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Letting Your Dog Sleep With You Is Good for Chronic Pain Sufferers, New Study Says

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

If you’re in a lot of pain and you have a dog, the best relief of all may be to let your dog sleep with you, a new study suggests. According to Science News, the feeling of content you get from the physical contact with your pet gives you a sense of well-being that can lessen the pain and help you sleep better, too. Besides considering allowing the pooch to stay in bed with you, sleep researchers also said that it’s good to cultivate good sleep habits, such as getting up at the same time every day and keeping active.

This is a fascinating topic in that previous research shows that 41 percent of pet owners perceive their pets as beneficial to their sleep — leading me to believe that if you enjoy it and sleep well, there is no reason to stop sharing your bed with your favorite pet. But if you’re among the 53 percent of Americans who say their pets disrupt their sleep, this may be a good time to take some proactive steps toward taking your bedroom back.

That said, I’m in total agreement with the sleep researchers who said that you need to cultivate good, regular sleep habits. Research shows that most adults need eight hours of sleep each night to maintain good health. To that end, I’ve compiled a list of things to do to “prepare” yourself for a good night’s sleep — and tops on the list is to avoid exposure to nighttime electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

The easiest way to do that is to stop using all electronic devices a minimum of one hour before bedtime, and then to turn off your WiFi completely when you go to bed. Establishing a regular routine for bed is important, as well, and that means both a wakeup time and a bedtime. Conquering light pollution is another solution. Once you’ve turned off your electronics, be sure to sleep in a totally dark room, sans night lights of any kind — and during the day, try to get some exposure to full sunlight for at least a little while

When you go to bed, also make sure that your room is cooler than what you would like it during the day. Studies suggest the optimal temperature for sleep is quite a bit cooler than many realize — between 60 and 68 degrees F. Temperatures above or below this tend to increase restlessness.

For more ideas on how to get the best shut-eye possible, please see my article, “Sleep — Why You Need It and 50 Ways to Improve It,” where I review some of the most important findings about sleep, how it helps your health, and how to get the most out of your sleep time.