An animal expert has revealed the mental health benefits to sleeping with your dog in your bed.
Some pet owners absolutely insist on having their furbaby lying next to them as they go off to Sleepytown, however others refuse to let their animals anywhere near their bedroom.
Those in the latter camp should pay attention as you could be missing out on a better headspace.
Dog behaviourist, Karen Barrett, told the Daily Telegraph you should welcome your dog or cat into your bed as long as you establish dominance.
“If the dog is sleeping on your head, they think they are higher up than you and this is a problem. But, by lying next to you, there is an oxytocin release that encourages us to cuddle up together. It’s also a basic genetic survival instinct,” Ms Barrett said.
“When you’ve got single or elderly people, whose partners have passed, having a dog that sleeps on the bed is comforting.”
This confirms a longstanding theory that the positives of a pet in the bedroom can outweigh the negatives.
Researchers at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, found last year that dogs make great bedtime cuddle buddies in addition to being man’s undisputed best friend.
Scientists surveyed 962 women living in America about their sleeping habits. The research found that 57 per cent of the women polled slept with another human, while 31 per cent shared their bed with a cat and 55 per cent slept alongside a dog.
According to the study, women who sleep with a dog were more likely to get a more restful night’s sleep than those who opted to share their bed with a cat or human.
The study also found that those who slept next to their pet pooch were more likely to go to bed earlier and emerge from the warmth of their covers earlier too.
The study explains: “Compared with human bed partners, dogs who slept in the owner’s bed were perceived to disturb sleep less and were associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security.”
In yet another win for dogs, they seem to be much less disruptive than their feline friends.
The study revealed that cats happen to be just as disruptive in bed as human partners. Cats were also ‘associated with weaker feelings of comfort and security than both human and dog bed partners’.