There are different ways to improve your sleep: yoga, herbal teas, meditation, reading, exercise and so on. But apart from these common ways to improve our sleep quality, scientists have started researching how do dogs benefit us when we let them sleep beside us.

Contrary to the belief that the presence of a dog inside the bedroom might disrupt human sleep, Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that most individuals that slept with their dogs actually improved their sleep efficiency.

Namely, having a warm pup next to you while you're at bed will make you have a night of healthier, deeper sleep. But that's not all, some say that they even wake up more easily when their pup's beside them. This is all true, of course, in case that you're not allergic to dogs. If that's the case, then sleeping with a dog might make you more sleepy throughout the day and potentially lead to a formation of some symptoms of hypersomnia.

Let's see what are the benefits of snuggling up with your dog at night:

1. Comfort

If you happen to suffer from nightmares or generally have restless sleep, sleeping next to a warm, living being might offer you a lot of comfort. The presence of your Fido will make you feel better. Not only, but the warmth of your little pup will make your sleep even better. You will especially appreciate this during cold weather.

2. Security

How do you feel safer - sleeping alone vs. sleeping with your dog? I guess that the logical answer would be the latter. Some people fear burglars and intruders entering their homes, which is why these people feel safer and sleep better when they have a dog share bed with them.

All in all, sleeping with a pup will make you feel protected and safe both mentally and physically.

3. De-stress

It is scientifically proven that dogs reduce the amount of stress we feel. By making you feel less stressed, your dog might actually positively affect your anxiety or depression.

Also, simply touching your dog will cause a chemical reaction in your body and produce the hormone oxytocin whose secretion will make you feel calmer and happier.

4. You Can Ease Your Dog's Separation Anxiety

Not only do we feel calmer when sleeping with our pups, but they feel more relaxed too. This can be especially useful in dogs that suffer from separation anxiety. Apparently, dogs benefit from snuggling with us too, so whenever you're sleeping beside your Fido remember that you are mutually helping each other relieve the stress you collected throughout the day.

5. Helps In Fighting Insomnia

Having a warm pupper beside you at night will definitely help you enter sleep more easily. Since it's better to sleep in a slightly colder environment, then you might want to open your windows to cool the air down when sleeping with your pup.

Hearing your puppy breathing in the background is definitely a very soothing sound and it might make your bedroom a better environment for sleep.

Cuddling with your dog might also drift your attention away from things that are worrying you. This way, you will have less troubles in falling asleep, which, in case you have insomnia, can come in really handy.

6. Strengthens Your Bond

Almost every dog spends a lot of hours alone throughout the day. We all have to work, study, complete our errands, and those often mean that you have to leave your pup home alone.

Since dogs are pack animals and they are used to sleeping together with other puppies and dogs when in "wilderness". That's why sleeping with your dog will strengthen your bond and make your relationship even more precious.

7. You Have A Secondary Alarm Clock

In case you're much of a snoozer, having someone that will not only try to wake you up, but that will actually make it to get you out of the sleep in the cutest possible way, is a very useful thing.

While there a lot of benefits to sharing your bed with your dog, there are also a few downsides to it. Let's take a closer look at what could potentially go wrong.

Risks Of Sleeping With Your Pet

Allergic Reactions

If you're allergic to pet dander, sleeping with your dog is definitely not the best idea. Unless you own a dog that is hypoallergenic and doesn't shed, your allergy could make you lose your sleep quality and wake up feeling tired.

Sleep Interruption

Although sleeping with your dog was proved to make us sleep more deeply if your dog is a snorer, chances are that he will wake you up several times during the night. If this is the case, your dog's snoring could make you lose sleep which can potentially develop into chronic fatigue due to interrupted sleep.

Increased Risk Of Catching Diseases

Because our dogs spend more time interacting with things and objects that are better left avoided, your dog could transmit various types of pathogens to you during sleep. Although this occurs only rarely, your dog could pass different zoonotic diseases to you by licking.

However, if your puppy is up to date on vaccine shots and flea prevention medication, it is safe to make some room for them in your bed.

Author's Bio: 

Kristina Lalovic is the editor of Colossal Sleep, a website about healthy sleep, sleeping disorders and sleep-related problems people commonly face in their lifetimes. She used to be the alarm-snoozer for a long time, until she started paying more attention to her sleep and sleeping patterns. Sleeping well changed the way she feels each day, which is why she developed a passion for writing about sleep and understanding how our sleep really works.