People that let their dogs sleep in their bedroom could be getting a better night’s rest, according to new research.
The study, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, dispels the common belief that dogs can worsen your sleep.
“Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption,” says Lois Krahn, M.D., a sleep medicine specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine on Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus and an author of the study. “We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.”
In the study, researchers assessed 40 adults with sleep disorders and their dogs over five months. Both humans and dogs wore activity trackers for seven nights and humans responded to questions about how they slept.
Researchers found that people that allowed their dogs to sleep in their bedroom had a better night's sleep, no matter what the size or breed of dog. However, whether the dog slept on or off the bed made a difference. Those people who let their dogs snuggle under the covers sacrificed quality sleep.
“The relationship between people and their pets has changed over time, which is likely why many people, in fact, do sleep with their pets in the bedroom,” says Dr Krahn.
“Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximise their time with them when they are home. Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that. And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep.”