“If the dog is sleeping on your head, they think they are higher up than you and this is a problem. But, by lying next to you, there is an oxytocin release that encourages us to cuddle up together. It’s also a basic genetic survival instinct,” said Barrett in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.
“When you’ve got single or elderly people, who partners have passed, having a dog that sleeps on the bed is comforting,” she added. Not that we needed any further proof but there you go, dogs really are man’s best friend.
The findings correlate to previous research conducted at Canisius College in Buffalo where 962 US-based women were surveyed about their sleeping habits. 57 per cent slept with another human, while 31 per cent shared with their cat, and 55 per cent slept with a dog tucked up alongside them. Out of all of them, it was those who slept alongside their dogs who were most likely to get a good night’s sleep. The study also found that those who slept next to their pooch were more likely to go t bed earlier and wake from their slumber earlier, too.
“Compared with human bed partners, dogs who slept in the owner’s bed were perceived to disturb sleep less and were associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security,” said the study’s authors.