The importance of snuggling with your furry friend


Freshman Kate Holloway taking an afternoon nap on the couch with her dog Echo. credit: Kate Holloway

Drew Maddox, Editor In Chief

Many dog owners put their pups in a crate overnight or have them in their own beds rather than cuddling with them at night. Most assume that snuggling with their dog at night will result in a bad night’s sleep. Scientific studies have proved otherwise, showing that there are more benefits to having your dog join you in your cozy bed. Perhaps you need to make a change in your dog’s sleeping arrangements. 


Sleeping with your dog has numerous amount of ways to improve your health, as well as releasing oxytocin in your brain. This positive chemical reacts the same as if you were falling in love, or are just around something that gives you joy. Oxytocin promotes theta brainwaves that are related to REM sleep. This shows that you are extremely likely to have a much nicer, deeper sleep with your dog present. Not only does the oxytocin chemical improve your sleep with a pet, but it also clears up anxiety. Anxiety and stress can disturb most people’s busy lives, maybe your dog could be the cure! 


Scientific research proved that sleeping with a pet also provides your brain with more security. Staying safe can impact your sleep drastically and it’s an important aspect to make sure you’re comfortable and get well-rested. If you think about it, your dog’s first instinct is to protect you, so if they will immediately alert you when there is danger, why not have all the security you can? 


Another study also discovered that people who sleep with their dogs kept a better sleep routine as well as improving their sleep efficiency. They found that humans had an 81 percent of sleep efficiency while dogs had an 85 percent after about a week of sleeping in the same bed. If you usually wake up still feeling exhausted, maybe sleeping with your dog could be the next option to a successful night’s sleep. 


You may already have a strong bond with your loyal, furry friend but sleeping with them can bring you even closer. Sleeping together lets your dog know that they are a part of your “pack” and they feel more secure with you than ever.