People with an animal companion often enjoy their pet’s company so much that they like to share the bed with it at night.

Studies show that 56% of people report sleeping with a pet in their bedroom, and nearly 35% of children share their bed with a pet at night. Your pet may even prefer to share their bed, since over 86% of puppies prefer to sleep near a human when given the chance.

Should I let my pet sleep with me?

Choosing to sleep with an animal is a personal decision. Pets provide comfort and safety, but they can affect sleep quality or trigger allergies in some people. Whether the benefits outweigh the risks depends on you, your pet, and your particular situation.

Benefits of sleeping with a pet.

Research and subjective human experience suggest that sleeping with a pet can provide a variety of benefits.

Improved mental health:

A meta-analysis of 17 studies concluded that pets are generally a positive force when it comes to human mental health. For many people with long-term mental health issues, dogs are an integral part of the support network, even if they are not official service dogs.

Having a pet can reduce worry and loneliness, distract from symptoms of mental illness, help regulate emotions, and bring meaning to life. A positive interaction with a dog increases oxytocin levels in adults and reduces cortisol levels in children. Increased oxytocin and reduced cortisol levels are associated with relaxation and reduced stress.

Improved immunity:

The presence of dogs or cats greatly influences the composition of bacteria present in a house, which has an impact on the immunity of the people who live there. Researchers speculate that exposure to a diversity of microorganisms is beneficial to human health and immunity, and that a lack of diverse exposure could be the cause of an increase in allergies and autoimmune disorders. Previous research has shown that petting a dog increases the immune response. So the close contact that comes with sharing a sleeping space might be more beneficial to the immune system than just having a dog in the house. However, further research is needed.

Better health:

Pets have been shown to improve human health in many ways, including lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels and lowering blood pressure. Owning a dog is correlated with a reduced risk of death, likely due to these positive effects on the cardiovascular system. Early research on this topic showed that petting dogs, in particular, lowers blood pressure and heart rate. If touching your pet gives you their health benefits, snuggling up to each other at night might help.

Risks of sleeping with a pet.

Although sleeping with a pet brings joy to many people, sleeping with an animal can be risky for some people.


The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences advises people with pet allergies not to let them into their bedrooms, even during the day, to avoid exposure to pet hair and dander while they sleep.

Although exposure to pets in early childhood makes a person less likely to develop animal allergies. Research suggests that having a pet for the first time as an adult can make a person more sensitive to pet allergens. Having a cat for the first time as an adult has also been found to be associated with eczema, a skin condition linked to allergies. If you think your pet may be causing allergy symptoms, you can see your doctor to request an allergy test.

Exposure to germs:

The fact that pets bring more microorganisms into your home has both advantages and disadvantages. For one thing, exposure to a wider variety of bacteria and other microbes can help boost the human immune system. On the other hand, pets can also introduce dangerous bacteria, viruses and parasites, which puts the families they live with at risk of zoonoses. Pet owners should be aware that letting their pet kiss or lick their face increases the risk of contracting various diseases.

Decreased quality of sleep:

Some people have disturbed sleep because they leave their pet in their bed at night. In one study, 20% of participants called their pet disruptive when it slept in the same room as them.

People may also be unaware of their pet’s impact on their sleep. When a dog moves in the bed, the human sharing the bed is three times more likely to move too, even if they don’t notice it. Humans are thus four times more likely to be awake when the dog they share the bed with is active.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.