Yes, they do. Even though we cannot directly observe another being’s dreams, according to many studies, scientists agree that dogs and, in fact, most mammals have dreams. This is something you may have already noticed. If you watch your dog carefully as they sleep, sometimes you can see them moving their paws as if they’re running. Other times you may notice Rapid Eye Movement (REM), and this is one of the most telling signs of being in a dream state.
Snuggling With Your Dog Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
It’s just one of the health benefits of interacting with a beloved pet. Studies show petting a cat or dog can lower your blood pressure. Pet owners generally feel calmer when they’re snuggling with their pets.
Petting an animal can also lower your heart rate. Pet owners know this already. No matter how stressful your day starts, the moment you make it home and play with your pets, the more peaceful you become.
Do Animals Have Nightmares?
Here again, we cannot observe it directly, but we can infer that dogs and most mammals have nightmares. We know all too well that humans have nightmares from time to time, so we can make a pretty good guess that it’s the same with animals. With our dog, we’ve noticed that once in a while, our doodle will let out a little growl when she is in deep sleep.
Sleep Cycles, Rem Sleep, And Brain Activity Studies
Dogs and people share similar sleep cycles, REM Sleep, and brain activity when they sleep together. And that’s not all. Studies show people who sleep with dogs feel an increased sense of security. Feelings of isolation are reduced. Symptoms of insomnia diminish when sleeping with your pet.
In general, the more time you spend with your pet, especially at bedtime, the happier both you and your pet will be.
Sleeping With Your Furry Friend Can Improve Your Mental Health
Having a dog or cat as a loving companion can alleviate stress and feelings of isolation and loneliness. According to the US Department Of Veteran Affairs, “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that some military people and civilians develop after witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.”
Studies have shown that people who suffer from PTSD experience significant improvement when working with highly trained service dogs. And the mental health benefits don’t stop there. Even people who experience a milder form of stress can expect meaningful improvements by spending more time with their plain ol’ pets. And it’s a WIN-WIN because, as anyone who owns a pet will tell you, the more time you spend with your pet, the happier they are.
How To Train Your Dog To Co-Sleep In Your Bed
Some people are very lucky -- Their dogs follow them to bed and lie there in the same spot the whole night. Some dogs can use a little help and guidance from their owners. Let’s go over some tips to help your dog become an excellent and polite sleep partner:
Set a consistent bedtime routine -- Dogs love consistency. It makes them feel more relaxed when they can predict what you’re going to do. Set a regular time to begin your bedtime routine, whatever that routine may be. As you wind down your day and you do the same things at the same time, your pet will learn the signs that it’s time to get ready for bed.
Take your dog out for a walk just before bed -- As you already know, any walk will make your dog happy. So, no matter what happens during the day, make sure to take your dog out at the same time before bed. They will get used to it, and they’ll begin to expect it.
It’s also a good opportunity for them to “check their messages” and do their business along the walk. Regularly going on this walk will also cut down on those middle-of-the-night potty breaks.
Spend time in your bedroom -- If you’re just starting out with your dog, invite him into the bedroom and sit on your bed. When your dog jumps up on the bed or puts its paws up on the bed, reinforce this positive behavior. Invite your dog to play on top of the bed when you’re there. The more your dog understands it’s okay to be with you on your bed, the easier it will be at bedtime.
Encourage your dog to sleep in your bedroom -- Don’t be in a hurry. If, at first, your dog is reluctant to sleep on your bed, encourage your dog to sleep in your bedroom first. Sooner or later, they will figure out that it’s okay to be in your bedroom, and with time, it will be okay to sleep on your bed.
Crate training in your bedroom -- Many people start out with crate training. This is a good opportunity to welcome your dog into your bedroom. Place the crate near your bed, and your dog will know they have a safe place near you when it’s bedtime.
Have A Dog Pile On The Family Bed By Taylor & Wells
When you’re a kid, there’s nothing better than falling asleep with your friends and your pets in the same bed during a sleepover. No one worries about sleeping positions, sleep routines, or having enough room to roll over. It’s an absolute free for all of fun – and then everyone sleeps like a baby.
When we get older, a good night’s sleep is not as easy anymore. Needing a little more room becomes a priority. That’s why some people don’t feel comfortable inviting their dogs to sleep on their beds. If this is you, happy days are here again!
The Family Bed by Taylor & Wells is the largest commercially available bed in the US. It’s a gigantic ten feet wide. That’s enough room for the whole family and your pets. And if you’d like an even bigger bed, have a look at The Family Bed XL – it’s twelve feet wide and seven feet long! Both of these beds are available at The Bedding Mart.