If you have a pet that lives with you, it can be difficult to decide if you should let them sleep with you in your bed, or if they should have their own bed. There are many pros and cons to allowing your pet to sleep in your bed, including, but not limited to the following:

Increased Sleep Disturbances

Allowing your pet to sleep with you can be cozy, but it can also lead to increased sleep disturbances. Dogs and cats sleep on different schedules than humans do, and often wake to move about through the night. They may get up multiple times for food, water, and to investigate their environment for safety. If you are a light sleeper, you may wake up each time this happens and find yourself frustrated with your pet. This is especially true if a younger animal needs to go out frequently or makes noises each time they awaken through the night.

Allergies Can be Irritated

If you suffer from an allergy to pet hair or dander, it may not be wise to let your furry friends sleep in your bed. If they make this a habit, chances are that they’ll learn to rub themselves all over your pillows and blankets, and you may find them sleeping on your bed throughout the day as if they belong there. This can make it difficult for you to find an allergen free zone in your home. As your pillows and sheets are very close to your face, these allergens will immediately enter your respiratory system and your allergies are likely to get dramatically worse.

Decreased Anxiety Symptoms

Individuals who suffer from anxiety symptoms may find that they’re able to sleep better if their pet sleeps in the bed with them. Often the presence of an animal next to them is calming, and the warmth of their breathing is soothing and helps the anxiety sufferer calm down enough to sleep. The pet will often participate in the individual’s bedtime routine, as well, letting them know when it is time to start winding down for sleep, and in fact, fussing at them until they go to bed at the usual time.

Enhanced Emotional Bonding

For those who live alone or who feel lonely, a pet can also be a good source of emotional bonding, providing them with something to look forward to when they go to sleep and when they wake up. Bedtime and morning become an important part of the animal’s routine, and they’ll insist on being snuggled and receiving a dedicated amount of attention at specific times of day. This emotional bonding can be a wonderful way to help you wind down and relax, while also giving you something to look forward to.

Feelings of Safety and Security

Individuals who struggle with feeling safe enough to relax to go to sleep may struggle with insomnia. This can be the result of anxiety, depression, or trauma. Sleeping with a pet can often help reduce these symptoms, providing increased feelings of safety and security for the sufferer. It’s easier to relax and go to sleep, for example, if you know that your dog will bark and alert you if someone attempts to break in. In this way, animals can be a great comfort for those who deal with anxiety, especially if they sleep in bed with the patient.

As you make a decision about whether or not your pet can sleep in bed with you, take these factors into consideration. They’ll help you make the decision that’s best for you and your furry friends, so that everyone in your home can be as happy and well rested as possible.