Study: Having a dog can help you sleep better

We know dogs have the ability to make even our worst days brighter. We fill our camera roll’s with photos of our loyal pooches and instantly turn to mush when we look into their puppy-dog eyes.

For all the reasons to love them, here’s one more: apparently they help us get a better night’s sleep, too!

According to a study in Sleep Review, furry friends help their owners have less nightmares. Service animals that are specially trained are found to be very helpful when it comes to sleep disorder therapy.  

“Nightmares have been associated with fear of sleep, which in turn perpetuates hyperarousal and insomnia.” 

Sleep review says that those suffering from PTSD or anxiety often suffer from nightmares and dogs can be trained to wake their owners up, which, according to Sleep Review, no medication has been able to do.

If you suffer from anxiety-induced insomnia or just have trouble falling asleep, dogs can help with that too. The study says that service dogs can help to relieve that feeling and “mitigate anxiety ... and to modify hyperarousal and hypervigilance, which in turn creates a more amenable mood state for sleep initiation, as well as a greater sense of safety in those who are uneasy in the dark and/or night and who tend to phase-reverse to dodge nighttime sleep.”

For someone who suffers from narcolepsy, many service dogs are trained to provide up to a 5-minute warning of a sleep attack, giving the person time to prepare themselves and avoid injury. 

In a nutshell, dogs help us relax and de-stress, and in turn, help us fall asleep much easier.