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Many Brits enjoy cuddling up to their loveable canine in bed, but how physically close should we be to our dogs?

Any pet owner knows that our four-legged friends are more than just an animal, they are a beloved member of the family.

The chemistry between pooches and people is undeniable, with 56 percent of dog owners reporting they sleep next to their pet, Healthline claims.

But experts have found that letting your dog sleep with you in bed can actually provide health benefits.

Psychologist at Dimepiece LA, Barbara Santini, has partnered with French Bedroom to share five reasons why the nation should sleep next to their fluffy friend.

Improved sleep
Research has shown that a dog in the bed can mitigate anxiety, improve mood and create a good environment for rest – combating insomnia in the process.

Barbara explained: “Sleeping with pets encourages the production and release of more oxytocin. When our oxytocin levels are high, we are more likely to experience total body relaxation.

“This will stimulate theta brainwaves, which occur during REM sleep and helps our mind make memories as well as increase creativity.”

Strengthened immunity
Sharing a bed with an animal can have a positive impact on the immune system.

“Pets encourage the diversity of microorganisms in a home and research shows that your immune system strengthens when exposed to a diversity of microorganisms,” Barbara says.

It has also been found that pets can help lower your blood pressure, and babies are less likely to have allergies when brought up with them in the family.

Increased comfort and security
Our furry friends can help create a sense of safety and security during the night.

Georgia said: “Pets create a secure and cosy atmosphere with their warmth, steady heartbeat, and protective nature.

“Dogs heighten comfort, especially for people who feel lonely. If we have a nightmare, dogs can wake us up, helping ease the problem.”

Fresher bed linen
Pet owners are more likely to clean the house often due to the added build-up of dirt, especially during the summer months.

“Nine out of ten of us wash our sheets every two weeks but that’s not hygienic enough and won’t keep allergens away during summer,” explained the psychologist.

“Pets provide an extra reason to keep the house in order so sleeping with them and washing the linen every few days on a warm cycle will prevent an accumulation of dust in the fibres.”

Strengthens trust
It’s not only humans who reap the benefits of sharing a bed with a pampered pup, animals will also develop a higher level of trust.

This will help make communication and training easier as well as improve the relationship.

Georgia explained: “The feel-good hormones that are released for people have the same effect on animals. Dogs will feel like part of a pack and cats will view this as an extra level of protection.”