Could a Dog Bed Help Reduce Your Stress? Our Trial Says Yes!

Could a Dog Bed Help Reduce Your Stress? Our Trial Says Yes!

Between work deadlines, social obligations, and the ever-present “doomscroll” of current events, feeling stressed is an increasingly unavoidable modern plague. When my anxiety began costing me one too many restless nights, I desperately began Googling unorthodox destressors outside of bubble baths and yoga. Imagine my surprise when what I uncovered weren’t occult crystals or questionable herbal supplements—but rather a certain four-legged friend’s sanctuary that held the wellbeing answer: a human dog bed.

Doubtful but determined, I invested in a plush oval model touting therapeutic benefits to trial if this seemingly silly concept could truly calm my keyed-up nerves. And after two weeks, both my sleeping stats and inner zen saw striking improvements. Here’s how slipping into canine-inspired comfort worked surprising magic on my high anxiety existence.

How Dog Beds Calm: The Science

But first, how could impersonating my pooch Rocky relax me mentally? Pittsburgh neurologist Dr. Zais Orlovsky points to the classic fight-flight-or-freeze response triggered by perceived threats like work pressures, financial concerns or relationship issues. Physical symptoms like an accelerated heart rate, sweaty palms, and tense muscles result.

“A soothing environment providing comfort, quiet and security can help override the brain’s panic reflex,” Dr. Orlovsky notes. Features like padded walls, familiar textures and low lighting create such a sheltering environment. So by literally surrounding your body in calming sensations, anxiety signals get blocked allowing relaxation to take hold. Think of it like a weighted blanket meets immersive tub meets dog cuddle!

My Cozy Canine Cave Quest

While my sweet rescue Rocky enjoys his plush circle bed, I craved something encapsulating my entire 5’9” frame in relief. So I sought out an elevated rambling corner sofa style bed spanning six luxurious feet with a twinkling canopy perfect for blocking out the world.

The first night enveloped in its fuzzy embrace soothed my thoughts like a hypnotist whispering “shalooooom.” I woke feeling mentally unclouded and clear headed even after dismal news headlines. Progress! So each evening after I triple checked the locks and performed my obsessive bedtime ritual of worry list-making, I would retreat to my quiet canine cave awaiting me.

45% Less Stress After 14 Days

Two weeks in, my stress scale ratings averaged 45% lower than pre-plush sanctuary days and I fell asleep 22 minutes faster. That added nearly 3 hours more much-needed sleep compared to fitful baseline tosses and turns. Even my partner remarked how much less tense I seemed both at home and interacting with clients.

While not a total zen state, resting consciously tucked inside this cozy cocoon each night profoundly calmed nerves, encouraging “letting go” of swirling thoughts rather than ruminating. I may occasionally slip back to restless overthinking outside my furry fortress. But knowing my calming canine cave awaits eases anxiety all its own.

Maybe I’m just a pampered puppy parent. Or perhaps supportive scientists like Dr. Orlovsky are onto something with this unorthodox destress hack. Either way, my mental wellbeing suggests every human could use their very own dog-inspired oasis to escape life’s inevitable worries if only for restorative moments. Now if you’ll excuse me, my blissful bed built for two beckons for some much needed shut-eye and TLC!

Common Questions About Using Dog Beds to Destress (FAQs):

How is this different than using a normal bed?

The high walls and overhead canopy create a more enclosed, womb-like environment engaging senses to encourage relaxation. Location versatility also allows positioning it purposefully to feel ultra-private.

Do you have to own an actual dog? 

Absolutely not! While sharing with your own pup is an option, the beds target universal human needs. The “dog” aspect primarily taps into aligning familiar textures and security that relax people.

Couldn’t you get the same effect reading in a closet or taking a bath?

While small dark spaces and hydrotherapy both calm, the convenience and consistency of having an always-accessible designated serenity zone in your living space makes it easier to destress routinely.

Does size matter for maximal stress relief? 

Yes, choose sufficiently spacious dimensions to feel comfortably cocooned (i.e. fetal position with space to spare). If sizes feel overly spacious, incorporate pillows/cushions to feel comfortably snug.