can help you maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature while keeping your heating bill down — but it goes both ways, too: If you get too warm, you might have more trouble sleeping than you would otherwise.
4. You Might Have Fewer Nightmares
If you have regular nightmares as a result of anxiety or PTSD, sleeping next to a service dog might help alleviate them.
5-You Might Suffer Less From Insomnia
Do you have regular bouts of insomnia? If it’s a symptom of or caused by anxiety for you, having a service dog sleep nearby might help.
6. Your Allergies Might Keep You Up More
7. You Might Have An Easier Time Going To Bed…
Especially if you have a chronic medical condition. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, pets — particularly dogs — can help ease the transition to bedtime. They provide a sense of routine, order, security, and comfort, all of which can make going to bed and actually falling asleep much easier.