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- Can Dogs Help with Insomnia?
Can Dogs Help with Insomnia?
There are many people that suffer from sleep problems and anyone that has experienced insomnia will know what a damaging effect it can have. When you have to spend each day feeling exhausted and drained because of lack of sleep, things can really get on top of you. You will find it more difficult to focus and concentrate and it can affect both your appearance and your day to day life.
Fortunately, there are various treatments that are available for insomnia. In addition, you can also look at another alternative. For instance, you may find that having a dog can help with insomnia!
Signs Your Dog May be Helping You to Sleep
Whether you already have a dog or you are thinking of getting one, you will be pleased to know that your pooch may actually be able to help when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. There are various reasons why people often find that their dog helps when it comes to insomnia. You will find a number of signs that can indicate your dog is playing a part in your ability to get to sleep. This includes feeling more relaxed when your dog is around, feeling more secure when they are with you, and even finding that your dog’s gentle breathing at night helps you to relax.
Some people feel very insecure at night, which can affect their ability to sleep. However, having your dog with you can help to reduce this feeling of insecurity and promote relaxation and peace of mind. Another thing that you may find is that the warmth that your dog gives off from their body can help you to get to sleep. If your dog sleeps on the bed with you, this can make you feel far warmer and cozier, which in turn can promote sleep. All in all, having your pooch around can make you feel much calmer.
So what type of body language from your dog helps you to relax more and get to sleep more easily? Well, for some people it is just having the dog around to snuggle up to at night, as this promotes relaxation and calm as well as providing warmth and security. Others love to have their pooch licking their hands or face, as this provides greater reassurance. You should look out for body language that indicates where your dog prefers to sleep as well, as it is important for your pooch to be comfortable. Some dogs will be more than happy to jump on the bed with their tails wagging. Others may prefer to sleep on the floor or in their own beds.
There are other signs that you can look out for to indicate whether your dog is helping you to sleep. For instance, you may feel calmer if you know that your dog is there to guard and protect you because they will growl or bark if there is something wrong. Seeing your dog wagging their tail and appearing happy can also help to put you at ease.
History Behind Dogs Helping Humans Sleep
Historically, dogs have always been used for a purpose, often as working dogs in various industries. Of course, many dogs are still used as working dogs such as service and military dogs, guide dogs, and farm dogs. However, they are also now amongst the most popular pets and have become part of the family unit. People these days have dogs to keep them safe in their own homes, but also as companions. This ability to provide companionship and love to owners is one of the things that can play a part in how easily you are able to sleep.
When you have a dog around to not only guard your home and your loved ones, but also to calm you down through providing love and affection, you may find that this can help hugely with your insomnia. Over the years, domesticated pet dogs have enabled owners to enjoy a feeling of being protected, being loved, and being more secure, all of which can play an important part in your ability to sleep. Your dog doesn’t even necessarily have to be in the bedroom with you in order for you to benefit from these reassuring feelings. Simply knowing that it is around can be enough for some people.
Science About Why Dogs Help with Insomnia
There are various factors that researchers believe help people to sleep more easily when there is a dog around. One of the key ones is the increased sense of security that you feel when your pooch is guarding you and your home all night.
However, there are also other important factors such as the sound of the dog’s breathing at night, the companionship of your pet, and the warmth that comes from their bodies. Many people that feel nervous about sleeping alone at night suffer from insomnia because they are simply one edge. However, having your pooch around can be extremely reassuring and relaxing.
Training Your Dog to Sleep in the Bedroom
Whether you already have a dog or you are thinking of getting one, you may need to provide some training if you want them to sleep in the bedroom with you. Some people are happy and more relaxed just knowing that the dog is around while others prefer to be able to see and even talk to their dog to help them get to sleep. If you prefer the latter, you need to make sure that your dog is also comfortable about sleeping in your room or on the bed, particularly if they have been used to sleeping in another location. This is where gradual training can help.
It is a good idea to first get your dog used to sleeping in the bedroom at night, which involves moving their bedding into your bedroom. You can leave their bed in another room during the day if you prefer, and then just take it in at night when you are ready to go to bed.
Doing this will help to encourage your pooch to follow you to the bedroom each night and settle down, so that they get used to that environment. Over time, once your dog has become more comfortable about sleeping in the bedroom, you can then encourage it to come and sleep on the bed if this is something that you prefer.
When it comes to training your dog to sleep on the bed, you first need to make them feel comfortable about doing this. Some dogs may not want to sleep on your bed and this is something that you need to respect because your dog also needs to be comfortable. By patting the bed to encourage your pooch to jump up, you should be able to quickly determine whether this is something that they feel comfortable with doing. You can also give your dog a treat when they jump onto the bed, which will provide further encouragement if they are a little reluctant at first.
By a Boston Terrier lover Reno Charlton
Published: 03/21/2018, edited: 04/06/2020
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