We do love our pets. More than half of all Americans sleep with a dog or cat, says Sleep Advisor. There are good reasons: the sense of comfort and connection, the security of knowing a dog might bark to warn you of danger—and, of course, because your pet insists.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of reasons why this is not a good idea.
- Allergies: The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says as many as three in ten people with allergies or asthma are triggered by substances in a pet's saliva, urine, or skin. In fact, these substances accumulate instead of dissipating, so by the end of a week, your bed might be a hotbed of allergens.
- Cleanliness: We don't like to think about it, but pets that go outside come into contact with all sorts of unsanitary stuff. Then, they track it onto the bed. It's the same with cats that use litterboxes. Having your pet on your bed is a lot like you wearing your shoes to bed.
- Sleep quality: A Mayo Clinic study found that people who co-slept with pets woke up more often in the night, CBS News reports. What's more, sleeping on your side is the best way to reduce positional snoring, according to WebMD, but you're less likely to roll over if there's an immovable lump of pet on top of you. (Service dogs can be trained to nudge their human when he snores, reports Sleep Review, but that's another story.)