Winter has definitely arrived, with dark nights and snowy skies sending us scurrying for blankets and hot chocolate. Many of us will turn to our pets for comfort, opting to stay in with our furry friends instead of bracing the bitterness outside, and new research suggests that there are lots of good reasons for doing so.
A recent study, conducted on behalf of online bed specialist Time 4 Sleep, found that nearly half of Brits (43%) feel that their pet has a positive impact on their stress levels.
Sarah Mackie, Writer and area co-ordinator at Pets as Therapy, believes that spending time with pets can really benefit people and help them feel more comfortable during the Winter months.
“It comes as no surprise to pet owners around the country that pets positively affect our mental health. Pets rely upon us to feed and take care of them, providing an innate sense of purpose and giving loyalty and affection in return – an exchange that is well documented will lead to a longer and more fulfilled life.
“Our primal need for the feeling of a safe place is often filled by a pet, whose steady heartbeat and lack of personal space provide the perfect conditions for calm.”
It is perhaps unsurprising then that over a third of Brits (37%) seek the warmth and comfort of their pets’ presence even when in bed, allowing their cat or dog to sleep in bed with them on a night. Women were found to be the most likely to have such snoozy snuggles (42% of women, 30% of men).
Sarah believes that sleeping alongside your pet can be beneficial in the right circumstances.
“Whether sleeping with your pet is a good idea or not is a complex question. A married couple sharing their bed with anything larger than a spaniel is, in my opinion, akin to sharing with a sprawling toddler – all bony bits and wriggling! However, for those people who might otherwise sleep alone, then an animal takes the place of a teddy and, as such, can aid a very restful sleep indeed.”
Such ‘wriggling’ could well account for some people’s reluctance to share their beds, with many pet owners insisting on keeping their sleeping spaces animal-free. More than one in five (21%) of people in the UK stated that they have never allowed their dog or cat to sleep in or on the bed and a further 21% revealed that they are completely against the idea.
It’s possible that these people refused to share their bed because of their pet’s misbehaviour, with the research also revealing some of the naughtiest and most embarrassing things they’ve got up to! The most common acts of mischief were found to be:
· Eating their owner’s food without permission (32%)
· Weeing indoors (31%)
· Humping a guest’s leg (17%)
· Eating a guest’s food (15%)
· Eating their own poo (12%)
Jonathan Warren, director at Time 4 Sleep, said: “No matter what pets get up to, it appears Brits will always hold them close to their hearts, even allowing them to sleep in or on their own beds.
“It’s clear to see that our pets have a positive effect on our mental health so you can understand why so many people are happy to spend their nights alongside their furry companions.”
To read more about the pros and cons of allowing your dog to sleep in your bed, click here: https://www.time4sleep.co.uk/blog/allowing-your-dog-to-sleep-in-bed/