We've been lectured about it for years: "Don't let your dog sleep on your bed! It's a bad idea because (insert boring, preachy reason here)." Well, to this bah humbug advice we say "no more!" Because the folks at LittleThings.com have compiled a definitive list of why snuggling up to your furry friend each night isn't just permissible, but downright healthy!

They Ward off Depression
Unconditional love is hard to find in this world of ours, but our canine companions provide it fully and completely. And for anyone struggling with depression, this is one heck of a valuable bond. Simply put, having your dog in bed with you can play a vital role in giving you the drive to get out of bed.

They're a Natural Insomnia Cure
Dogs are like our personal sleep sherpas, guiding us toward slumber each night with their affection and calming energy. Like sleeping pills, they can be addictive -- but this is the kind of addiction your doctor likely won't take issue with!

They Provide Safety and Security
Regardless of their size, a dog in the bed is a protective guard dog in the bed. Sure, they're there to sleep alongside you, but rest assured, should anything go bump in the night they'll be on hand to scout things out. So sleep easy!

They're Comforting
Whether your day was good, average, or not so great, tucking in at night with your pup is a comforting feeling. Chalk it up to their warmth, rhythmic breathing, and all that fur you can't get enough of.

Snuggling Provides Relief From Anxiety and Stress
The number of therapy dogs has increased dramatically in recent years, and it's easy to see why. Our canine cohorts are scientifically proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and even high blood pressure.

They're Natural Furnaces
Canadian winters are a force to be reckoned with, meaning those dastardly heating bills can pile up fast. Fortunately, a dog in your bed will happily serve as the world's most cuddly heating pad.

Your Dog Gets Something Out of it Too
As noted above, sleeping next to your pup can be great for your emotional and physical health, plus your overall sense of well-being. And the best part: It works both ways. Those hours of nighttime bonding will make your dog feel even more loved, safe, secure, and happy. (And let's not forget comfortable: Have you ever tried sleeping on the floor?)

Image credit: Getty Images

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Steven Shehori is a Canadian Comedy Award winner and Gemini Award loser. He writes TV comedies and is one of the resident music and pop culture guys over at the A.V. Club and the Huffington Post. To enhance your overall quality of life, consider adding him on Twitter or following his comedy podcast, You Better DON'T!