Go ahead and sleep with your dog—it’s perfectly safe, as long as you are both healthy. That might go against everything you’ve heard from growing up, your parents or even older dog training techniques.
Sleep technology firm Simba recently partnered with animal behaviorist Professor Peter Neville to answer a question that dog owners have been wrestling with for ages: is it advisable to share your bed with your pet pooch, and if so, which breeds make the best bedfellows?
The experts analyzed the sleep habits of more than 1,000 UK-based dog owners, focusing on the 20 most popular breeds. The researchers aimed to uncover the potential benefits and drawbacks of sharing a bed with dogs, and to rank which breeds are the most and least conducive to a good night’s sleep.
The experts accounted for some of the peculiarities associated with different breeds, such as their tendencies to snore, wriggle, and even pass wind – factors that could influence the quality of our sleep.
#1 Labrador Retrievers
Labrador Retrievers, cherished for their family-friendly personalities, received the top spot on the list. Despite their substantial size and propensity to shed fur, Labradors were found to be unparalleled bedfellows.
The study demonstrated that owners of this breed are less prone to insomnia, sleep apnoea, or snoring. And the reason for this might not surprise you. Labrador Retrievers rarely move during their slumber, allowing their owners to average six hours of sleep per night – more than any other breed surveyed.
Lisa Artis is the deputy CEO of The Sleep Charity, Simba’s charitable partner. “The NHS recommends we get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, which we may struggle to achieve when co-sleeping with our dogs, however, the benefits they provide may outweigh any nocturnal interruptions,” said Artis.
She acknowledged that while a dog’s noises and movements can interrupt our sleep, the sense of safety, companionship, and happiness they impart can make it worthwhile. “So although we wouldn’t actively endorse dogs sleeping on our beds, it’s clear how much they can contribute to our overall well-being and mental health,” said Artis.
Professor Neville commented: “Labrador Retrievers have an uncanny ability to understand what pleases their human companions. They quickly learn the art of stillness, only breaking it when guarding the home. With their easy trainability and adaptability to our activity and rest cycles, Labradors yearn to spend as much time as possible with us, including snoozing by our side all night long.”
In the second spot, we find Dachshunds. Known for their playful nature and inclination to stay close to their owners, Dachshunds are experiencing a surge of popularity, especially on social media platforms like TikTok, where the #Dachshund hashtag has accrued over 9.5 billion views.
“Dachshunds, like Terriers, have an affinity for burrowing into dark spaces – a trait embedded in their genes from their vermin-hunting lineage,” said Professor Neville. “But they have adapted to become expert pocket-sized hot water bottles, perfect for chilly UK nights. Just be careful, as their fearlessness in the dark might lead them to claim the entire bed, especially if the heating is switched off.”
- Border Terriers
- Cocker Spaniels
- French Bulldogs
- Golden Retrievers
- Staffordshaire Bull Terriers
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- English Springer Spaniels
The Not sleep friendly list
- German pointers
- German Shepherd
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Bull Terrier
- German Pointer
- Hungarian Vizsla
Pros and cons of sleeping with your dog
There are some reasons why you might not want to sleep with a dog, including allergies and interrupted sleep. However, many people find dogs to be excellent sleeping companions for a variety of reasons:
The physical presence of a dog can provide comfort and a sense of security which can help people relax and fall asleep more easily.
Dogs tend to be creatures of habit. If you establish a bedtime routine with your dog, it can help reinforce your own sleep schedule.
Dogs are warm and can act as a natural heater during colder months.
Sleeping with your dog can increase the bond between you, helping both of you feel more connected.
Studies have shown that being close to pets can reduce stress and anxiety. The rhythmic sound of a dog’s breathing can be very soothing.