How your dog may be helping you to get a better night's sleep

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There are many benefits to having a dog in the house, but did you know they can also help you get a better night's sleep? We've invited Kathryn Eccles, Ecommerce Manager at pet supplies retailer Millbry Hill, to tell us more about it.

We love dogs in the UK. So much so that the PDSA has noted a quarter of UK adults share their home with a four-legged friend. There are many great reasons to bring a dog into your home: you'll have unquestioning companionship, lowers levels of stress, and they'll keep you active. Not only that but, according to new research, you might also be able to sleep more soundly with a dog in your bed. With that in mind, I'm going to share four ways that your dog could help you get a better night's sleep.

They make you feel safe

Dogs are naturally territorial animals. Though they have been domesticated, they still have instincts to defend their territory and protect their pack. Not only that, but their heightened sense of hearing means they are pretty good at alerting us to anything that is out of place, especially at night time. It's like having your own personal security alarm that can, depending on the breed, also act as a security guard and protect you from an intruder. Having your companion sleep in bed with you can also help you to feel emotionally secure throughout the night.

They help you relieve stress

Simply having a dog in the home will make you happier, helping to lower your levels of anxiety and stress. Pet therapy is becoming a popular form of treatment for decreasing stress, especially at places such as university, where students are often under lots of pressure. One study showed that this interaction with dogs actually decreases anxiety and blood pressure. 

How well you sleep is directly linked to your state of mind, and if you are stressed, your sleep will suffer. Keeping your canine companion next to you in bed can help you to relax, lower your stress levels, and get a good night's sleep.

They get you up in the morning

If you have trouble getting up in the morning, then sleeping with your dog could help give you that extra boost to get out of bed. Try getting into the habit of feeding them as soon as you wake up. That way, they will eagerly help you get out of bed at this time every day. It's the best kind of alarm clock — no blaring alarm sounds, just a cute face that's excited to see you. By getting into a regular routine, you will improve the quality of your sleep as your body adapts to a set time frame. On some mornings you may not want to get up at that time but, in the long run, it's good for you.

They stop you from feeling lonely

No one wants to feel alone through the night, especially during the winter months, and having your trusty companion by your side can beat this problem. Just like humans, dogs love to snuggle up and get close. This will help you both to feel warm, secure, and comfortable, allowing you to be at peace and get a good night's sleep. If you are someone who gets hot in the night, then sleeping with your pup might not be a good idea. Instead, bring their bed into your bedroom and set it close by. That way, you can still get the benefits of having a dog nearby without overheating. 

Whether you have trouble nodding off, or you think you sleep like a baby, bringing a dog into your bedroom can have many benefits. They may be disruptive from time to time but, overall, they’ll help you get to sleep.  

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