If you ever find yourself feeling depressed about being single and having no one to share your bed with and cuddle up to at night, don’t. A new study has revealed that bunking down with a partner pales in comparison to sleeping with your dog.
First of all, duh. I don’t know about you, but sleeping with my dog is a non-starter. He hates being on his own all night and I like knowing he’s there, all warm and snuggly and content. I’m in a happy relationship and love having my partner there too, but it wouldn’t be the same without the pup. It’s no surprise that the majority of women surveyed in this study agree with me.
And now, the science. Researchers at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York surveyed 962 women living in the US about their sleeping habits and found that 55% sleep with a dog, 31% slept with a cat, and 57% slept with a partner (obviously there’s some overlap there; not all of those who sleep with dogs are single and vice versa). Incidentally, it was those who sleep with a dog who have the best night sleep.
Dogs make us feel safe and secure. Again, no surprises there. Sometimes my dog hears noises that I don’t and will immediately start barking at it and/or go to investigate. That rarely happens in the middle of the night, but when it does, I always feel better about having him there to keep me safe.
Cats suck as much as human partners. As the study reports, “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. [Editor’s note: TOLD YA!] Conversely, cats who slept in their owner’s bed were reported to be equally as disruptive as human partners and were associated with weaker feelings of comfort and security than both human and dog bed partners.” Dogs rule, cats drool… or something.
Those who sleep with dogs have an added advantage. The study revealed that women who had their pups with them in bed tended to hit the sack earlier and wake up earlier as well. You know what they say, the early bird gets the worm! (I’m full of these terrible proverbs—shall I keep going?) Makes sense; when my dog’s in bed, I’m all warm and cozy and that makes me sleepy. I have to get up pretty early to take him for a walk, so this one checks out.
There are downsides, of course. This wasn’t part of the study, but admittedly it is a little obnoxious to have the dog in the bed on nights he refuses to settle. He’s on the pillow, he wants to be under the blankets, he wants you to let him out, he hops down, then he’s back… it can be a little disruptive. Thankfully, that’s a rare occurrence, but boy does it make me cranky when it does happen. There’s also the whole “dog hair covering every possible square inch of bedding” issue, but maybe that’s an upside since it gets me washing the sheets and duvet cover more often.
Bottom line? You don’t need a man to share your bed, you just need man’s best friend: an adorable, cuddly pup.
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