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Study: It’s Okay to Let the Fur-Kids Crash in Your Bed
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Do you share a bed with a furry family member (other than your spouse)? If your dog or cat sleeps in bed with you, it’s no big deal says a recent study.
Hands up, those who wake in the morning to find themselves contorted into a seemingly impossible and totally awkward angle because a pooch or feline has taken over the bed in the night.
Most of us, right? Well news of a recent study shared in Science Daily claims that sleeping with your four-legged kid does have some benefits. And there’s a name for it: co-sleeping.
According to Bradley Smith of Queensland University in Australia and lead author of an article published in Springer’s Journal Human Nature, about half of all pet owners share sleeping arrangements with their pets and this can be a good thing. What? Only half?
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Smith correlates sleeping with pets to sleeping with young children and talks to how this practice differs between cultures, has evolved over the years and fulfils basic psychological needs. In the study he references our strong psychological attachment to pets and how they seem to supplement and at times even replace interpersonal relationships (no kidding!).
He states that allowing animals to live inside the home, as well as to share the private space of the bed and/or bedroom, highlights the value and status that is bestowed on them. “We propose that human-animal and adult-child co-sleeping should be approached as legitimate and socially relevant forms of co-sleeping,” says Smith, who believes that more research should be done on human-animal co-sleeping practices.”
Okay, let’s not overthink this. My cats each have a side of the bed… and they claim it every night. My boyfriend’s dog loves to sleep with his head on the pillow, my Chico loved freshly laundered sheets and all of them appreciate a cozy duvet on a cold night. Methinks it may be those creature comforts that drive our fur-kids to climb in with us at night and perhaps a little complacency on our part that causes us to not even notice or redirect them.
Here’s to socially relevant co-sleeping, indulged pets and a stiff neck in the morning.