The Particularly Bittersweet Dilemma of Pets in Bed

The Particularly Bittersweet Dilemma of Pets in Bed

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Jennifer Hunter
Mar 4, 2015

It's a hotly-debated topic in bedrooms everywhere. Studies show pets contribute (a lot) to poor sleep quality but then again....they're just so snuggly. So let's take a look at the bedroom and your pet boundaries.

This fantastic piece over at The Atlantic rang a lot of bells. The author cites plenty of stats about just how badly we're actually sleeping when we let our pets "co-sleep." Facts like 63% of people who share their bed with their pet report poor sleep quality according to the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.

And, as everyone knows, poor sleep leads to a litany of problems in your waking hours. Affecting stuff like judgement, mood and potential for injury. Long term effects can even be obesity and heart disease. Eek.

So if we're sleeping so badly (and we know why) then why don't we put an end to the nightly dog dance? Simple: we love them. Not so simple is weighing bad sleep quality against the positive effects that most "co-sleeping" pet owners report — thanks to the feel-good chemical oxytocin, cuddling can reduce stress and anxiety.

For most, it's no contest. This 2008 survey here at Apartment Therapy shows the "co-sleepers" beat the rest 3:1. Interesting.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

In case you're wondering, I firmly believe that my beagle Indy has a comfy bed all her own, and so do I. End of story.

So, what do you think? Is good sleep a priority or do you crave a nightly pet cuddle?

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