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Can Your Pet Help You Sleep Better?

In the last decade, sleep research has accelerated at an unprecedented pace. While it points to several significant statistics, the one standard inference is that humans have been increasingly suffering from sleep disorders. 

If you’re reading this, it is likely that you are no stranger to a lack of sleep yourself. Sometimes we blame it on technology or stress, but it all comes down to one question. What can we do to improve our sleep?

Several studies that point out that pets can support humans cope with their mental disorders. From being domestic pets to service animals, they have already proved to be highly valuable. Now, sleep experts think that they could be helpful with your sleep issues as well. 

Dog’s Role in Sleep Therapy 

pets sleep

In 2015, a Sleep Review paper looked at the effects of animals in sleep therapy. The study considered the habits of co-sleeping with pets.

They also reported that the use of dogs and other emotional support animals could help with various sleep disorders. Moreover, there is no need for any formal training for these animals to help their owners sleep better. 

On the other hand, the paper also suggests that it is not an evidence-based recommendation that pets can help with sleep. If we look past that, there are several reasons why this could be true. 

For one, animals offer a sense of companionship to their owners, helping them feel less lonely. Being together with them can help avoid nightmares. Dogs can even be trained to react and wake owners who are having nightmares. 

Besides, regular interactions with pets can also help you mitigate cardiovascular diseases, reduce blood pressure, and help you stay active. In effect, you could release more oxytocin that helps elevate your mood. When your overall health improves, you will also see your sleep schedule get better. In other words, they bring you a feeling of safety, allowing you to relax and fall asleep more effortlessly. 

Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals 

Albert from Lucky Dawg Rescue

The case might be entirely different for those who suffer from severe conditions and rely on service animals. People with severe night terrors have reported finding comfort in co-sleeping with a service dog. They are trained to wake their owner if they fall asleep in public and even fetch medical help. 

Having a trained animal with you will dramatically help with sleep disorders and any dangers that accompany it. Emotional support animals can also help calm down their owners and deal with nightmares. 

That being said, there are also a number of studies that discuss how co-sleeping with your pet might be disturbing your rest. As animals tend to move at night, you could be unaware of the disruptions in your sleep. 

So if you ask whether it is good to get a dog to sleep better, it is a soft yes. There is no scientific data at the moment to back up these claims. But when your pet can help with so many aspects of your life, it is possible that they could be influencing your sleep as well. It would also depend on how close you are with your pet, and what kind of relationship you share. 

As you know, it is not the only reason to get a pet. Getting to sleep better would be one of the several benefits of having a furry friend with you.

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