THE PROS AND CONS OF SLEEPING WITH PETS
Is sleeping with your dog or cat healthy? It depends. There are physical and emotional tradeoffs to inviting your pet into bed and it’s important to weigh these factors before deciding. Here’s a look at the good, the not so good, and what you need to watch out for when sleeping with your dog or cat.
The reason so many pet owners encourage their dog or cat to snuggle up with them at night is really very simple: it feels good. In fact, research shows that it can improve your mood and feelings of comfort and security by increasing the amount of oxytocin (also known as “the hormone of love”) in your body.
For children who frequently have nightmares or difficulty falling asleep, an animal can provide a sense of security and reassurance. For both children and adults, being able to physically touch another being or feel the rhythmic beat of its heart can help you feel less lonely, stressed, or depressed.
THE NOT SO GOOD
If you’re allergic to pet dander, your co-sleeping arrangement may not be so cozy. In fact, some allergy experts recommend that you make the bedroom a pet-free zone both during the day and at night. But if you don’t feel comfortable kicking your pet out entirely, you can take action to minimize allergens in the bedroom.
Ultimately, it comes down to preference and circumstance. If your pet is constantly waking you up, you might want to make some changes or reconsider your sleeping arrangement. If both you and your pet have no problem getting a good night’s sleep, enjoy the good feelings.