The boys and I have a little tradition. Every night we switch off the boring tv, visit the garden and then jump into bed together. They pile up on top of me, Coop – spooning, Fred – creating an impression of a Russian “ushanka” hat. Coop likes to be stroked, Fred – kissed on the nose, so the positions are chosen strategically and perfected over time to achieve their goals.
They sleep. I get onto Netflix. I do wish I could be all so intellectual and say that I read a book savouring it page by page. Unfortunately, a book requires two hands to stay upright. And a bit more light than I’ve got. So I am afraid I have to ruin the ambience and my reputation and come clear about being into old series or the latest episode of the Bake Off. My life belongs to the pups and so are my hands.
Honestly, I would not have it any other way. I love to bask in the warmth of oxytocin. I love their company, the weight, the sweet scent, the little scrumptious noises pups make in their dreams. It’s my reverie, my happy place.
Even if 100 people told me 100 times that sleeping with my dogs is a very, very, very bad idea indeed, I would not listen. I can’t sleep without them. Fortunately, the science seems to tell me exactly what I am pleased to hear, the good news.
Take the Mayo Clinic that have been studying the benefits of sleeping with dogs for years. According to them having a dog (over 6 months old – because puppies are a different story entirely) in your bedroom does not disturb your sleep. In fact, the company of your pooch will help you sleep better providing a sense of security and comfort, easing anxiety and even reducing the incidence of nightmares. In addition stroking dogs quietly without talking to them can reduce your blood pressure and levels of stress hormones (cortisol being the main one), which will lead to numerous benefits (think better mood, better digestion, better heart health – better life, really!)
To top it all up… Our puppies are like a hot water bottle on a chilly night. The most perfect hot water bottle that loves you, kisses you and looks into your eyes with so much affection.
If you worry about the hygiene, remember that men’s beards contain a lot more bacteria than your dog’s fur. True story. There is even a study conducted by the Switzerland’s Hirslanden Clinic that proves it.
So enjoy your naps, pups and peeps! It’s so good for you!
Photo source: Oscar, photographed by me