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Should pets sleep in your bed?

Lifestyle

Should pets sleep in your bed?

In 2023, 53% of UK adults owned a pet, a 2% rise compared to 2020. And while it’s natural to want to share most of our lives with our furry friends, how far is too far?  

According to a YouGov sleep survey, almost half of Britons admit to letting their pets sleep in the same bed as them – Sleep expert Ashley Hainsworth from Bed Kingdom has looked at the pros and cons of doing this and whether it’s right for you.

What are the benefits? 

Helps with Insomnia 

Falling asleep with your pet beside you can increase endorphin levels, thus reducing stress and anxiety. In turn, this can help you fall asleep quicker, which is ideal if you’re someone who has difficulty getting some well-needed shuteye.  

Security and comfort 

If you live alone, sleeping with a pet can increase your sense of security and heighten comfort levels. Feeling safe and relaxed is extremely important and can drastically improve your sleep quality 

Warmth 

A key factor in determining whether you have a good night’s sleep is body temperature. If you feel the cold more than the average person, cuddling up to a warm pet at night may be precisely what you need to drift off.  

Bonding  

Sleeping with your pet can significantly increase your bond and strengthen your relationship. You might find that you can read their body language better, and simply be more in tune with one another, which can improve their behaviour and overall happiness as a result.

Are there any risks involved?  

Like most things, letting your pet sleep in the same bed has some potential risks.  

Sleep disruption 

Our pets are living beings and therefore, move around a lot; you may find that your pet is finding it difficult to settle and won’t stay still, so their constant movement and rearranging may disrupt your sleep. One way to combat this is to invest in a bed large enough to accommodate you and your pets – this allows for any movement that does occur to go unnoticed.  

Hygiene  

Our pets can carry dirt and other unwanted guests in their fur. Fleas, ticks, and lice are all common problems, and the last thing you want is for those to end up in your bed. Dirt may also cause allergies, as well as getting all over your sheets. To tackle this, keep up to date with your pet’s vaccinations and make sure they are clean after being outside. You should also wash your bedding more frequently if you decide to let your pets sleep with you, specifically every three to four days.  

Behavioural issues  

There are varying arguments as to whether letting your pet sleep with you causes them separation anxiety. Either way, it is important to stay vigilant, and if you notice any problem behaviours begin, consult a trainer or an animal behaviourist. Some signs to look out for include an increase in destructive behaviour, extreme vocalising like howling, barking or whining when you leave, and toileting inside the house, even if they are trained. 

 Should you let your pets sleep in the same bed? 

Sleeping with your pets can be extremely beneficial to those who suffer from loneliness or sleep disorders such as insomnia. However, if you’re someone who likes your personal space at night or cannot commit to the upkeep needed for your bed to remain clean, perhaps letting your pet spend the night with you isn’t the best option.  

Ashley Hainsworth from Bed Kingdom:

No one knows our pets like we do. When deciding whether to let your pets share the bed, you should consider several different factors, such as your lifestyle, sleeping habits and your pet’s temperament. It has clear benefits, but the risks shouldn’t be disregarded either. Keep an eye on how things progress, but if sleeping with your pet works for you, that is the most important thing.  

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