Should your pet sleep in bed with you? A sleep specialist weighs in

There’s no question most of us would do just about anything for our pets. We love them dearly and they are members of our family. But when it comes to your nighttime routine, do you want them sleeping with you in your bed?

An overwhelming number of you say “yes.” We asked why or why not, and boy, you responded – dozens of you!

One Jacksonville Beach News4JAX Insider said, “Absolutely my 7-year-old Jack Russell Terrier burrows under the covers & sleeps by my feet every night and my 3-year-old Yellow Lab sleeps on his own pillow next to my head.”

An Insider from Jacksonville said, “Tooney our dog sleeps under the covers completely… She thinks she is people…LOL…so we snuggle with her every night.”

But only a few Insiders responded, “No,” like Samantha who said, “I love my doggos but they sleep in their own beds.”

A Cleveland Clinic Sleep Psychologist says every person and pet is different.

“There’s no right or wrong answer for this, Alicia Roth, PhD said. “It really depends on your comfort as the human and your pet’s comfort and what’s best for them. And that might be a learning process when you first get your pet.”

Roth specializes in sleep medicine and warns if your pet is constantly jumping on and off the bed, making noises or other distractions, it may not be a good idea to have them sleep with you. While it may be nice to have them by your side, it shouldn’t come at the cost of your sleep — which is important to your overall health.

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However, if you and your pet have found a comfortable arrangement when sleeping, then Roth doesn’t see an issue.

In fact, the sleep expert says if your pet makes you feel calm and secure — that’s a good thing.

“For some people, their pet is like an alarm for waking up in the morning, or an alarm for something happening in the house, or you know an intruder, or you know any activity outside, so there are lots of benefits to sleeping with your pet,” Roth explained. “And on the pet side too, it can provide them with great emotional comfort and security.”

This is something another Jacksonville Insider agrees with, telling us about her pet, “YES!! She sleeps with me for my comfort and hers too. She is a rescue and the first thing when home was to show her she [is] welcome everywhere…”

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So bottom line: Letting your dog or cat sleep in your bed can have benefits for you and your furry friend too.

But another Insider, Mark, told us he grew up with letting his dog sleep in his bed – and it can be a relationship dealbreaker.

“Always have from the age of 3 when I got my first dog to today at 63 yrs of age. I have even ended relationships with potential girlfriends that were not so inclined.”

Roth says the key is communication. It’s best to talk out any concerns so you can reach some kind of solution.

We love it when our Insiders weigh in on the stories we cover. If you’d like to be a part of it, sign up to be a News4JAX Insider here. It’s absolutely free, and we won’t bother you or spam you. You can pick and choose what you want to hear from us and what you don’t.

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