Health consultants often advise removing dogs from the bedroom to improve sleep quality. However, research from the University of Alberta suggests that for individuals with chronic pain, sharing the bed with a pet might be the best thing to do.
Requesting people who are accustomed to sleeping with their pets to keep them off the bed may lead to unexpected outcomes, as stated by Cary Brown from the UA Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. For those with chronic pain, pets provide a unique source of comfort, and excluding them from the bedroom can be as distressing as kicking their companions out of bed.
Brown explains that volunteers participating in the study reported increased happiness when sleeping with their dogs. Physical contact and embracing their dogs before sleep helped alleviate feelings of loneliness and anxiety during the night. They experienced more relaxation and a sense of security, reducing bedtime anxieties.
She further explains that individuals with chronic pain often feel isolated due to their limited ability to engage in social activities. Owning a dog can provide companionship, alleviate loneliness, and offer a sense of relaxation and care. Additionally, it promotes the release of positive hormones, resulting in better sleep quality.
Having a dog not only brings comfort and companionship but also encourages individuals with chronic health issues to establish a regular daily routine and sleep schedule. Two factors that contribute to better sleep are waking up at a consistent time and engaging in regular physical activity. Removing a pet from your life would mean missing out on these sleep-promoting benefits.
Brown adds that there is no scientific evidence supporting the claim that removing pets from the bedroom leads to better sleep quality. This misconception is based on established impressions but has not been updated or scientifically tested. This research challenges previous recommendations and calls for further investigation to confirm the findings.
She suggests that instead of automatically blaming pets for sleep-related issues, patients and healthcare providers should engage in deeper conversations regarding their sleep habits. We should carefully consider how to assist patients in weighing the pros and cons and making informed decisions, rather than unilaterally telling them what to do. Patients should not feel guilty for prioritizing their human-pet relationships over professional advice.
But what about the perspective of the dogs? Is it beneficial for them to sleep on the bed with us?
We know that dogs are social animals, and sleeping with their companions is crucial for providing a sense of security. In a previous course on guard dogs, instructors mentioned that during adjustment programs, some dogs prone to aggression were encouraged to sleep in the bedroom with their owners rather than alone in the kitchen crate.
Therefore, sharing the same sleeping space with our dogs is a good option. However, please note that the expert's advice against letting dogs sleep alone in the kitchen crate was specific to that case. The dog in question used to sleep in a crate that was appropriate for its size when it was younger, but as it grew, the crate's dimensions, height, and comfort no longer met the dog's needs.
In such cases, dogs require a shared space that provides a sense of security and allows them to rest with their family members, whether they are fellow dogs or human family members. Although the expert mentioned sleeping in the same room with family members, I would like to remind everyone that not every dog is suitable for directly sleeping on the bed with us; this requires evaluation by a professional.
Some dogs may exhibit aggression when sleeping together due to factors such as physical pain, sleep issues, easily being startled, or morning grumpiness. In such cases.
it's important to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to assess the situation and determine the best sleeping arrangement for your dog. They can provide guidance on whether it's safe and suitable for your dog to sleep on the bed with you.
It's also important to establish boundaries and rules when allowing your dog to sleep on the bed. Dogs should be trained to understand that they need to wait for an invitation and respect your personal space. Setting clear expectations and providing consistent training can help ensure a positive sleeping experience for both you and your furry companion.
Additionally, consider the size of your bed and the comfort of both you and your dog. If your dog is large and takes up a significant amount of space, it may affect your quality of sleep. Providing a comfortable dog bed or designated sleeping area in the bedroom can be a good alternative if sharing the bed becomes problematic.
Maintaining good hygiene is another consideration when sleeping with dogs. Regularly washing your dog's bedding, grooming them to minimize shedding, and ensuring they are clean and free of parasites can help mitigate any potential issues related to sleeping in close proximity.
Ultimately, the decision to sleep with your dog depends on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and the needs of both you and your pet. While there are potential benefits to sleeping with dogs, it's essential to assess the specific circumstances and consider the well-being of everyone involved.
In conclusion, the University of Alberta study suggests that for individuals with chronic pain, sleeping with dogs can provide comfort, relaxation, and a sense of security, leading to improved sleep quality. However, it's crucial to evaluate the situation on an individual basis and consider factors such as dog behavior, size, hygiene, and personal preferences. Consulting with professionals and setting boundaries can help create a comfortable sleeping environment for both you and your furry friend.
source from Dina Fantegrossi.